Most homeowners and businesses who install solar panels have the goal of reducing their monthly power bills. Solar power can also reduce the environmental footprint of a property, which is a great feature in locations with clean energy mandates.
Governments are becoming more aware of the benefits of solar energy, and they may also offer tax benefits for individuals and corporations who use it. The US has a nationwide tax incentive for solar power, which is officially called the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).
Vocab Moment: To nip in the bud any potential confusion, architectural shingles are also called fiberglass, dimensional and laminate shingles, or a combination such as fiberglass laminate shingles. Top of the line architectural shingles are referred to as luxury, premium and designer shingles.
All these terms refer to the same type of asphalt shingles, and the reason for each name should become clear as we proceed.
Architectural Shingles vs. 3-tab Shingles
This is often the first decision homeowners think through. Let’s consider the specifics of cost, construction, and durability, so you’ll understand exactly what your choices are in the 3-tab vs architectural shingles debate.
Architectural shingles last 33% to 100% longer and cost 15% to 100% more depending on which products you are comparing. While the initial cost is higher, the better longevity means the lifetime value of dimensional shingles – cost per year of use – is roughly the same as 3-tab shingles.
Most homeowners believe that architectural shingles look better than 3-tabs which look flattish. The 3D look of architectural shingles is stemming from their raised profile, which better mimics cedar shakes and stone slate roofing tiles.
Now, let’s delve into specifics with respect to cost, durability, longevity, and more.
You have most likely seen in the news that the US is facing the highest inflation in 40 years, and the energy sector has been one of the most affected. Between April 2021 and 2022, energy costs in general increased by 30.3%, according to the latest Consumer Price Index data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Here is a summary of the 12-month cost increase for energy products and services used by homeowners every day:
Electricity prices have increased by 11%
Piped natural gas prices have increased by 22.7%
Gasoline prices have increased by 43.6%
Solar panels can operate independently from these energy inputs. After the initial investment is covered, they can last for over 25 years with minimal maintenance, and many brands are now offering long-term warranties.
When using solar power, you are not only saving electricity at the current price, but also the impact of any kWh price increases during the following decades.
If you plan to build a new home or own a property that needs a roof replacement soon, you can also consider a solar roof.