CertainTeed solar shingles: Your questions answered

Updated

CertainTeed solar shingles on a residential roof
CertainTeed has two solar roofing options designed to generate electricity and protect your roof. Image source: CertainTeed

CertainTeed has been in the business of roofs since 1904. But, it wasn’t until 2010 that the company entered the solar market with its first-ever photovoltaic roofing system.

CertainTeed saw that homeowners were hesitant to install solar panels because of their appearance. By 2013, CertainTeed combined its roofing knowledge with solar and launched the Apollo II solar shingles. The building-integrated photovoltaics solution was designed to blend in with CertainTeed’s conventional asphalt shingles and alleviate some of the aesthetic issues homeowners had with solar panels.

Since then, the Apollo II solar roof has gone through a few upgrades, like being offered as both solar shingles and solar tiles. But should you trust this roofing giant with your solar system? And are solar shingles a better choice than solar panels? Let’s find out.

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Key takeaways

  • CertainTeed is a roofing materials company that has been around for over 100 years.
  • CertainTeed offers two solar roofing systems: Apollo II shingles and Apollo Tile II solar tiles.
  • The Apollo II shingles are designed to integrate with asphalt shingle roofs.
  • The Apollo Tile II solar tiles are meant to be installed alongside concrete roofing tiles.
  • CertainTeed does not have official pricing for their solar shingles or solar tiles but don’t be surprised if the cost is somewhere in the $65,000 range.

On this page

    What are solar shingles, and how do they work?

    Before we dive into the specifics of CertainTeed’s solar roof options, let’s go over a few basics about solar shingles.

    To put it simply, solar shingles are really small solar panels. The smaller size helps them blend in with the shingles already on your roof, so they aren’t as noticeable. Another significant difference is the installation process. Solar shingles are typically installed flat against your roof decking to give them a low profile, giving them the appearance of typical roof shingles.

    Solar panels, on the other hand, are large 5-foot by 4-foot rectangles mounted on racking systems that sit above your existing roof. While conventional solar panels can look a bit bulky, they generally perform better and are a bit cheaper than solar roof options.

    Despite looking different, solar shingles and solar panels operate the same way. Both contain silicon solar cells that turn sunlight into electricity. The solar electricity gets sent to an inverter that converts it so the appliances in your home can use it.

    How much do CertainTeed solar shingles cost?

    We’ll be honest with you, pricing for the CertainTeed solar shingles is tough to find. CertainTeed doesn’t have official pricing anywhere on its website, and there haven’t been many quotes posted online. However, they do mention that solar shingles “cost more than $65,000 for the average install of a full roof system”.

    So we’re going to guess that installing CertainTeed solar shingles or tiles would fall somewhere around that $65,000 range. The price of CertainTeed’s shingles is similar to the cost of installing a Tesla Solar Roof, but the final price will depend on the size and design of your roof, your electricity usage, and the installer you choose.

    The best way to find out how much a solar roof from CertainTeed would cost is to get a quote from a CertainTeed installer in your area.

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    Does the CertainTeed solar roof qualify for the solar tax credit?

    Yes, the CertainTeed solar shingles and tiles are eligible for the 30% federal solar tax credit. However, it only applies to the costs associated with the solar portion of the roof. Roof replacement costs are not eligible.

    Your solar installer will be able to help you determine what portion of installation costs qualify for the tax credit.

    CertainTeed’s solar shingle options

    Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s get into what solar roof products you can get from CertainTeed.

    Aside from CertainTeed’s traditional solar panels, the company has two different solar roofing options:

    • The Apollo II solar shingles, designed to go with asphalt roofs
    • The Apollo Tile II, designed to blend in with concrete and clay tile roofing materials

    CertainTeed Apollo II solar shingle

    CertainTeed’s Apollo II solar shingles have a lower profile than conventional solar panels. Image source: CertainTeed

    As previously mentioned, the Apollo II solar shingles are meant to be installed on asphalt shingle roofs. Asphalt shingles are the most common roofing material in the U.S., so chances are the Apollo II shingle will be the option for you.

    Apollo II solar shingles have an all-black design to make them less noticeable on your roof. They are installed directly to your roof decking, and just like traditional shingles, the fastening point is covered by the next layer of shingles.

    The Apollo II shingles weigh just about the same as a typical square of asphalt shingles, so you shouldn’t have to worry much about if your roof can handle the extra weight. However, they are a different shape than regular shingles, so they do still stand out a bit.

    Each Apollo II solar shingle has a power output of 73 watts and an efficiency of 17.3%. This means you would need about 96 Apollo II solar shingles for a typical 7 kilowatt (kW) solar system, which is about 420 square feet of roof space.

    CertainTeed Apollo Tile II

    Image source: CertainTeed

    The Apollo Tiles are meant to be installed on concrete tile roofs. The Apollo tiles are slightly thicker than CertainTeed’s solar shingles, so they can be the same profile as the concrete tiles. The edge of the Apollo tile is brown to better match the color of the surrounding roofing material.

    Like the Apollo shingles, The Apollo Tiles have a 73 W power output per tile and a 17.8% efficiency rating. The tiles also have the same dimensions as the Apollo shingles; they’re just a bit thicker and about half a pound heavier per square foot.

    In our humble opinion, the Apollo Tile IIs are more attractive than the Apollo II shingles, as it’s easier for them to be the same profile as thick concrete tiles.

    CertainTeed’s solar roof warranty

    Apollo II and Apollo Tile II products come with a 15 to 25-year installation workmanship warranty, depending on the installer you choose. If you select a Certainteed Credentialed Installer, you receive the 15-year warranty. If you go with a Master Installer, you get a 25-year warranty.

    CertainTeed’s solar roof products come with a 25-year power output warranty, regardless of which type of installer you choose. There aren’t any other details regarding how the solar shingles should perform over time. We wish this information were available, as it makes it difficult to really say if this is a good warranty.

    We can say that these warranty periods are standard for the solar industry, and CertainTeed is a large profitable company. This should give you some peace of mind that they have a decent product and that they can support you should anything go wrong with the solar shingles.

    Should you get CertainTeed solar shingles for your roof?

    CertainTeed’s solar shingles have decent specifications, and CertainTeed is a reputable brand, so you don’t have to worry about them suddenly going out of business once the solar roof has been installed. So, if you like their look, consider contacting CertainTeed installers.

    There are a few things to keep in mind, though. To start, solar shingles generally don’t perform as well as regular solar panels. Because they are nailed directly to the roof, they aren’t at an optimal angle for generating electricity. Plus, it limits airflow, impacting how the PV cells perform.

    Not only that, but in the grand scheme of things, not many solar roofing systems have been installed. There’s no telling how well they will actually operate on your roof, and we aren’t sure exactly how maintenance for these systems is handled.

    And, of course, solar shingle systems are expensive. Even though we don’t know the exact pricing for the CertainTeed solar shingles and tiles, it’s pretty safe to assume they will be more expensive than solar panels. Using traditional solar panels, you can generate more electricity, necessary maintenance is much easier to take care of, and it costs nearly half as much to install.

    Before diving into a solar roof system from CertainTeed, consider getting quotes from a few installers in your area to see how much going solar with solar panels will cost. From there, you can determine if the aesthetics of a solar roof is worth the premium price.

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     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Catherine Lane

    Written Content Manager

    Catherine is the Written Content Manager at SolarReviews. She has been researching and writing about the residential solar industry for four years. Her work has appeared in Solar Today Magazine and Solar Builder Magazine, and has been cited by publications like Forbes and Bloomberg.

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