Colorado: 720-809-7586

Solar Shingles vs. Solar Panels: Which One Works Best?

Solar panels are convenient despite their size because the roof can easily handle them, and their detachment makes them easy to observe and maintain for possible future damages and issues. If they perform well, most homeowners in Golden, CO, are willing to forego reducing their curb appeal in the name of energy efficiency and independence from typical power sources.

On the other hand, roofing and solar manufacturing companies continue to see much progress in solar shingle development. Today, a few companies have made notable solar shingles that can achieve an exceptional level of protection and energy generation for households. Curb appeal, convenient installations, and reliable products are most homeowners' main benefits from using solar shingles.

However, most solar shingles aren't roofing materials; they're only smaller solar panels with higher outputs. While these solar shingles (except for Tesla's solar shingles) might seem like a buzzword to grab homeowners who want something different from solar panels, they get the job done powering an entire home. But, they still affect the property's overall curb appeal as much as a traditional solar panel array can.

That was until today. GAF has announced its Timberline Solar Shingles. These have international certification as both solar panels and construction materials, meaning they're fully-functional solar shingles that can collect solar energy from the sun while looking great as your roof.

You can learn more about this Tesla solar shingle killer in this post from The Verge.

In 2016, Tesla tried to reinvent the humble roof as a beautiful array of glass tiles brimming with solar energy — a vision it’s been struggling to deliver ever since. But San Jose, California-based GAF Energy thinks it has a simpler solution to the solar roof. It’s built a solar shingle, one that can be nailed down in packs much like the everyday shingles you’d use when repairing or replacing your normal, non-solar roof.


You might have heard of solar shingles before, but GAF Energy president Martin DeBono suggests the new Timberline Solar shingles are the first to actually deserve that name because they’re the first to actually work that way — you literally drive nails through a three-inch nailing strip, overlap the top of that shingle with the bottom of the next one, and repeat. “A number of companies have come out with what they call solar shingles, but they’re pretty much identical to regular solar panels, just small,” explains DeBono, saying how those previous solar roofs also required rails so the panels could be screwed down.

The result of true shingles, DeBono claims, is that it takes days instead of weeks to install a solar roof. “We’ve installed them already in two days, including ripping off the old roof and putting on the new roof,” he says. The company already tried traditional tile-based solar roofs, pointing me to a previous interview where DeBono said GAF Energy had installed over 2,000 of them, allegedly more than Tesla. “It takes multiple days, 10 to 12 people on the roof,” DeBono relates. But its parent company, building materials conglomerate Standard Industries, decided to invest over $1 billion in this seemingly simpler shingle solution instead. (Here’s a Forbes profile of Standard Industries’ founders and their solar play.)

DeBono says the Timberline Solar are the first products to ever receive UL’s 7103 certification to serve as both solar panels and construction materials, (Continue reading here to learn more about this groundbreaking technology)

GAF works closely with Roper Roofing and Solar when installing top-notch roofing materials, including their new Timberline Solar Shingles. If you're interested, you can call us to learn more about our solar panel installation services or the new GAF solar shingles today.


795 McIntyre St. Suite 303
Golden, CO 80401
Phone: 720-809-7586

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Austin TX 78739
Phone: 512-305-3695



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