As electricity costs continue to rise, more homeowners are turning to solar roofing systems to lower their monthly bills. Specifically, they are looking for solar shingles, a premium solar technology that doesn’t sacrifice aesthetics. You should be prepared to spend between $42,600 to $69,000, or a national average of $55,800, for solar shingles installation.
Solar shingles, also known as solar roof tiles, are thin photovoltaic sheets that absorb the sun’s energy and convert it into electricity to power your home. The premium material looks and performs like traditional asphalt shingles and many brands integrate with other popular roofing materials.
In this pricing guide, we’ll cover:
- Average Costs
- Cost Estimator By Size
- Cost Estimator By Watt
- Other Factors That Affect Cost
- Related Services
- Cost By Location
- Solar Shingles vs. Solar Panels
Average Costs of Solar Shingles
|National Average Cost||$55,800|
|Typical Price Range||$42,600 – $69,000|
|Extreme Low-End Cost||$10,000|
|Extreme High-End Cost||$95,000|
Most solar shingles installations fall into the $42,600 to $69,000 range, but many factors can impact your budget and overall costs. CIGS solar shingles installed on a small area of 500 square feet could cost as little as $10,000, while premium monocrystalline silicon solar shingles on a large, 3,000-square-foot area can set you back as much as $95,000.
Solar Shingles Cost Estimator By Sizes
Roof size is an important cost factor. Solar shingles installation typically costs between $20 to $27 per square foot, including labor and materials. Many factors help determine the number of solar shingles your home needs to cover your energy requirements, including roof size, sun exposure, and average energy use.
Standard solar shingles are similar in size to traditional asphalt shingles, measuring 12 inches wide by 86 inches long and less than 1 inch thick. The average home requires approximately 350 solar shingles to cover electricity needs.
|Roof Size||Average Cost Before Incentives*|
includes materials and labor
|1,000 square feet||$20,000 – $27,000|
|1,200 square feet||$24,000 – $32,400|
|1,500 square feet||$30,000 – $40,500|
|2,000 square feet||$40,000 – $54,000|
|2,500 square feet||$50,000 – $67,500|
Solar Shingles Cost Estimator By Watt
Roofing companies often install solar shingles alongside other roofing materials like regular shingles or wood shakes. Because the typical installation does not require solar shingles to cover the entire roof, one of the best ways to estimate the cost of solar shingles is to know how much energy your new solar system must produce to cover your current energy demands.
Solar shingles cost between $3.65 to $8.50 per watt before incentives, and the average home needs 9,000 watts, or 9 kilowatts, to cover utility costs (1kW = 1,000 watts). A 10-kilowatt system costs between $25,550 to $59,500 after the 2023 tax credit.
Solar shingles installed between 2023 to 2032 are eligible for a 30% credit on materials and labor.
|Cost Per Kilowatt||Total Cost for a 10 kW System Before Tax Credit||Average Cost For a 10 kW System After 2023 Tax Credit|
|$3,650 – $8,500||$36,500 – $85,000||$25,550 – $59,500|
Other Factors That Affect Cost
The average cost of a traditional roof replacement is $8,446. Although the initial cost of solar shingles installation seems steep, the eco-friendly system helps reduce your annual energy costs, paying for itself over time.
While weighing your replacement options, note that there are many factors affecting overall solar shingle installation costs, including brand, type, location, labor rates, and more.
Federal Solar Tax Credit
Solar upgrades, including solar shingles, traditional solar panels, and battery storage systems, are eligible for a government tax credit. The program runs from 2022 to 2035.
Solar shingles installed between 2022 to 2032 are eligible for a 30% credit. Systems installed in 2033 are only eligible for a 26% credit, and those installed in 2034 will receive a 22% credit. There is no maximum amount a homeowner can claim.
- Solar shingles
- Contractor labor costs, including permitting fees and inspection costs
- Balancing equipment, including wiring, mounting equipment, and inverters
- Energy storage devices with a capacity rating of 3 kilowatt-hours or greater
- Sales tax on expenses
Many states also have policies governing renewable energy, offering their own incentives and rebates. The federal tax credit expires in 2035 unless it receives a congressional extension.
|Year||2022 – 2032||2033||2034|
Solar Shingles Cost Estimator by Type
There are currently two basic types of solar shingles on the market: monocrystalline silicon and copper-indium-gallium-selenide. The typical price range for solar shingles is between $21 to $25 per square foot, including labor and materials.
|Type of Solar Shingle||Cost Per Square Foot*|
includes materials and labor
|Copper-indium-gallium-selenide (CIGS)||$21 – $23|
|Monocrystalline Silicon||$24 – $25|
CIGS Solar Shingles
CIGS shingles are thin film solar shingles made of a layer of semiconductor material like copper indium selenide. These shingles are lightweight and flexible, making them easier to blend into a roof’s aesthetics. These economical solar shingles cost between $21 to $23 per square foot, with some costing as little as $15 per square foot. However, they have a lower efficiency rate than silicon solar shingles.
Silicon Solar Shingles
Monocrystalline silicon shingles comprise silicon crystals that are 15% to 20% more energy efficient than CIGS shingles. They have a rigid construction and are more expensive than CIGS solar shingles, costing as much as $35 per square foot. Silicon shingles generate more power than CIGS shingles and average between $24 to $25 per square foot.
Solar Shingle Cost Estimator by Brand
Several U.S. brands manufacture solar shingles, and as the technology continues to rise in popularity, we can expect to see more brands develop their own solar shingles.
Here are the most popular solar companies and their average cost per watt before tax incentives. Note that these costs will vary depending on your location and other factors.
|Brands||Production*watts per shingle||Efficiency||Average Cost Per Watt*before incentive||Average Cost For a 10 kW System |
*includes materials and labor
|CertainTeed Apollo Tile II||70 watts||18%||$5.50 per watt||$55,000|
|GAF Energy Solar Shingles||45 watts||22%||$4 per watt||$40,000|
|LUMA||80 watts||22%||$6 per watt||$60,000|
|SunTegra Solar Shingles||105 – 114 watts||16% – 17%||$4.50 per watt||$45,000|
|Tesla Solar Roof||71.67 watts||17% – 20%||$6.50 per watt||$65,000|
Let’s look at the most popular solar shingles:
- CertainTeed Solar Shingles
- GAF Solar Shingles
- LUMA Solar Shingles
- SunTegra Solar Shingles
- Tesla Solar Roof
CertainTeed Solar Shingles
The CertainTeed Apollo Tile II costs $5.50 per watt on average. The low-profile design works with new or existing asphalt shingles, and the high-efficiency monocrystalline silicon solar cells produce 70 watts per shingle.
GAF Solar Shingles
GAF’s Timberline Solar Energy Shingles combine asphalt roof shingle material with monocrystalline solar cells. The new roofing material costs approximately $4 per watt, and thanks to the layer of asphalt, roofers can nail the solar shingles directly to your roof like traditional shingles. While GAF’s shingles are economical and easy to install, they only output around 45 watts per shingle.
LUMA Solar Shingles
The LUMA solar shingles were one of the first to market. These shingles produce an impressive 80 watts per shingle and cost $6 per watt. They also carry a Category 5 Hurricane Classification and can withstand winds over 200 miles per hour. LUMA solar shingles come with a 25-year production warranty guaranteeing maximum output.
SunTegra Solar Shingles
SunTegra solar shingles attach directly to your roof, integrating with traditional shingles and other low-profile roofing materials. They use 50% fewer parts than traditional solar panels and most install in half the time.
The SunTegra shingles cost $4.50 per watt and produce 105 to 114 watts per shingle. Like LUMA solar shingles, SunTegra shingles also come with a 25-year output warranty.
Tesla Solar Roof
By now, you have probably heard of Elon Musk, CEO and chief product architect of Tesla. Tesla’s high-end solar shingles contain quartz to increase efficiency and durability. The Tesla solar roof produces 71.67 watts per shingle and costs on average $6.50 per watt. Tesla backs each installation with a 30-year production output warranty.
Labor Cost to Install Solar Shingles
Solar shingles take more time to install than traditional solar panels, but what you are losing in time, you are making up for with sleek profiles and better curb appeal. The total cost of installation combines materials and labor. Most roofing companies charge per hour, with the average cost of solar shingles installation falling between $45 to $70 per hour.
You should be prepared to spend approximately 60% of your total project costs on labor. Some roofing companies charge per square foot for solar shingle installations, and the cost is $3 to $4.50 per square foot, including labor and materials.
Solar shingles require connectors, wiring, and an electrical inverter. Your contractor will work with a local electrician to complete this portion of the job. Typically, electricians cost between $45 to $135 per hour.
Overall, solar shingle installations cost 15% to 25% more than solar panel installations, and labor rates depend on your location, the experience of the roofer, and roofing materials.
|Roofers per sq. ft.||$3 – $4.50|
|Roofers per hr.||$45 – $70|
|Electrician per hr.||$45 to $135|
Solar roofs are expensive and require thorough planning to understand all the related services that come with the large home improvement project. Look into these related services and upgrades while making your decision.
Solar roof installation requires a building permit in most areas. The residential permit department in your city will have more information. On average, you can expect to spend between $250 to $1,500 on a roofing permit for your installation.
Most solar shingles work with new and existing roofing materials. If your solar roof installation is part of a roof replacement, your roofers will need to remove the old materials for disposal. You can expect to spend between $1 to $3 per square foot, or around $1,200, for the service.
Battery Backup System
Solar energy systems have high upfront costs, but they pay for themselves over time with clean energy and reduced electric bills. Solar shingles generate electricity for your home, but they cannot store it for later use. To get the most out of your new roof, it is best to install a battery backup system, like Tesla’s Powerwall.
The generator stores collected solar power so your home can use it when your shingles cannot produce or collect energy. The battery backup system costs between $10,000 to $21,000.
The battery backup system and solar shingles are both building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPV), and it is more cost-effective to install the battery at the same time as your new shingles. However, the battery is still eligible on its own for the federal tax credit if you decide to purchase it later, and some states provide solar storage incentives.
Cost of Solar Roof Shingles By Location
Solar shingles installation varies widely based on location and the cost of living. Labor and materials cost significantly more in metro areas like Los Angeles or New York. Additionally, mild climates with longer roofing seasons have lower overall prices compared to regions with heavy snow and ice where the roofing season is shorter.
There is no way to know exactly what your solar installation will cost without receiving free quotes from professional contractors in your area to compare.
Solar Shingles vs. Solar Panels
Solar shingles and solar panels use solar cells to harness the sun’s rays and convert them into electricity. Traditional solar panels are simply larger versions of solar shingles.
However, there is one major difference: Solar panels are one component of a roof, while solar shingles are an entire roof system.
Check out some other key differences:
|Solar Shingles||Solar Panels|
|Installation Cost*materials and labor included||$55,800||$18,000|
|Lifespan*for peak performance||25 – 30 years||25 – 30 years|
|Size||12 inches x 86 inches and less than 1 inch thick||39 inches x 65 inches|
|Weight||13 pounds per square foot||40 pounds each|
|Installation Time||Minimum 1 week||Less than 1 day|
|Output||13 to 63 watts per shingle||170 to 350 watts per panel|
Pros and Cons
|✔ Solar shingles are low-profile, offering better aesthetics.||✘ Solar shingles are more expensive than solar panel systems.|
|✔ Solar shingles are more weather-resistant than solar panels.||✘ Solar shingles are less energy efficient than solar panels.|
|✔ Solar shingles are lighter and do not require additional structural support for installation.||✘ Solar shingles are more expensive than solar panels.|
FAQ About Solar Shingles
No. Solar shingles are part of a new roof system or installed over your existing roofing materials and require professional installation and wiring. Improper installation could void the manufacturer’s warranty and lead to leaks, mold, and water damage.
Solar shingles last longer than traditional roofing shingles and maintain maximum output and efficiency for 25 to 30 years. Longevity depends on the solar shingle brand, and providers offer their own warranties.
Be sure to check with your shingle manufacturer to understand your warranty.
The power output of your solar system and your home’s energy demands determine how much your monthly energy bills will decrease. On average, solar shingles reduce electricity costs between 40% to 60%.
Find a Solar Shingles Pro Near You
Solar shingles produce clean energy for your home, and it is a great time to install a solar roof while the federal tax credit is at 30%. Before this credit, you can expect to spend between $42,600 to $69,000, or a national average of $55,800, for solar shingles installation.
If you are ready to reduce your carbon footprint, RoofGnome connects you to the best solar roofing professionals in your area to learn about the brands and your options.