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New nail-on solar shingles offer an affordable alternative to Tesla’s solar roof

Installing a solar roof in your home is a great way to reduce both your carbon footprint and your energy costs, but unfortunately, actually getting one on top of your house is usually a rather large undertaking. With traditional solar panels, you have to affix racks and other mounting hardware to your existing roof before you can attach the panels themselves. And if you opt for Tesla’s snazzy, modern Solar Roof tiles, you’ll have to dish out big bucks for a team of specialists to replace your existing roof shingles completely.

But soon there might be a third option. A new product has surfaced at CES 2022 that could make putting a solar roof on your house a whole lot easier.

House with solar shingles.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

GAF Energy — one of the largest roofing companies in the U.S. — recently pulled the curtain back on a new kind of shingle called the Timberline Solar that can be nailed to your existing roof for easy installation. They’re designed to function much like regular shingles, so rather than requiring a team of specialists for the install, any qualified roofer can simply attach them to your roof with a nail gun.

GAF claims this will cost about half as much as installing a Tesla solar roof. The company hasn’t released specific pricing details quite yet, but reports suggest that it’ll be comparable to the cost of an average non-solar roofing installation.

The only downside? GAF’s cheap and easy-to-install Timberline Solar shingles will also likely produce less energy than their competitors. The Timberline system reportedly has a 45W capacity, which is significantly below Tesla’s 71W shingles or an average 300W solar panel. As always, there are pros and cons.

Solar shingles being installed.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Still, even with the power output tradeoffs, a cheaper solar roofing option could make solar power more accessible to homeowners who can’t otherwise afford it, and that’s an exciting prospect. GAF also insists that it’s well-equipped to get this technology out into the world quite quickly. As one of the largest roofing manufacturers in the world, the company believes it will be able to quickly bring its Timberline solar shingles to interested customers across the country.

It’s not clear how soon the company will start shipping and installing these solar shingles, but you can start the registration process on its website right now.

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Thor Benson
Thor Benson is an independent journalist who has contributed to Digital Trends, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, NBC News and…
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