New technologies may give homeowners who are interested in reducing their carbon footprints a fool proof way of replacing their roof, utilizing solar power, and reducing the heating bills all in one fall swoop. The new technology comes in the form of asphalt shingles that have solar cells built into them. The shingle shape helps the technology to blend in with the design and exterior materials that make up the home. This means that you can install solar panels without the huge and unsightly solar panels that many are used to seeing in solar powered homes.
The shingles themselves are 12 inches wide by 86 inches, but there is no reason why hundreds of other sizes can not be manufactured once the manufacturing process is improved upon. From an installation standpoint, they are positioned in such a way that they blend in almost perfectly with the current surrounding shingles.
The homeowner taking advantage of this new technology has the potential of saving money in three ways. First, in some communities, the township or city will offer homeowners who invest in solar roofing tax credits to help them defray the upfront purchase and installation costs. Second, homeowners will typically see their electric bills go down as more of their electrical energy comes from their roof solar shingle instead of the utility company. And, third, under the right circumstances where the roof will be exposed to a great deal of sunlight, the shingles can generate so much electrical power that the home actually has an excess of power which the homeowner can sell to the local utility company.
Lending institutions are getting into the act as well. Because of the emphasis being placed on all sorts of green projects these days, some lending institutions will give you lower interest rates on a home improvement loan which you are using for a solar energy project. Those used to seeing the normal solar panel roofing may be surprised at just how flexible these new shingleles are. They are made so well that they are hard to tell from the real shingles.
It's expected that, in the not too distant future, you will see more of these shingles appearing on commercial buildings as well as residential homes. And, even though you might think that these types of shingles are only appropriate for warm weather regions like California, Arizona, and the like – more and more of these shingles are starting to appear on homes and businesses in the Northeastern states. This is because solar power cells have become so much more efficient than the ones you used to see on many of the older buildings. They can generate electrical power from much less sunlight. So even in some of the colder areas of the country, in the middle of winter, these types of solar shingle are generating 75% or more of the house's energy needs.
The innovative design of these photovoltaic shingles will blend into the architecture of your home so well that no one will even know that you are using alternative energy. They are simply, a great way to take advantage of solar power.