By Guest Author |
With the increase of people’s interest in green technology, there have been many new inventions and improvements made in the field of green technology. One of the fastest growing areas in the green technology field is that of solar technology. And the thing getting the most people excited with solar technology? Solar shingles.
Where Have Solar Shingles Been?
Solar shingles are exactly what they sound like: roof shingles that are made out of solar panel material and have the same power producing abilities as solar panels. So with how long solar panels have been on the market, one might ask, “where have solar shingles been this whole time?” Well, there have been many different hurdles that have gotten in the way of manufacturers having the ability to produce solar shingles.
One of the main hurdles that solar shingle manufacturers have encountered has been the logistics of making an acceptable product. They ran into roadblocks when trying to find a suitable material to make the shingles out of: one that would protect the shingles, while still being simple to install, and have the needed capabilities that are found in the more traditional roofing materials.
Manufacturers also ran into problems while working to create a solar shingle that would have the ability to hide the wires that connected the shingles to each other. Because these shingles essentially replace the roof on a home, manufacturers needed to find an aesthetically pleasing way to do this while still keeping the needed functionalities.
Luckily, manufacturers have been able to overcome the majority of these hurdles, and we are now seeing solar shingles becoming available to homeowners.
Solar Shingle Technology Getting People Excited
The introduction of solar shingles has been talked about for several years now. But they have only begun to become available on the market just last year. These solar shingles, which are installed very similarly as traditional roofing shingles, are getting many environmentally-minded homeowners very excited.
But it isn’t just the environmental benefits that are getting homeowners excited for this new offering. It is also economically-minded homeowners who are finding an interest in this new product. Solar shingles are said to be able to cut a homeowner’s electricity bill by about two thirds every month. One of the most recent homeowners to have solar shingles installed in their home recently stated, “We needed a roof and some way to make our electricity affordable. We wanted to integrate the two.” She said that they found their answer when they came across solar shingles.
Continued Improvements to Come
While solar shingles essentially give homeowners a power-generating roof, potentially saving them thousands of dollars a year in utility costs, there are still a few deterrents. One of them being the initial costs of these solar shingles. The same homeowner quoted above explained that it cost them over $40,000 for their new power-generating roof. Luckily, most of that cost did not have to come out of pocket. They were able to receive a large tax credit for this project, and they were also able to take out a HELOC to help finance the majority of the leftover cost.
While these solar shingles may now be fairly expensive to purchase, manufacturers are working hard to continue to improve this product, including the initial costs included with it. In fact, some solar shingle manufactures have received grants to help them with their efforts to improve not only the product itself, but also the costs associated with it. On top of that, right now there are discussions being made to try to create an option for homeowners to lease the solar shingles for free, only having to pay for the electricity generated by the shingles (which will be much less expensive than traditional electricity costs). With these improvements in the works, hopefully we can continue to see the upfront costs of solar shingles going down, so that more homeowners will be able to enjoy the energy producing and cost saving benefits that come along with them.