A recent, but rather obvious, development in solar energy generation are sunroof tiles. As the name suggests, these are roof tiles that have solar collectors. They are still very expensive, but there are some advantages to it. For example, if you do need new roofing, you can choose these tiles instead of regular tiles. These tiles are also a lot lighter than a solar panel installation and are not sensitive to wind gusts and storms. In addition, sunroof tiles still give the appearance of ordinary roof tiles, while solar panels influence the appearance of the house much more.
Unfortunately, the yield of sunroof tiles is currently even lower than that of solar panels. You need 25 percent more roof space to achieve the same yield. This is due to the bulging of the sunroof tiles and the poor ventilation. If the sunroof tiles get hot, they’ll yield less. The installation costs are also higher, because it takes more time. The old roof tiles have to be removed before they can be installed. The technology is still in development, and will undoubtedly improve in the future.
The price of sunroof tiles is still much higher compared to solar panels. This varies between 30 and 60 percent. That’s why this option is only profitable when you were already planning to have your roof tiles replaced anyway. The following table shows the costs for these sunroof tiles compared to standard solar panels and their efficiency. This is an average price for a roof covering of 10 square meters and the prices include installation.
|Standard solar panels||$2585 – $3550||22%|
|Sunroof tiles||$6030 – 6900||17%|
Replacing your worn-out tiles: the cheapest option is not to have your old tiles replaced by new tiles, but by solar tiles. You wanted a new roof anyway, so better to have them installed right away. That way it can be a lot more profitable, because you can immediately start generating energy when the roof is finished.
You already have solar panels: It’s cheaper if you combine your current solar panels with sunroof tiles. You already have the installation including the inverter, and all you need to do is lay and connect the sunroof tiles. This makes a considerable difference to the total price, the costs for an inverter and its installation can easily amount up to $1650.
A completely self-supporting roof: if you are convinced that sunroof tiles work, you can have your current roofing completely removed and replace it with sunroof tiles. If you want to generate 3500 Wp (all electricity for a 2 people household), you’ll pay $14,700. If you want to achieve the same with solar panels, this will cost you $7650.
The price structure
One of the reasons why sunroof tiles are more expensive than solar panels is because the installation costs are higher. After all, the old roof must first be replaced and the sunroof tiles must then be installed. Solar panels can just be installed on top of the current roof. This results in 45 percent labor costs and 55 per cent material. This means that you can save money on labor costs. If you’re a DIY person, consider doing some of the work yourself. Comparing quotations will also pay off. The proportion of material to labor costs for the installation of sunroof tiles is shown in the following diagram.
The advantages and disadvantages of sunroof tiles
You may wonder if it would be wiser and cheaper to have solar panels installed on your roof. You have answer this question yourself, through careful considerations and calculations. Here’s a neat overview with all the pros and cons of sunroof tiles, allowing you to form your own opinion.
- Sunroof tiles are very similar to ordinary tiles and won’t significantly change the appearance of your home.
- If you’re already planning to have your current roof tiles replaced, then installing sunroof tiles is much more cost-effective.
- Sunroof tiles are light and don’t put a heavy burden on your roof.
- Sunroof tiles are not sensitive to storms or gusts of wind.
- The installation of sunroof tiles can be combined with roof insulation. This allows you to use the energy you generate more efficiently.
- Sunroof tiles are very expensive to buy and offer a lower yield than solar panels.
- The payback period of sunroof tiles is twice as long as that of solar panels.
- You need a larger surface area with sunroof tiles to achieve the same efficiency as with solar panels.
Interesting savings tips
Are you interested in buying sunroof tiles? Then you can use the following saving tips to keep the costs in check.
- Choose a local installer: by getting your manpower and materials from the neighborhood, you will save on possible transport and call-out costs. New roofing can take up to two or more days to install, so these savings can be considerable.
- Do it yourself: you may want to consider removing your old roof tiles yourself before the roofer is going to install the sunroof tiles. This will save you some of the labor costs.
Since a large part of the total price consists of labor costs, you can save money by requesting quotations. You can do this quickly and easily with our free comparison tool. You’ll receive a number of quotations without any obligation. You can use these quotations to plan your new solar panels. It allows you to save up to 30 percent on the total invoice.