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Go Green With Solar Power Roofing Shingles

Solar power is a great way to save the environment as well as save money on your electric bill. However, many homeowners dislike the sight of bulky solar panels on their roof. Solar shingles are a newer technology that look like ordinary roofing shingles. Kapital Electric is a premier solar shingle installation company in Chicago, and can install a beautiful and cost-efficient new solar shingle roof on your home.

Solar Shingles

What Are Solar Shingles?

Solar roofing shingles, also known as photovoltaic shingles, look like regular roofing shingles, but they are able to convert the sun’s rays into electricity. Depending on the brand, each individual shingle can produce between 13 and 63 watts of energy. They are designed to replace traditional roofing tiles, and are installed the same way.

Solar Shingles vs. Solar Panels

While solar panels sit on top of the roof, solar shingles become your roof. Solar shingles are more aesthetically pleasing, less bulky, and require less maintenance. They may not last quite as long as solar panels, but they are durable enough to fulfill all the functions of regular roofing shingles.

The Cost of Solar Shingles

As solar shingles installation involves replacing the entire roof, they cost significantly more than getting solar panels installed on an existing roof. Depending on the brand of shingles you choose and the size of your roof, converting to solar shingles can cost between $60,000 and $75,000, or about $21-$25 a square foot. While this is also a higher cost than traditional roofing materials, traditional roofs don’t generate electricity, and you may be eligible for federal tax credits to offset the cost of installing solar shingles on your home.

How Many Solar Shingles Do You Need?

When you schedule a roofing shingle consultation with a renewable energy specialist at Kapital Electric, one of our solar experts will be able to give you an estimate of the number of shingles you need depending on the size of the shingles you choose, the square footage of your roof, and the amount of energy you need to generate. It is not necessary to cover your entire roof with solar shingles, as they can be interspersed with regular shingles to save costs.


Since solar shingles are a newer technology, they have not been around long enough to test their long-term longevity. However, solar shingle manufacturers estimate that they should last from 25-30 years, which is not significantly shorter than the lifespan of solar panels.

A home fitted with solar roof shingles in Chicago

Things to Consider Before Installing Solar Shingle Roofing

When deciding whether to install solar shingles on your home, there are a few things you should first consider:

  • How long do you plan to stay in your home? If you make the investment to have solar shingles installed, it will take five to six years to see a return on that investment. In addition, solar shingles are more difficult to move to a new home than traditional solar panels.
  • What is the state of your roof? Solar panels need a roof in good condition in order to be installed. On the other hand, changing to solar shingles involves replacing the entire roof. This makes them ideal if you are already getting close to needing a roof replacement.
  • How much energy does your home require? This will vary depending on the number of people who reside in the home and what electronics and appliances are used.
  • Will a building permit be required? You should be aware of the rules and regulations regarding roof replacement in your area before making your decision.

What Are the Benefits of Solar Shingles?

Solar shingles have many of the same benefits of solar panels: they are environmentally friendly, lower or even eliminate your electric bills, and increase the value of your home. The main difference between the two are aesthetics. Since many people dislike the sight of solar panels on the roof, solar shingles were designed to mimic traditional roofing materials, such as asphalt and tiles.


Since many people are still unfamiliar with the new solar shingle technology, we get a lot of questions. The questions we encounter most frequently include:

  • Can you go off-grid with solar shingles? If you install enough solar shingles to meet your home’s energy needs, you can definitely take your home off-grid.
  • Can you walk on solar shingles? Solar shingles are durable enough to be stepped on, but it’s best to avoid walking on your roof more than necessary.

Contact Kapital Electric for Residential Solar Shingles

Feel free to contact us or call if you have any additional questions about solar shingles, or if you would like to schedule a consultation. Kapital Electric offers expert solar shingle installation throughout the entire Chicagoland area.

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