Solar Shingles or Photovoltaic shingles to be more precise are essentially solar panels which are specially designed and manufactured to perform the dual function of being roofing material and an electricity producer at the same time. Solar Shingles fall into the category of Building Integrated Photovoltaic (BIPV) solar energy solutions.
These specially designed tiles or solar shingles are mixed with roof tiles alternatively to cover the entire roof just like the regular roof tiles and provide a neat and decent look.
Since the announcement of Elon Musk (CEO Tesla, Chairman SolarCity) in October 2016 that Tesla is going to enter the solar roof tile manufacturing business through its subsidiary SolarCity, the solar tiles prices are expected to see some decline. Tesla is offering these solar roof shingles as Slate, Tuscan, textured and smooth glass tiles and since their start of preorder deposits of $1000 in 2017, they are having a long queue of people in waiting list who are interested in converting their rooftops to solar.
It’s almost two years since the announcement of CEO Tesla and still, there is no update of when New Jersey solar market is going to see these tiles. Tesla has only applied for the patent recently. With a higher average cost per square feet of over $20, roof shingles offered by Tesla are more expensive than the standard conventional roof-top solar installation. With current costs, it seems that these solar tiles will only be suitable for residential owners who are already in need of a roof replacement and prefer aesthetics over the cost and return on investment.
Some people are also unclear about the eligibility criterion for 30% federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) incentive as it is partly associated with renewable energy and partly with non-solar roof materials. But unlike the other states, a solar installation in NJ is going to enjoy additional rebates like a 100% exemption from sales tax. This is definitely going to make a huge difference in terms of renewable energy growth in NJ in coming years, as New Jersey is already performing very well and is ahead of other states due to the additional incentives by the state government.
Many residential owners are willing to wait for the Tesla solar shingles to become available for in NJ for their solar installation. This is indeed an interesting and futuristic product with a lot of potential in terms of business and renewable energy. But the benefit seems to be questionable due to the fact that tax credit rebate is going to expire in coming years and market is still waiting for a formal entry by Tesla.
Greentech media claims the return of investment (ROI) to be 11 years for a Tesla solar roof to 6 years for a conventional solar rooftop ROI. And in addition, conventional solar panels have been thinner, sleeker, and more uniform in design which can make them more aesthetically pleasing.