Tesla, in an attempt to bring forth different sources of energy, unveiled their Solar Roofs in 2016. These Solar roofs are able to power your home thanks to their integrated solar and energy storage systems. Solar panels that are able to power your home without electricity are not brand new ideas however, many other companies have previously tried dipping their toes into providing these to homeowners but without much avail since solar shingles can be trickier than solar panels.
This is where GAF comes in, they are releasing their new product, Timberline Solar. This roofing shingle system hopes to make solar roofing simple yet elegant. Timberline Solar systems are made of shingles and not panels. These are able to withstand winds of 130mph, just like higher end asphalt shingles. Timberline Solar meets the industry-leading standard of UL 7103, this certification states that its meets the rigorous testing done by an independent company.
The installation process of Timberline Solar systems are similar to asphalt shingles, these special shingles are able to be nailed down to the roof. The solar shingles are composed of steel roofing tiles for durability and glass solar tiles to power up their energy storage system. Solar shingles are strong, durable and extremely resistant to all types of weather conditions.
GAF, The Roofing Company is Making Solar Shingles More Affordable
The Timberline Solar shingles are assembled domestically at their Energy R&D and manufacturing facility in San Jose, California. The factory is approximately 112,000 square feet – 60,000 square feet of which is manufacturing space located directly adjacent to the R&D office.
GAF’s latest efforts hope to provide more choices for homeowners who wish to go green. Their Timberline Solar line is also more affordable and as they state “reliable” than the Tesla model. While GAF can make any claims, let’s see what a third party thinks. GAF’s Timberline Solar won the Best of Innovation Award for Smart Cities at CES this year.
Their shingles are 17 inches by 64 inches long. These are larger than Tesla’s shingles. The reason these shingles are bigger is to manufacture fewer shingles and decrease costs while increasing power. GAF assembles and manufacturers their shingles in one of their biggest facilities, located in San Jose, California.
Of course the best time to install solar shingles is when your roof is near the end of its usable life. Its best to get it all done at the same time. In regards to price, it can be a little hard to pinpoint, you can chat with a specialist on their respective websites or contact your local roofing contractor for more information. Quotes for solar shingle systems of course, depend on multiple factors that regular asphalt shingles would use, such as pitch of roof, size, labor, etc. Typically, a solar roof shingle system will always be more expensive, after all it is an investment that will eventually yield some ROI.
We’d say that if you are looking into a solar installers, think about how much it would cost to install a regular asphalt shingle then double that amount.
Now Let’s Take a Look at Each Product
Timberline Solar comes with a solar output guarantee, it is the currently the only one available in the solar industry. This means that every 5 years, during the 25 years since the installation first occurred, GAF is committed to check the system output. Let’s say that the output is producing less than GAF has said it should be producing, then GAF will fix this by adding more solar panels to your roof. If there is not enough space, then GAF is committing to cutting a check to offset the value of energy that is not able to be made.
The installation process of GAF solar shingles is similar to their asphalt counterparts. A nail gun is the most useful tool, contact your roofing company to see if they are experienced solar installers too. Martin DeBono, the president of GAF Energy has stated that Timberline Solar shingles are installed twice as fast as the typical solar panel systems.
A very important factor to know before deciding between solar shingles is the warranties that come with it. GAF is able to provide a 50-year roof warranty and 25 year production output guarantee.
Tesla Solar Roof
Tesla states that their shingles are three times stronger than the standard tiles, these are also more modern in look and provide a sleeker style for your home. Their solar tiles are made to withstand any weather conditions.
Tesla solar systems can be installed on any type of roof pitch, from 2:12 – 20:12. The installation process does take longer since the whole roof needs to be replaced with Tesla tiles and it can take several days to even weeks for installation.
The electrical characteristics for maximum system voltage is 600V, and their fuse rating is 10 A.
In regards to their warranties, Tesla offers a wind rating of 166 mph resistance, 25 year weatherization warranty and 25 year manufacturer warranty. The leak warranty is 10 years, this is significantly lower than GAF’s 25 years warranty.
How Much Do These Shingles Cost?
Now, for the important category in this article, the timberline solar cost compared to the Tesla solar roof cost.
The Timberline Solar roof is a newer product, having launched this year(2022) so pricing information is still very limited and there is not a lot of information out there. However, GAF Energy president Martin DeBono provided some estimate numbers during an interview by The Washington Post. According to DeBono, homeowners looking to extend their green thumb can be expected to invest around $42,000 for a GAF solar roof, on average. This price tag estimation can be reduced to around $30,000 with solar incentive programs available, depending on the state you live in. Of course, this is simply a ballpark number, the price can change significantly depending on the roof size and complexity of installation.
For comparison, Tesla solar roofs are often quoted at a ball park price above $60,000. Some homeowners with larger and more complex roofs have stated the offer price is above $100,000.
Tesla has been in the news for a class action lawsuit in 2021, the lawsuit states that Tesla hiked Solar Roof prices for customers after these had already agreed and signed their project contracts. The class action lawsuit was filed by Matthew Amans, who was billed an additional $75,000 before the roof’s installation. Tesla would later tell some customers that the price would return to their original, specified amount.
As solar powered roofs become more popular, due to their benefits upfront and throughout the years, more options rise. And this is great for consumers who can determine what their best options are for their perspective homes and budget. Integrating two different areas and reaping their benefits are innovation at its core and while solar tiles or panels are expensive options at this time, who knows, maybe in five or ten years it will be more economical feasible for many people. Especially if you do not want to stick to regular shingles and regular shingle styles or colors.
If you would like to know more about solar roofing, you can contact us! We’d be glad to help answer any questions, provide quotes and help with your next roof installation. Oscar Roofing has been in business since 2003 and we service Indianapolis, Bloomington, Fishers and all areas close by.