As solar technology becomes more prevalent throughout the nation, the more options you are bound to have. Presently, there are two energy-efficient and environmentally-friendly solutions for homeowners who do not want solar panels but still want to make the switch: GAF Energy Solar shingles and Tesla’s Solar Roof. Although these options are similar, it’s important to have a comprehensive comparison to see which one is right for you. For that reason, this article will explore the features, benefits, warranties, and projected costs of both solar shingle systems.
About GAF Energy Timberline Solar Shingles
GAF Energy Timberline Solar shingles are an innovative solar roofing solution designed to seamlessly integrate solar panels into traditional asphalt shingles. Developed by GAF Energy, a subsidiary of GAF, a leading roofing materials manufacturer, Timberline Solar shingles provide homeowners with a practical and aesthetically appealing way to generate solar energy.
GAF Energy Timberline Solar shingles are designed to mimic the appearance of traditional asphalt shingles. Additionally, the shingles are available in different colors to match your home’s exterior design.
GAF Energy Timberline Solar shingles come with a warranty that typically ranges from 25 to 30 years. The warranty provides coverage for defects in materials and workmanship, ensuring that homeowners are protected against potential issues with their solar roofing system. Furthermore, then you have a GAF-certified roofing contractor like RGB Construction install your GAF Solar shingles, you have the option of the Solar Plus and Solar Max Warranty addendums to provide enhanced coverage.
This solar roofing system does require a new roof to be installed, which is something homeowners should consider. GAF Energy Timberline Solar shingles are also designed to work with standard string inverters commonly used in solar installations. Once your GAF solar shingles are installed, you can monitor energy production through an online portal or app.
About Tesla’s Solar Shingles
The Tesla Solar Roof is similar to GAF Timberline Solar shingles by design. In other words, the Tesla solar panels have been integrated seamlessly into the roofing tiles, giving the complete system an attractive appearance. Rather than being made of asphalt, however, Tesla’s solar shingles are fabricated from tempered glass.
If you would like to switch to Tesla’s solar roofing system, you are going to also have to pay for a total roof replacement. However, in recent years, Tesla’s Solar Roof has also been installed on top of single-layer roofs, though this can only be decided upon after a consultation with the Tesla installer. Furthermore, flat roofs are not eligible for this option, meaning you will have to install traditional solar panels that are racked and mounted to the roof.
The anticipated maximum energy output of a Tesla solar shingle is about 71.67 watts. Although this may not be as productive as solar panels, the layout of Tesla’s shingles is customizable, so you can tailor the roof to meet your energy needs. Furthermore, the solar inverter installed with the Tesla Solar Roof works at a 97.5% efficiency. On top of that, you can have a Powerwall or Powerwall Plus solar battery installed to hold additional energy.
Every Tesla Solar Roof comes with a 25-year defect warranty and a 25-year leak protection warranty. Another production warranty promises that your Tesla solar shingles will produce 95% of the rated energy for the first 5 years. After that, you are promised 85% power generation for the next 25 years.
GAF Solar Shingles vs Tesla Solar Roof: Comparative Analysis
Now that you know a bit more about these two popular solar shingle systems, let’s put them head-to-head to see which one comes out on top.
GAF Timberline Solar Shingles vs Tesla Solar Roof Cost Comparison
When considering the cost, it is important to note that Tesla Solar Roof generally has a higher upfront cost compared to GAF Energy Timberline Solar. For instance, Tesla reported quoted a 12.46 kilowatts and Powerwall battery system for a whopping $168,400 in Dallas, TX. Furthermore, the cost of the Powerwall, which is optional, is around $10,500. Using the cost of this example, if you were to see tax credits from the government, you could get around $48,000 back. That still means you are paying $12.87 per watt for this system.
If you decide not to get a battery, you will still be paying around $5.50-$7.00 per watt for a Tesla Solar Roof (federal tax credit excluded).
The advanced technology and integrated design of the Tesla Solar Roof contribute to its premium pricing. However, it’s worth considering the long-term benefits and potential return on investment provided. Despite the higher initial investment, Tesla Solar Roof can help homeowners save on their electricity bills over time and potentially increase the value of their property.
On the other hand, GAF Energy Timberline Solar offers a more budget-friendly option for homeowners, around $35,000-$45,000 for the entire system, or $3.80 per watt. Should you receive the tax incentive, the price drops to around $25,000-$30,000. The lower upfront cost of GAF Energy Timberline Solar makes it a more accessible option for homeowners looking to adopt solar energy while staying within their budget.
Roof Aesthetics and Installation
When it come to the look of both solar roof systems, they are both sleek and more aesthetically pleasing than solar panels. Both Tesla and GAF solar shingles integrate into the roof, though Tesla’s Solar Roof uses tiles, while GAF Energy’s offering uses asphalt shingles. In addition, both options require that you have the entire roof on your home replaced. Ideally, the best time to install either option is when your home is a new construction. If you have just installed a brand new roof on your home, be sure to consider the cost of that replacement and if you want to have to pay for it all over again.
Both GAF Timberline Solar shingles and Tesla Solar Roof system also need additional electrical components installed. That said, the process for GAF Timberline Solar shingles is a little less arduous for the roofing contractors. Being that GAF solar shingles can be nailed down like a regular asphalt roof, the time and complexity of installation is far less than the process of installing a Tesla Solar Roof. This could potentially save you money and also gets your solar roof up and running faster.
Energy Generation and Efficiency
The efficiency of the system you choose is important, because you want to make sure that your investment serves you well. Although there is no official performance readout provided by GAF Energy, general data estimates that a single Timberline solar shingle has 45-watt power rating. To put this into perspective, if you wanted to generate 6kW for your home, you would need around 134 shingles. Meanwhile, if you choose traditional solar panels, you would need approximately 14, since a single panel is rated for 400-watts. Now, not even a shingle Tesla solar tile can compare to the performance of a photovoltaic panel. As mentioned earlier, the maximum output for a Tesla shingle is around 71 watts.
In other words, you may need a larger number of GAF Solar shingles to generate x-amount of watts but about half that number if you choose Tesla’s tiles.
Consider how energy is consumed in your home to determine which system meets your needs. If your household does not require a high amount of kilowatts to operate, the GAF Timberline Solar shingles may be more than enough. Plus, you would be saving money.
Tesla Solar Roof stands out with its cutting-edge technology and customizable energy configurations. The seamless integration of solar panels into roofing tiles creates a sleek and modern appearance that enhances the overall aesthetics of a home. Additionally, Tesla’s Powerwall battery and inverter efficiency help homeowners maximize their solar energy utilization, reducing reliance on the grid and increasing self-sufficiency. The monitoring and app features provided by Tesla enable homeowners to track their energy production and consumption in real-time, promoting energy management and efficiency.
On the other hand, GAF Energy’s value proposition lies in its ability to provide solar energy generation while maintaining the visual integrity of the roof. Although GAF Energy may not offer the same advanced technological features as Tesla, their solution offers a practical and accessible way to adopt solar energy. Like Tesla, GAF provides you with a monitoring app to check on energy production. Should you desire, GAF Solar shingles can also be integrated with solar batteries, including Tesla’s Powerwall.
For those who want customization options, GAF Timberline Solar shingles are just as flexible in terms of layout as Tesla’s Solar Roof. However, the one additional bonus is that you can choose the color of your Timberline Solar shingles.
GAF Timberline Solar Shingle vs Tesla Solar Roof Warranty Coverage
Both manufacturers provide you with comprehensive warranties for peace of mind. GAF Timberline Solar shingles comes with a 25-30 year warranty that can be increased through addendums. Additionally, the company includes a 25-year energy output warranty that says the solar shingles will operate at 84.8% of their originally rated output for the full 25 years. Interestingly, these solar shingles operate at around 86% of their rated output, meaning they function at a slightly higher level for longer than other options. There is not much data present to compare how Tesla and GAF Energy solar shingles generate energy overtime, but it is safe to assume that their reliability is more or less the same.
Tesla Solar Roof also has a 25-year warranty against defects and leaks, as mentioned previously. Both manufacturers also guarantee that the solar shingles will hold up against inclement weather. GAF promises that their Timberline Solar shingles will withstand winds up to 130 mph, for example. Tesla’s Solar Roof is rated for up to 166 mph. Both can withstand hail and have a Class A fire rating.
Being that both solar shingle systems are designed to be durable and require minimal maintenance, you can anticipate that neither is going to be too demanding. There are some differences, however. For GAF Timberline Solar shingles, their maintenance is most similar to that of a regular asphalt shingle roof. You will need to keep the gutters clean, inspect for any damages after inclement weather, and also account for insulation and ventilation. Once in a while, you may have to rinse off the solar panels within the shingles.
Tesla Solar Roof is more or less self-cleaning. The smooth glass surface, combined with the slope of the roof, allows rainwater to easily wash away dust, dirt, and other debris. This feature helps keep the solar tiles clean and maintain their energy-generating efficiency.
Again, both come with apps for monitoring performance. If anything seems amiss, you can do a visual inspection of the system or have a Tesla- or GAF-certified inspector come take a look at your roof.
Which One Should You Get: GAF Timberline Solar Shingles or Tesla’s Solar Roof?
Ultimately, both solutions are highly innovative and provide a decent alternative to solar panels. Deciding between GAF Energy Solar shingles or a Tesla Solar Roof may seem a bit difficult, so it is important to consider your needs and budget. The price of the Tesla Solar system is far more expensive than GAF’s solar roofing system. As such, new homeowners, or those with a smaller budget, may find GAF’s option far more accessible, especially since it is just as aesthetically pleasing as Tesla’s Solar Roof.
The main benefit to purchasing a Tesla Solar Roof is that it operates at a higher efficiency, meaning that your investment may come back to you faster through net metering, for example, than it would with a GAF Energy Solar shingle system.
Looking for NJ Solar Installers For Your New Solar Shingles?
Whichever option you choose, make sure you are choosing NJ roofing contractors who know what they are doing. These systems have to be installed by trustworthy hands. If you are interested in GAF Timberline Solar shingles, be sure to give RGB Construction a call. We are among the first in NJ to offer GAF Solar shingles to the community. Not only that, but we are GAF-certified contractors and hold both Master Elite and Solar contractor credentials. With our experience and diligence, there is no one better than our team when it comes to helping you go solar. Give us a call today at 856-264-9093 to learn more about getting solar shingles in NJ.