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Solar Panel Roofs: 7 Best Brands, Real Costs and What You Must Know in 2024 [Review]

It’s no surprise that, with the growing emphasis on renewable energy, an increasing number of people are turning to solar power to reduce their carbon footprint and save money on their energy bills. As such, more people than ever are considering installing a solar roof to solve their problems.

But what exactly is a solar roof? What distinguishes it from conventional solar panels? How much does it cost? And most importantly, which are the best brands that produce them?

With numerous choices to consider, figuring out where to start can be overwhelming. But don’t worry, we’re here to guide you through it.

In this blog post, we’ll look at the best solar roof brands on the market, as well as provide an overview of the actual costs and things to consider, arming you with the knowledge you need in order to make the best decision for your specific situation, whether you are a homeowner, a contractor, or a business owner.

What is a Solar Roof?

A solar roof, also known as a “photovoltaic roof” or “solar panel roof,” is a type of roofing system that is designed to generate electricity from the sun’s energy. It typically consists of solar tiles or solar shingles that are integrated into the roofing material.

Solar Power Market Size 2020 to 2030 Infographic
Source: Precedence Research

These tiles and shingles are made up of photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight into electrical energy. As a result, the electricity generated by the solar cells is used to power your home or business, with any excess energy sent back to the grid for credit, or stored as for later use in a battery bank.

Solar panel roof shingles are designed to look like traditional roofing materials such as asphalt, slate, or ceramic. When installed, they blend seamlessly with the existing roof and provide the same function as traditional solar panels, but with a more aesthetically pleasing design.

Therefore, with a solar roof, you can reduce your dependence on traditional energy sources and potentially save money on your energy bills over time, without having a bulky and intrusive solar array fixed to your roof.

Solar Roofs: Pros & Cons

Using solar energy as your sole power supply, or to supplement your existing system, offers a great many benefits:

  • Solar energy is fully renewable and clean.
  • It massively reduces the cost of your electricity.
  • Solar energy systems require minimal maintenance in comparison to other energy systems.
  • You can use solar in most locations and climates, as long as there are enough daylight hours.
  • Solar is a consistent and reliable power source, which is great for areas where grid connections and supply are tricky or unreliable.

The advantages listed above apply to any type of solar installation, so let’s take a quick look at the advantages and disadvantages of solar roofs, specifically:

Pros

  • A solar roof is a solar array and roof rolled into one, and you’re only fitting and maintaining one instead of two separate entities.
  • Adding a solar panel roof significantly increases the value of the property.
  • There is no risk of potential roof damage from solar panel installation or maintenance.
  • Solar panel roof tiles are durable, but they are also small, and if one is damaged, you can replace just that tile, as opposed to having to replace an entire solar panel when only a small part of it is damaged.
  • Unlike solar panels, there are no exposed wires or supports that could get broken or corroded over time.
  • Solar roofs are a great choice for your home, whether it’s brand new or you need to replace the old roof.
  • Solar panel roof tiles are less noticeable than a bank of solar panels attached to your roof, which is nice for your neighbors too.
  • The solar tiles and shingles have a clean, neat, and modern look that is aesthetically pleasing.

Cons

  • Unless you already need to replace your roof, the upfront costs are higher than just adding some solar panels to your property.
  • A solar roof is more expensive than covering a comparable area with solar panels.
  • Solar tiles and shingles are less efficient than conventional solar panels, which is more of a disadvantage in locations where there are few daylight hours or where the roof does not get full sun all day.
  • Installing solar panel roofs isn’t as easy as installing solar panels yet, which could be a problem if there isn’t a provider in your area.
  • You can’t take them with you if you move to a new house (unless you remove the whole roof and replace it with something else before you go).

When weighing the benefits and drawbacks of solar roofs, it is clear that there are some variables to consider, depending on your energy needs, location, climate, and the type of roof you already have.

If you’d like to learn more about the pros and cons of a solar roof, check out this video by LDSreliance:

Solar Panels vs. a Solar-Tiled Roof

Solar roofs and an array of solar panels fulfill the same purpose—they capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity to power your home.

So, what, exactly, is the difference between solar panel roof tiles (also called solar roof shingles) and conventional solar panels?

The main differences between solar panels and a solar panel roof made up of solar shingles or tiles are their aesthetics, their installation, and their maintenance. However, there are also some differences in the way they’re made and the way they function:

Solar Panels

Solar panels consist of photovoltaic (PV) cells wired together to create a single flat surface.

Usually, these panels are installed on a stand on top of your existing roof or on a separate structure that allows them to receive as much sunlight as possible.

These panels convert sunlight into electricity and feed it into the home’s electrical system, which typically includes a charge controller, an inverter, and a bank of batteries for storage.

Solar-Tiled Roofs

Solar-tiled roofs function similarly to solar panels. The primary difference is that the PV cells are integrated into the roofing materials and shaped into tiles or shingles. Furthermore, they interlock in the same way that traditional asphalt or clay roof tiles or shingles do.

As a result, the roof is made up of interlocking solar shingles or tiles. This provides all of the advantages of a tile or shingle roof as well as the advantages of a solar array.

Additionally, when referring to a solar roof, it can be the whole roof, only one side, or just a small section.

Solar roofs work just like any other solar panel: their components are wired together, feeding power into an electrical system. The only difference is that the wiring and equipment are concealed within the roof and not visible from the exterior. So, from the outside, solar panel roof  tiles look like a clean, modern roof with no solar “add-ons.”

How Much Does a Solar Roof Really Cost?

As of 2023, the average cost for a solar roof system in the United States is estimated to be around $49,700, including both materials and labor.

Of course, the price of a solar roof will vary greatly depending on size, location and the solar energy provider you choose; however, prices for such a system typically fall somewhere between $40,000 and $60,000 for a standard installation.

In addition, it is important to note that these prices are estimated before taking into account the US 30% federal solar tax credit, which can significantly lower the cost.

If you’d like a more accurate installation price, we’ve included the steps you’ll need to take to work it out. We’ve also provided a formula to help simplify the process for you.

The first step to figuring out the installation price of a solar roof is to measure your roof’s total area. Once you’ve estimated the square footage, choose how much you’d like to cover with solar shingles.

Next, you’ll need the price per square foot.

The cost of solar panel tiles typically falls between $16.15 and $25.40 per square foot, averaging $20.78.

Therefore, the formula looks as follows:

n ft² x $20.78 = total

For example, for an average-sized house, with an area of 2,500 ft², the roof’s area would be approximately 2,000 ft².

When we put that into the formula, it looks like this:

2,000 ft².  x $20.78 = $41560

Therefore, the total cost of an average-sized solar roof project would be $41560.

This guideline is to give you a ball-park idea of what your solar roof is likely to cost but remember that you need to calculate how much power you actually need first, which might mean you can get away with a smaller area of solar roof (or need an additional solar array to supplement your needs). There are numerous ways to finance your solar roof, so take those into consideration too.

7 Best Solar Roof Brands in the United States, Canada, and Australia

Now that you have a good understanding of what solar roofs are and how much they can cost, let’s take a look at the best solar roof providers in the US, Canada, and Australia.

Solar Roof Brands in the US

1. Tesla

Tesla, founded in 2003 by Martin Eberhard and Marc Tarpenning (later acquired by Elon Musk in 2004), is a company known for its innovative electric vehicles and clean energy solutions.

One of their offerings is the Tesla Solar Roof, a unique and durable roofing system that incorporates solar panels into the design of the tiles. The solar glass tiles have a power output of 72 W, and the steel tiles are corrosion- and weather-resistant.

These solar panel roof installations are built to last, with a 25-year warranty on the tiles and the highest-rated Class A fire rating, a hail rating of Class 3, and a wind rating of Class F.

Further, the Tesla Solar Roof is also easily manageable, with the ability to monitor and control the system via the Tesla app, which also allows for live software updates on the Tesla Solar Inverter.

Tesla Solar Roof Homepage
Source: Tesla
Specs
  • Product Warranty: 25 Years
  • Power Warranty: 25 Years
  • Wind Warranty: Not listed
  • Water Rating: Waterproof
  • Hurricane Rating: Not listed
  • Wind Rating: Class F (highest rating)
  • Fire Rating:  Class A (highest rating)
  • Hail Rating: Class 3
  • Power Output:72 W
  • Cell Type: Monocrystalline
  • Cell Size: Not listed
  • Junction Box: Not listed
  • Connector Type: Not listed
  • Operating Temperature: Not listed
  • Updates & Improvements: Tesla Solar Inverter live software updates
  • Control: Via Tesla App
Price

Tesla solar roofs cost an average of $2.11 per installed watt (but your entire roof needs to be replaced and Tesla solar roofs can get expensive quickly!).

2. Luma Solar

Luma Solar is a company that specializes in the design and installation of solar panel systems for residential and commercial properties. Their Luma Solar Shingles feature a unique blend of traditional roofing coupled with advanced solar technology. Moreover, they are one of the best luxury solar roof providers in the US.

The solar shingles have a power output of 80 watts and are made with monocrystalline cells for high efficiency. These cells come with a 25-year power warranty, and the shingles come with a limited lifetime warranty.

Luma Solar Roofs are also designed to stand up to bad weather. It has a hurricane rating of Class 5+ and a wind rating of TAS 125-03, handling winds of 200 mph or more.

What’s more,  the system is designed to be upgradable, which means the shingles can be updated as technology advances. Thereby ensuring your home is always running at peek efficiency.

Luna Solar Roof Homepage
Source: Luna Solar
Specs
  • Product Warranty: Limited Lifetime
  • Power Warranty: 25 Years
  • Wind Warranty: Not listed
  • Water Rating: Waterproof
  • Hurricane Rating: Class 5+
  • Wind Rating: TAS 125-03: Wind MPH 200+
  • Fire Rating:  Not listed
  • Hail Rating: Not listed
  • Power Output:80 W
  • Cell Type: Monocrystalline
  • Cell Size: Not listed
  • Junction Box: Not listed
  • Connector Type: Not listed
  • Operating Temperature: – 40 ° C / +85 ° C
  • Updates & Improvements: Upgradable
  • Control: Not listed
Price

Luna solar roofing installation costs an average of $4.50 per installed watt (partial installations available).

3. CertainTeed

CertainTeed is a well-established company with a wealth of experience in the roofing industry, having been in business for over a century. What’s more, they have been offering solar shingles for a longer period of time than even Tesla and currently have two solar roof options available: the Apollo Shingle 11 and the Apollo Tile II.

The Apollo Shingle 11’s all-black tiles can be seamlessly integrated into a new roof or installed on top of an existing asphalt roof. Contrastingly, the Apollo Tile II is specifically designed for concrete tile roofs and features a black laminate look with a custom frame color that can match various earth-tone concrete tile colors.

CertainTeed solar roofs have the advantage of being able to be integrated into an existing roof without requiring a full roof upgrade, resulting in a lower cost installation when compared to a Tesla roof. CertainTeed solar shingles are also generally more affordable and more widely available across the U.S.

Certainteed Solar Roof Homepage
Source: Certainteed
Specs
  • Product  Warranty: Not listed
  • Power Warranty:  Limited 25 years
  • Wind Warranty: Limited 110 MPH, 10 years
  • Water Rating: Waterproof
  • Hurricane Rating: Not listed
  • Wind Rating: Wind MPH 140+
  • Fire Rating:  Fire resistant
  • Hail Rating: Not listed
  • Power Output: 70 W
  • Cell Type: Monocrystalline
  • Cell Size: Not listed
  • Junction Box: Not listed
  • Connector Type: Not listed
  • Operating Temperature: Not listed
  • Updates & Improvements: Not upgradable
  • Control: Not listed
Price

CertainTeed solar roofing installation costs an average of $6.40 per installed watt (partial installations available).

Solar Roof Brands in Canada

4. Suntegra Solar

Suntegra provides a two-in-one solution by combining solar cells to generate electricity combined with roofing material to protect homes and buildings. Moreover, according to the company, Suntegra products use 50% fewer materials than traditional PV systems, making them more cost-effective.

Additionally, the company provides two options: solar shingles that can be installed on an existing or new asphalt roof, and solar tiles that can be integrated with existing concrete tiles or used in new construction. The solar shingles are available in three models, with power output ranging from 105W to 114W.

Both options have a maximum wind rating of 130 mph, a maximum load rating of 112 pounds per square foot, and an all-black, sleek design.

Suntegra Solar Roof Homepage
Source: Suntegra
Specs
  • Product  Warranty: 10 years
  • Power Warranty:   25 years
  • Wind Warranty: Not listed
  • Water Rating: Not listed
  • Hurricane Rating: Not listed
  • Wind Rating: Wind MPH 130+
  • Fire Rating:  Not listed
  • Hail Rating: Not listed
  • Power Output: 105 W
  • Cell Type: Monocrystalline
  • Cell Size: Not listed
  • Junction Box: Not listed
  • Connector Type: Not listed
  • Operating Temperature: Not listed
  • Updates & Improvements: Not upgradable
  • Control: Not listed
Price

Suntegra solar roofing installation costs an average of $ 3.80 per installed watt.

5. Solar X

Solar X is a private solar installation contractor that specializes in residential and commercial solar systems that are both visually pleasing and long-lasting.

They use technology to provide a non-pressure sales process and work with a network of solar consultants to educate clients on local solar programs.

Based in Toronto, ON, Solar X offers services throughout Canada and internationally. The company is highly reputable, having been awarded “Best Solar Panel Installer in Canada” in 2022 for its high-quality products and work.

Additionally, known for its speed and efficiency, Solar X can complete installations in as little as one day.

Solar X Solar Roof Homepage
Source: Solar X
Specs
  • Product Warranty: 25 years
  • Power Warranty:   Not listed
  • Wind Warranty: Not listed
  • Water Rating: Not listed
  • Hurricane Rating: Not listed
  • Wind Rating: Not listed
  • Fire Rating:  Not listed
  • Hail Rating: Not listed
  • Power Output: 18k W Annually
  • Cell Type: Monocrystalline
  • Cell Size: Not listed
  • Junction Box: Not listed
  • Connector Type: Not listed
  • Operating Temperature: Not listed
  • Updates & Improvements: Not upgradable
  • Control: 24/7 Live system monitoring
Price

Solar X offers unique subscription-like pricing plans ranging from $67 per month to $155 per month.

Solar Roof Brands in Australia

6. Monier

Monier is an Australian-based roofing company that specializes in providing innovative solar roofing solutions. They pride themselves on using high-quality materials and cutting-edge technology to deliver durable and efficient products that are backed by a 25-year warranty.

Their solar shingles are designed to blend seamlessly with traditional roofing materials while also generating electricity from the sun. With an output of 33 W, they feature high-efficiency monocrystalline cells with a size of 156 x 156 mm.

Monier also uses an IP65-rated junction box capable of handling 1000 VDC and Type IV connectors, ensuring safe and reliable performance. These connectors are industry standards and allow easy integration with other solar energy systems.

Monier Solar Roof Homepage

Source: Monier

Specs
  • Product Warranty: 25 years
  • Power Warranty:   Not listed
  • Wind Warranty: Not listed
  • Water Rating: Not listed
  • Hurricane Rating: Not listed
  • Wind Rating: Not listed
  • Fire Rating:  Not listed
  • Hail Rating: Not listed
  • Power Output: 33 W
  • Cell Type: Monocrystalline
  • Cell Size: 156 x156 mm
  • Junction Box: IP65, 1000VDC
  • Connector Type: IV
  • Operating Temperature: Not listed
  • Updates & Improvements: Not upgradable
  • Control: Not listed
Price

Monier does not list pricing for their solar roofs; however, you can request a quote on their website for an estimate.

7. Tractile

Tractile is an Australian-based company that designs and manufactures a unique and innovative combined solar thermal tile system for roofs that can withstand Australia’s extreme conditions. Their solar tiles are robust and engineered to withstand winds of up to 266 km/h, boasting a fire rating of BAL-40 and shatter resistance that can withstand 65 mm hail.

Their award-winning, patented design allows their solar tiles to generate up to 12% more electricity than regular solar panels and heat water, providing a combined efficiency of up to 55% per sqm, which means you can power more with less or sell excess energy back to the grid.

Each solar tile has a 33-watt output, using high-efficiency monocrystalline cells. Additionally, the solar-heated water system is integrated directly into the solar tiles, making it a space-saving solution and a great addition to any roof.

Furthermore, Tractile’s solar thermal tile system is designed to integrate seamlessly into your roofline, making it an excellent choice for homeowners looking to reduce energy costs and improve the efficiency of their home.

Tractile Solar Roof Homepage

Source: Tractile

Specs
  • Product Warranty: Not listed
  • Power Warranty:   Not listed
  • Wind Warranty: Not listed
  • Water Rating: Not listed
  • Hurricane Rating: Not listed
  • Wind Rating: N5r – up to 266km/h
  • Fire Rating:  BAL-40
  • Hail Rating: 65 mm
  • Power Output: 33 W
  • Cell Type: Monocrystalline
  • Cell Size: Not listed
  • Junction Box: Not listed
  • Connector Type: Not listed
  • Operating Temperature: Not listed
  • Updates & Improvements: Not upgradable
  • Control: Not listed
Price

Tractile does not list pricing for their solar roofs; however, you can request a quote on their website for an estimate.

Final Thoughts on Solar Roofs

And there you have it—everything you need to know about a solar roof!

Now that you’ve read this article, you should have a good idea of solar roofs as well as an understanding of the difference between solar tiles and solar panels.

What’s more, you should be able to calculate a rough estimate of how much a solar roof will cost you with the formula provided.

Finally, you can choose the best solar roof provider in your region—one that fits your particular needs the best!

So what are you waiting for?

Pick a brand and get the solar roof of your dreams!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most efficient solar roof?

Monocrystalline solar panels are known to be the most efficient type, with efficiencies up to 22%, while polycrystalline solar panels have efficiencies of around 15-17%.

What is solar roofing?

Solar roofing is a type of building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) in which solar panels are integrated into the roof of a building rather than being added on as a separate system. It is designed to generate electricity from the sun while also providing a traditional roofing function.

Are solar roofs worth it?

Solar roofs, although costly to install initially, can provide long-term savings by reducing energy costs by 40–60%. Moreover, they may make you eligible for federal and state tax incentives.

References

IRENA: Majority of New Renewables Undercut Cheapest Fossil Fuel on Cost

Energy.Gov: Homeowner’s Guide to the Federal Tax Credit for Solar Photovoltaicsk

Lawn Starter: How Much Does a Solar Roof Cost in 2023?

Security Buyer: Solar Innovations

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