Most Frequently Asked Questions about Solar Shingles
The commercial roofing industry is constantly evolving. Advances in reflective roofing have helped make buildings more energy efficient, reducing energy use and saving customers money.
In some states, rooftop solar arrays have helped building owners save money by generating electricity. Over the last few years, one of the fastest-growing trends we’ve noticed is increased questions about solar shingles.
Here are some answers to our most frequently asked questions about solar shingles.
1. What are Solar Shingles, and How Do They Work?
Solar shingles, often called solar roof tiles, are “slim photovoltaic (PV) sheets that either overlay or replace the existing shingles on a roof.”
When sunlight hits these panels, they convert it into electricity. Unlike traditional solar panels, solar shingles seamlessly integrate with your roof, providing both weather protection and renewable energy generation.
2. Do Solar Shingles Replace My Current Roofing?
Yes and no. Solar shingles can fit over existing shingles or be installed on their own, effectively functioning as roofing and energy generation systems.
Unlike solar panels, solar shingles blend seamlessly with your building’s architecture, offering aesthetic appeal while providing the same benefits as a solar panel.
3. What are the Benefits of Installing Solar Shingles?
The most apparent benefit of solar shingles is that they generate electricity, thus reducing energy bills over time. Some report that solar shingles can save you anywhere from 20-60% on your energy bills.
You’ll also contribute positively to the environment by reducing carbon emissions.
Lastly, integrating renewable energy technology enhances your property’s market value.
4. How Long Do Solar Shingles Last?
Depending on maintenance, solar shingles can last beyond 20-30 years.
Most manufacturers offer warranties ranging from 20 to 30 years for solar shingles.
5. Can Solar Shingles Handle Harsh Weather?
Solar shingles withstand all kinds of weather conditions, including high winds, hail, and heavy rain. Because of this, solar shingles are often more durable than traditional roofing materials.
Since they are directly attached to your commercial roof, solar shingles are less likely to dislodge in a windstorm compared to solar panels.
6. Are Solar Shingles Suitable for Chicago Area Roofs?
Suitable, yes. Cost-effective, maybe? The most significant factor in determining whether or not solar shingles are valuable for your commercial roof is how much sunlight you get.
If you are in a spot with a lot of sun, you’ll produce plenty of energy for your building. If not, then expect to see diminishing returns on your solar shingles.
Weather-wise, the solar shingles will hold up fine during those cold, wintery months.
7. What About Installation?
The installation of solar shingles is more complicated than traditional roofing shingles.
Depending on whether or not you opt for a complete and total replacement with solar shingles or partial integration, work with an experienced roofing company that can best help with your specific commercial roofing needs.
8. Why Shouldn’t I Get Solar Shingles?
We suggest holding off on solar shingles for three reasons: expensive upfront costs, complex installation, and limited energy generation.
Proper installation of solar shingles requires expertise to ensure optimal performance and weatherproofing. You’ll want to work alongside a commercial roofing expert to ensure no issues with your solar shingle installation.
Also, your solar shingles may have a lower energy generation capacity depending on sunlight and location.
9. Do Solar Shingles Qualify for a Tax Credit?
Yes, solar shingles can qualify for federal and, in some cases, state-level tax incentives. The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) allows you to claim a percentage of the installation cost as a tax credit, directly reducing your tax liability.
The availability of state-level incentives varies, so it’s essential to research your region’s policies.
Remember that tax credit percentages and eligibility criteria may change, so staying informed about current incentives is crucial.
Consulting with a tax professional can help you fully understand the potential tax benefits of your solar shingle installation.
Looking for More Information about Solar Shingles And Your Commercial Building? Call Ridgeworth Roofing Today.
The best way to determine whether solar shingles are the right choice for your commercial roof is to speak with a roofing professional. Ridgeworth Roofing works with buildings across the Chicagoland area for commercial roof installation, maintenance, and inspection services.
Call us today for more information about our green roofing, solar shingles, or other commercial roofing services.