Longevity and Durability: How Many Years Do Solar Shingles Last?


The future is bright, solar, and beautiful! If you dream of slashing your carbon footprint and energy bills, you’re on the right path.

Clunky, unsightly solar panels that reduce your home’s curb appeal are no longer your only option. Solar roof shingles don’t merely protect your home from the elements, but also power it. Homeowners who choose solar shingles can reduce their monthly power bills by 70 percent or more while taking essential steps toward self-sufficiency.

The expected life of solar roof shingles becomes crucial as you calculate your ROI. Are solar roof shingles the savior you’ve been waiting for? As a seasoned solar roofing company in NJ, we can shed some light on this all-important question!

What Are Solar Shingles?

Solar shingles are the future of roofing. These photovoltaic roof tiles power your home like solar panels but look and act much more like traditional asphalt shingles. In short, solar roof shingles are the best of both worlds. They give you a robust and appealing roof over your head while allowing you to embrace a greener lifestyle with dramatically-reduced electricity bills.

Commercial solar shingles first became available in 2005, and they’ve been growing in popularity ever since. While the immense potential of solar singles is immediately apparent, weighing the pros and cons — considering roofing investments and long-term benefits — will always be on every homeowner’s to-do list.

Calculating the Return on Solar Shingle Investment

The durability of solar roof shingles is just one of the factors to consider as you calculate the ROI of investing in a solar roof. Let’s look beyond the solar shingle lifespan and explore some of the other aspects of this decision:

  • The cost of solar shingles and labor should be on your radar when installing a solar roof.
  • Take any tax rebates you are eligible for into account.
  • Calculate your projected monthly savings by looking at your current energy usage in kWh and the amount of energy solar shingles can generate.
  • Installing solar when your roof is nearing its functional lifespan means accepting the costs of having them removed and reinstalled later. 
  • By enhancing home value with durable solar solutions, homeowners planning to sell at some point can make it easier to climb the property ladder.

However, not all considerations are purely financial. By taking your home into a greener future, you contribute to the fight against climate change while preparing yourself for off-grid situations such as short-term power cuts, to outages caused by natural disasters like hurricanes.

If you divide the upfront costs by the years your solar roof will last and compare that to your expected monthly savings, you can get a pretty good idea of your ROI.

How Long Do Solar Shingles Last?

Solar roofs are so cutting-edge that the earliest examples haven’t yet reached the end of their lifespans. However, most roofers and manufacturers will tell you that the longevity of solar roof shingles is somewhere between 25 and 30 years. Homeowners typically enjoy a 20-year warranty period when they invest in solar roof shingles.

Let’s compare that to some other popular roofing solutions:

  • Three-tab asphalt shingles have an average life expectancy of 15 to 20 years, while luxury asphalt shingles can last up to 30 years.
  • Wood and metal roof shingles and related roofing solutions typically last around three decades, but high-end options have longer functional lifespans.
  • Slate and clay tiles can last over a century, while the 50-year lifespan of concrete tiles is also impressive. However, these roofs don’t generate electricity!
  • Traditional solar panels, installed on top of your existing roof, have similar lifespans of 20 to 25 years — although they can keep generating electricity beyond that period if they have a low degradation rate. If you have an asphalt shingle roof, there’s a good chance you may have to replace your roof before your solar panels stop working. In these cases, solar panels must be removed and reinstalled, a process that also brings additional costs.

Step Into the Future of Roofing: Invest in Solar Shingles

Have you been thinking about solar energy for years, but are also due for a roof replacement? Solar shingles may be the answer you’ve been waiting for! 

As an experienced roofing contractor in Hamilton, NJ, Fortified Roofing is thrilled to discuss your options for a greener and more sustainable future with you. Contact us today!