Solar tiles or solar shingles are considered inefficient in the state of Texas with a lower ROI as a normal asphalt shingle roof. The tiles grew in popularity when Tesla showcased their version in 2016. The sleek, modest design looked similar to traditional roofs while bringing all the benefits of solar energy. In cooler climate areas, their production efficiency meets that of solar panels. So, why don’t they perform well in the Texas heat?
Downside to Solar Tiles
Because solar tiles lack that gap for airflow between the roof and the tile itself, they tend to produce less electricity. That gap plays an important role in cooling the panel down during the hotter months. Residents in warmer places such as New Braunfels or even Canyon Lake will find they require more tiles than they have roof space to meet their electricity demands. Finding an affordable supplier will also prove difficult because the demand for solar tiles tends to decrease when homeowners realize the ROI may take 50+ years. This makes inventory low and costly.
It’s possible solar tile technology will advance past this cooling issue in the next ten years, and then become more affordable with better ROI for Texas property owners. This would be a great news! Solar shingle roofs can replace traditional roofs, may have a longer life space than solar panels and asphalt shingles (the technology is still too new for any conclusive evidence), and they can be installed on unique roof shapes where solar panels can’t fit.
Hidden in Plain Sight
For Texas homeowners that want to go solar but don’t like the traditional solar panel look, know that they don’t have to be placed in plain sight. In fact, there are a ton of homes with solar, but the panels are either facing away from the roads or placed high enough that no one can see them. Take this house for example:
From the aerial view, the home obviously has solar panels. But from the street level, no one’s the wiser. So if you don’t like the way they look, don’t let that prevent you from at least receiving a free quote. Any decent solar company will provide a proposed design layout so you’ll have a good idea how the panels will look on your home.
Compared to solar tiles, the panels have a much better ROI of around nine years on average. They also provide shade on your roof thereby reduces the overall temperature. In fact, a study done in UC San Diego found solar panels help cool down homes.
Another option is to get the solar panels wrapped in a thin film material. Customizable and more appealing to the eye, solar skins like the ones installed by Sistine Solar has been a growing trend in the US, but have not yet found there way into Texas. Hopefully the more quote requests they receive, the sooner they will get here.
Renewable Moving Forward
One thing’s for sure, the future of solar looks bright. The federal government increased the tax credit back to 30% until 2032 and many utility companies offer rebates for property owners that decide to have a photovoltaic system installed. Mix all of these incentives with an aging electric grid, increasing rates for electricity, and an increasing amount of tools requiring electricity just to use – and you get a greater need for electrical independence.
Texas Solar Tiles FAQ
Probably not. Solar tiles get too hot in Texas weather to effectively produce electricity. The solar shingles have potential to surpass solar panels in benefits, but as of 2022, PV panels provide the best ROI in solar home upgrades.
Solar panels have a gap between them and the roof. This gap allows for more air flow and helps cool the solar panels down. When solar tiles over heat, they can’t produce as much electricity as their solar panel counterparts.
There’s no telling when a company will find a way to keep solar tiles at optimum temperature. However, solar tiles will likely maintain a poor ROI for another five to ten years. The best way to make the installation cost effective is to purchase them when your roof already requires replacing.