Solar shingles: Is the look worth the price?

We ranked the best solar shingles to help you decide if they're right for you.

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Solar shingles on a roof

Instead of sitting on top of your roof like solar panels, solar shingles have a much more integrated look. You can find them in a variety of sizes, shapes, and colors. The biggest downside is the price. Solar shingles cost roughly 60-190% more than solar panels for the same amount of power output. 

If you're looking for the most bang for your buck (or power per penny), solar panels are the way to go. But if you're willing to pay more for the sleek design of solar shingles, there are some quality products out there that deliver on the promise of low-profile solar power generation. Here's everything you'll want to think about before you commit to solar shingles, from an overview of the basics to a breakdown of the best products currently on the market.

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Key takeaways

  • Solar shingles use the same technology as solar panels, but they're smaller and blend in better with ordinary roof shingles. 

  • Solar shingles don't perform as well as solar panels and tend to cost a lot more. 

  • CertainTeed offers the highest performance solar shingles, but they don't blend in as well as some other options. 

  • If you already need to replace your roof to go solar and you're concerned about solar panel aesthetics, solar shingles are probably worth it.

Apart from their appearance, solar shingles and solar panels are pretty similar. They both use the sun's energy to generate electricity, lower your carbon footprint, and save you money on your electricity bills. They're also both eligible for the same incentives, like the 30% federal solar tax credit, net metering, and most state and local incentives.

Unlike traditional solar panels, solar shingles are building-integrated photovoltaics (BIPVs), which means they integrate directly into your roof. They're lower profile and more discrete.

Solar shingles vs. solar panels

(Click to sort ascending)
Traditional Solar Panels
Solar Shingles
Roof shingle integrationNoTypically yes, or low-profile
Power per square footCan be 20+ W/ sq ftMost are less than 16 W/ sq ft
ColorBlack or blueTypically black
Eligibility for incentivesYesYes
AvailabilityAvailable nationwide right nowSome brands are available nationwide, but typically long wait times
Roof compatibilityHighLow
Explore other rooftop solar panel alternatives

In general, we recommend sticking with traditional solar panels. Solar shingles don't produce as much electricity, and they cost more. But if aesthetics are important to you or you need a solar option that blends in with your roof due to HOA requirements, go for it. Just be on the lookout for shingles that blend in with your specific roof type.

Pros of solar shingles

Cons of solar shingles

If you're committed to solar shingles, you'll get the most power per square foot from CertainTeed's Solstice Shingles. It's also worth looking at Tesla for its warranty, SunTegra if you want American-made shingles, LUMA for its wind rating, and GAF if you want different color options. 

Best solar shingles, compared

Power Output (W/shingle)
Efficiency (%)
Exposed Size (sq Ft)
W/sq Ft
Product Warranty
Power Warranty
Wind Rating
Traditional solar panels (REC Alpha Pure-R)430 W22.3%20.8 sq ft20.7 W/sq ft25 years92% at year 25~180 mph
CertainTeed Solstice Shingle70 W19.85%4.35 sq ft16.1 W/sq ft25 years85% at year 25110 mph (warrantied for 10 years)
Tesla Solar Roof shingle72 WNot disclosed4.69 sq ft15.4 W/ sq ft25 years85% at year 25110 mph (warrantied for 25 years)
SunTegra Solar Shingle/ Tile114 W/ 70 W17.2%/ 15.1%7.14 sq ft/ 4.96 sq ft16 W/ sq ft/ 14.1 W/ sq ft10 yearsNot disclosed how much at year 25130 mph
LUMA Solar shingle80 W22.1%5.34 sq ft15 W/ sq ft5 years80% at year 25200+ mph
GAF solar shingle45 W22.6%3.15 sq ft14.3 W/ sq ft25 years84.8% at year 25130 mph (warrantied for 15 years)

1. CertainTeed

Tesla Solar Roof


Best performance

CertainTeed's Solstice Shingle tops the list in terms of performance. The 70-watt (W) solar shingle offers 16.1 W/square foot, the highest output on our list. They blend in with standard black asphalt shingles, come with a strong warranty, and they're available nationwide. CertainTeed is originally a roofing company and it also offers traditional solar panels, so you can feel confident that the company knows how to make both roof shingles and solar products.

CertainTeed solar shingles are also relatively affordable compared to some other brands on our list. According to CertainTeed's team, a Solstice Shingle system costs about "$4.50/W with $45K being the average cost for a 10 kW system" before incentives.

2. Tesla

Tesla solar shingles on the roof of a home


Best warranty

The Tesla Solar Roof is the best-known solar shingle, but it has yet to live up to the hype. Elon Musk had high hopes for the Solar Roof, claiming Tesla would be installing 1,000 each week back in 2020. However, according to Wood Mackenzie, Tesla only installed 3,000 Solar Roofs in total between 2017 and 2022. 

The Solar Roof's performance is average at 15.4 W/square foot. Compared to some shingles on our list, they blend in really well with the roof but they're also the most complicated to install, which drives up the price. Using Tesla's calculator, a 9.79 kW Solar Roof costs about $78,900 in Massachusetts before incentives and requires a $3,700 roof removal. Tesla also requires that you add at least one Tesla Powerwall battery to your system, adding $11,000. 

Other than aesthetics, the Solar Roof's biggest selling point is its warranty. Tesla guarantees its shingles will be defect-free, withstand 110 mph winds, and produce at least 85% of their original output at year 25. The wind rating warranty is the longest in the industry.

3. SunTegra

SunTegra Solar Shingles and Tiles


Best American-made option

SunTegra's Solar Shingle comes in second in terms of performance at 16 W/square foot but still falls behind Tesla because it only offers a 10-year product warranty. SunTegra also doesn't disclose how much power its shingles will produce at year 25. The shingles are the largest on our list, which means they don't blend in as well as some other options. 

SunTegra also offers Solar Tiles, which don't perform as well as its Solar Shingles (14.1 W/square foot), but blend in better. They look great with slate tile roofs and can even work with clay tile roofs, though they're more conspicuous. Both solar roof products are designed, engineered, and assembled in America, according to SunTegra.

4. LUMA Solar

LUMA solar shingles

LUMA Solar

Best wind durability

LUMA is a luxury solar roofing company. It's the only company that allows you to add solar shingles to your current roof, regardless of the roofing material. LUMA's shingles install like traditional metal roofing and, similar to Tesla shingles, blend in very well. They offer average performance at 15 W/square foot and only come with a 5-year product warranty.

Of the solar shingles on our list, LUMA shingles offer the highest wind rating. It's Miami-Dade County-approved, which means it can withstand winds over 200 mph. LUMA doesn't require a battery with its solar roof, but if you'd like to add one, it's compatible with Generac, LG Chem, Enphase, and Sonnen batteries.

5. GAF Energy

GAF solar shingles

GAF Energy

Best color options

GAF Energy's Timberline Solar roofing system provides the most customization, with four different colors available. Originally a roofing company, GAF offers shingles that are sleek and recessed, though they do still stand out against asphalt shingles. It has one of the lowest power outputs per square foot at just 14.3. It's also not available nationwide. You'll need to live in California, Colorado, Texas, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, or New York to install Timberline shingles.

Our biggest concern with GAF is that in spring 2023, it voluntarily recalled two components found in all Timberline Solar roofing systems installed between November 2021 and April 2023. The company stated that the components posed a fire hazard and powered down all recalled systems. GAF claims to have fixed the problem and is issuing free repairs with a six to eight-week wait time. 

According to GAF, its solar roof can be attached using only a nail gun, which makes it easy to install and helps cut costs. But you should still expect to pay $40,000 to $100,000 for a full Timberline Solar roof system.

CertainTeed's solar shingles offer the best performance, but that doesn't mean they're the best solar shingles for your home. You should also consider aesthetics, warranty, wind rating, cost, availability, and cell type when choosing a solar roof product. 


When assessing performance, a solar shingle's total power output or wattage and its efficiency are both important. Each type of solar shingle varies so much in size that the best indicator of performance is power output per square foot of exposed shingle. CertainTeed's Solstice shingle tops the list at 16.1 W/sq. ft., while SunTegra's Solar Tile comes in last with 14.1 W/sq. ft.


If you're choosing solar shingles over solar panels for aesthetics, you probably want the ones that will blend in the best with your roof, even if it means sacrificing performance a bit. We think Tesla and LUMA shingles are the most unobtrusive, but your roof might look the best with one of the other solar shingles on our list. It varies by house and by the design of your existing roof.


There are three different warranties to compare for solar roofs. The product warranty ensures the shingles will be defect-free for the period specified. CertainTeed, Tesla, and GAF all offer 25-year product warranties. The power warranty guarantees the solar shingles will output a certain amount of power by year 25. CertainTeed and Tesla both guarantee 85%. Finally, CertainTeed, Tesla, and GAF all also offer wind warranties. Tesla's is the strongest, guaranteeing its shingles can withstand 110 mph winds for 25 years.

Wind rating

In places prone to hurricanes, wind ratings are important. LUMA's shingles are rated the highest, approved by Miami-Dade County to withstand 200 mph winds. However, LUMA's wind rating isn't covered under warranty, unlike CertainTeed, Tesla, and GAF.


Most solar shingle companies don't disclose pricing publicly. Tesla is transparent with pricing (though they've been sued for reneging on contracts, so take that transparency claim with a grain of salt). It's one of the priciest options with a 9.79 kW system costing $93,100 before incentives, including the roof removal and the required Powerwall. 

CertainTeed shared its pricing with us and it's pretty close to a new solar system with a roof replacement. For a 10 kW system, you should expect to pay about $45,000 before incentives. GAF doesn't publicly share its pricing data, but in the recall of its products, the Consumer Product Safety Commission shared that systems installed so far have ranged in price from $40,000, which is a great price, to $100,000, which is very high but could be due to a large system size. 


Solar shingles are not produced at a large scale yet, rolling out very slowly and in limited geographies. They're often very hard to install, so installers usually need to have roofing experience in addition to electrical experience. Some homeowners have been on waiting lists for years, with no clear idea about when they'll receive their shingles, but some brands like CertainTeed are now readily available nationwide, with no waitlist.

Cell type

Solar shingles can be made of CIGS cells (copper indium gallium selenide) or monocrystalline silicon cells like higher-end solar panels. Shingles made with CIGS cells are thin and flexible and have a high conversion efficiency, but they're rare because they cost a lot to produce. Monocrystalline solar shingles are also very efficient and are typically more expensive than CIGS shingles. All of the shingles on our list use monocrystalline cells, except Tesla which doesn't disclose its cell type but is likely monocrystalline based on its efficiency and cost.

Going solar is expensive, so it's worth comparing quotes before making a decision. With EnergySage, you can get multiple quotes for solar panel systems and compare them side-by-side based on factors like price, installer reputation, and equipment quality–all for free. If you already have a solar roof quote in hand, our team of Energy Advisors can help you compare it to solar panel quotes. We'll tell you honestly what we think is right for you.

Find out what solar panels cost in your area in 2024
Please enter a five-digit zip code.
  • 100% free to use, 100% online
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  • Unbiased Energy Advisors ready to help
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