If you are one of the many homeowners considering the installation of solar panels on your home’s rooftop, then undoubtedly one of the burning questions on your mind is whether the pros of solar energy outweigh the cons when it comes to residential solar powers systems for homes.
Let’s examine the main benefits and drawbacks of solar energy systems to help you make a well-informed decision:
Your options for building integrated photovoltaic solar roofs have expanded with Suntegra, CertainTeed Appolo, and Luma Solar tiles to compete with other PV solar products currently being installed.
This guide covers the currently available and newly emerging BiPV / roof integrated PV (RiPV) solar shingle options, their costs, availability in specific markets within the US, and pros and cons of each option.
The table below includes the cost info and availability details for the top four leading RiPV competitors:
Cost per sq.ft.
Cost per watt*
2,750 sq.ft. roof
CertainTeed Apollo II Shingle
$17.25 – $22.00
$6.40 – $8.00
$47,230 – $60,500
CertainTeed Apollo II Tile
$20.88 – $27.37
$7.65 – $10.00
$57,420 – $75,281
Dow PowerHouse II) (Discontinued due to bankruptcy)
$15.00 – $20.00
$41,250 – $55,000
$15.52 – $17.4
$5.70 – $6.40
$42,694 – $47,850
$16.80 – $21.30
$6.16 – $7.81
$46,200 – $58,575
Tesla Solar Tile
$32.00 – $42.00
$88,000 – $115,500
Note: the above figures are baseline costs (estimated). The actual costs can, in some cases, be up to 25% higher, depending on the particulars of the jobs including more complex roofs and/or in areas with high cost of living and in major coastal cities.
All costs include what is known as BOS, or balance of system, costs. These include the connectors, wiring and electrical inverter required for the installation. They do not factor storage battery costs ($7,500 – $9,000 for most systems).
It is common to read that “rafters are the way they used to frame roofs. Now everyone uses trusses.” First, that is plain wrong, and an oversimplification at best.
Secondly, rafters can have important advantages over trusses in certain building projects; If you’re planning for an out-of-the-ordinary, custom roof design or want to make use of the attic space, then rafters might be more appropriate.
In this guide, we will define roof trusses and rafters and explain the pros and cons of each for comparison. We will also outline the best uses of each, so you can decide whether rafters or trusses are the right choice for your building project.