GAF Timberline Solar Shingles vs Solar Panels: Cost, Pros & Cons

There are two main ways to install a solar power system on a residential roof. You can use traditional solar panels, which are anchored to your roof structure with a specially designed racking system, or you can use solar shingles with built-in photovoltaic cells.

High-quality solar panels can last more than 25 years, and they save hundreds of dollars per year. However, solar panels change the appearance of your home, and there are homeowners who don’t like their appearance. Solar shingles are a great option if you want to generate your own electricity but don’t like the look of solar panels on the roof.

GAF has been a leading provider of roofing materials for more than a century. They are currently owned by Standard Industries, and they have a network of over 10,000 roofing contractors across the US. In 2019, they created the GAF Energy business unit to focus on solar power systems for homes and businesses. In 2022, they launched the GAF Timberline Solar Roof, which earned more than 30 awards in less than a year.

In this guide, we will compare the GAF solar roof with traditional solar panel systems, discussing the typical costs of each option along with their pros and cons.

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Home Solar Prices Increase Again – SEIA Solar Report (September 2022)

The Solar Market Insight Report is a quarterly publication that describes the current state of the US solar industry, providing the latest data on installation volumes and costs.

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and leading consultancy firm Wood Mackenzie work together on each edition of the SMI report, and the Q3 2022 edition was published on September 8.

Here we will summarize the main points from their latest report, focusing on the residential solar market.

  • Across all market segments, the US solar industry deployed 4.6 gigawatts (GW) of capacity during Q2 2022, and the accumulated solar capacity throughout the country now exceeds 130 GW.
  • To put this figure into perspective, the US now has enough photovoltaic capacity to provide electricity for 23 million households.
  • Residential solar panel system costs increased by ~6% in Q2 from Q1, averaging $3.25 per watt installed, before incentives.
  • A typical 6-kW PV system now costs $19,500 before the incentives.

Solar PV remains the fastest growing electricity source in America, representing 39% of power generation capacity installed during the first half of 2022.

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Residential Solar Panel Cost Guide: All You Need to Know in 2022

Solar panels are becoming increasingly popular in US homes. More than 500,000 home solar systems were installed in the US last year, for the first time, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Electricity is also becoming more expensive each month: there was a 12% increase in average kilowatt-hour prices between May 2021 and May 2022, making solar power an even more attractive investment for homes and businesses.

A solar panel system can seem expensive when you only consider its upfront cost, but the savings achieved over time are much higher. Also, a home solar system has minimal maintenance requirements, and you can get excellent warranty coverage if you use high-quality brands.

In this guide, we will discuss the typical cost of installing solar panels in a US home, based on the data provided from three reliable sources:

The exact cost of going solar depends on several factors, including your location and the condition of your roof. However, US homeowners can normally expect to pay between $2.50 and $3.50 per watt of installed capacity. Your out-of-pocket cost can be much lower if your state government or utility company has an incentive program for solar panels.

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