Solar Metal Roofing 2021: Thin Film Laminates vs. PV Solar Panels

Not all PV solar power systems are created equal…

Some are more equal than others! 😉

zero-energy-home-with-solar-panels

An ever-increasing number of environmentally conscious and high-energy-cost sensitive homeowners and businesspeople consider installing a PV solar power system to harness solar energy and generate electricity for their homes, or commercial buildings.

New Shingle Roof

$7,500
Average price
New Metal Roof

$14,500
Average price
New Flat Roof

$8,225
Average price

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For years, the traditional approach was based on installing the rather heavy, crystalline solar panels on top of an asphalt shingle roof, an oil-based roofing system with a relatively short lifespan.

This approach has worked for a while, however, roof penetrations, needed for the installation of a solar panel mounting system, made to an asphalt shingle roof, increase the likelihood of premature roof leaks down the road, and further shorten the already-too-short lifespan of an asphalt shingle roof.

crystalline-solar-PV-panels

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3 IN 1 ROOF Cost vs. Tesla Solar Roof

If you’re a solar power enthusiast, perhaps you’ve read about the solar roof system developed by a company called 3 IN 1 ROOF. It is expected to challenge the Tesla solar roof in the quest to become the market leader in building-integrated photovoltaic (BIVP) roof tiles for homes.

3 IN 1 ROOF – classic solar tile roof

via 3 IN 1 ROOF

Insulation + Hurricane Protection + Solar = 3 IN 1 ROOF

More on the head-to-head with Tesla later. First, we explore 3 IN 1 ROOF cost and what exactly this innovative roofing system is all about.

Cost

Right off the bat: A typical 3,000 sq. ft. BiPV solar roof system from 3 IN 1 ROOF is estimated to cost $71,120 installed, before tax credits and energy savings are taken into account. This translates to roughly $24 per sq. ft. installed.

Once solar tax credits and energy savings are taken into account, you get the following financial breakdown:

3,000 s.f. roof: $71,120 before solar tax credit. First year cash flow: $18,142 with about $2,600 of that being from energy savings. That leaves a tax credit of about $16,540 on the solar part.

For smaller-sized roofs, 3 IN 1 ROOF supplied us with the current cost projections taking solar tax credits into account:

Installed Cost Avg. Cost Installed Total Cost 2,000 Sq.Ft. Home
$18-$24 sq.ft. $21 sq.ft. $42,850 to $68,650
The above costs are based on the current 30% federal tax credit. In this table, costs will go up by 4% in 2020.
Solar Tax Credit Schedule

The cost factors below the table will help you gauge where on the spectrum your costs will fall.

Note: This page from the US Department of Energy (US DOE) has complete information on the Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit for 2018 through 2021.

Our best guess is that the tax credit will likely be extended due to the importance of promoting energy-efficient homes and buildings.

However, with the credits currently set to end in a few years, having a solar roof installed in the next couple of years rather than later could be a decision that saves you $20,000 or more.

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Why Standing Seam Solar Metal Roof Blows Tesla Solar Roof Out of the Water!

Right off the bat, we love Tesla Solar Roof and what Elon Musk is doing to disrupt the solar roofing market.

Tesla smooth solar glass tile roof. Source: Tesla

But, the reality is that despite its revolutionary style, great looks, and the bold promise “to rid your roof of those bulky and unsightly solar panels”, Elon’s new product is way too expensive and unaffordable for a typical American household.

Traditional PV solar panels on an asphalt shingle roof

That’s right, outside of the upper middle class families in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Austin, Seattle, and other major, affluent tech hubs, most regular people don’t have that extra $50,000 to $65,000 to shell out for Tesla’s new and unproven Tesla Solar Roof.

Furthermore, at this point, the new product from Tesla is completely unproven in terms of the roof’s ability to withstand the elements and remain leak-free for the duration of its intended lifespan.

Granted, every product has to go through a product adoption life-cycle curve, but unless Tesla solar roof pricing changes drastically, we don’t see a mass market adoption of this promising new product happening any time soon.

What’s more, should the government decide to pull a plug on solar tax credits, then Tesla solar tile roof will be dead in the water, again due to its very high cost.

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