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Solar Shingles Vs. Solar Panels


Solar shingles or solar panels? Which is better?

In this article we discuss the similarities and differences between solar shingles and solar panels to help you make an informed decision about the best solar decision for your home.

Solar Panels

Two-story suburban home with solar panels

Solar panels have been around a while, but thanks to research and funding, they’re more affordable now than ever. Solar panel efficiency rate is very high, all things considered.

Roof Requirements:

In order to install solar panels, you should have a good roof, preferably newer or well-maintained, as the solar panels will last almost as long as the roof itself. Keep in mind it doesn’t have to be a brand new roof, but it should be in good repair.


Cost Incentives:

  • ITC : There are many incentives and programs to get solar panels now. The ITC (Investment Tax Credit) allows you to take 30% off of your solar panel installation. Many homeowners save around $5000 with the ITC.
  • PPA: The Power Purchase Agreement program offers homeowners installed solar energy for $0 down. Of course you wouldn’t own the system, but you would get a lot of the benefits of solar energy for a very affordable price.
  • Solar Loan/Lease: Or you can get a solar loan or lease to get your solar panels.

*For more details on these incentives, take a look at our Guide to Planning Your Home Solar System



Solar panels can be installed on many different types of roofs, on lawns, on sheds, on the sides of houses, etc. It all depends on where you get the best sunlight.

Solar Shingles

solar shingles on home

Solar shingles aren’t brand new to the market, but they are newer than solar panels. And even more recently they have actually become more available to people.


Roof Requirements:

The difference between solar panels and solar shingles is that the solar shingles are the actual roof, and the nice thing about solar shingles is that they are easy to install. They are simply installed like a regular roof.

Sometimes, this even means you can get a lower roofing and solar cost since you are purchasing them together. Also, fewer solar shingles may be needed to get adequate solar power, which also reduces the upfront cost.


Pros to Getting Solar Shingles:

Solar shingles are very tough and durable and can serve as even further protection to your roof from storms and debris.

Some homeowners prefer the way they look to regular roofing as well, solar shingles look much like any other roofing material and lay flat to the roof, so you can hardly tell you have them from street-view.


Cons to Getting Solar Shingles:

Solar shingles pricing is similar to the pricing of getting solar panels, but there are fewer funding options and tax credits for solar shingles than there are solar panels.

There are still a few energy-efficiency tax credits you can take advantage of, but they may not cover as much of the cost as they would for solar panels.

Solar Panels Similarities Solar Shingles
  • More versatile than shingles; can be installed on the roof, grass, a shed, etc.
  • More tax Incentives are available for Solar Panels.
  • The technology is more readily available and has been around longer.
  • Tax incentives are available for both.
  • Installation costs are very similar.
  • Both increase property value.
  • Can only be placed on the roof
  • The best time to get solar shingles is in the building or replacement of a roof.
  • Some feel like shingles are more aesthetically appealing than solar panels on a rooftop

Choosing The Best Solar Option for You

Solar panels and solar shingles have about the same rate of efficiency. Which means homeowners have more options to choose from when it comes to going solar!

Both options save home-owners money on energy. Ultimately it’s about which programs and incentives will fit your budget and home.

Get connected to your local pros and the best deals by using our free quote and pro finder below. Home Professionals will connect you to the solar information you need to make the best decision for your home today.


Call For Your Free Quote: 888-653-4924

Find Out If You Qualify For Solar Funding!


(Scroll down to see how you can win a $500 gift card to Home Depot)

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They will need to verify your information over the phone before they will know if you are a good candidate for solar.

Frequently Asked Questions about Solar:

Q: What is the ITC?

A: The Federal Government in the year 2019 will pay for 30% of your solar cost. That's like the Federal Government paying 30% of your electric bill for the next 30 years.

Q: Is there a solar program that is 100% free?

A: No. There are programs without any enrollment, install, or maintenance costs. However, you still have to pay the lower power bill that comes accompanied with your electricity use.

Q: What energy efficient program offers the most savings?

A: Solar offers massive savings to the homeowner. Especially as electric rates tend to rise year after year, and homeowners are using more power as they are adding in home automation, tvs, speakers, etc.

Scale of Solar Prices Over Time

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One Comment

  1. I am a homeowner, financially challenged, needing to reduce my Arizona summer rates. Just disgusted with the summer rates of energy…… more than half of my mortgage payment ??? ENOUGH !!!!

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