Understanding The Different Types Of Solar Shingles

Posted on: 13 January 2023

The term solar roofing is used as a "catch-all" term. When in fact, it can refer to two distinctly different styles of roofing shingles for your home.

There are two primary designs of solar shingles: photovoltaic and reflective. They both have the potential to save you money on your energy, but they accomplish these potential savings in very different ways:

Solar Photovoltaic Shingles

Photovoltaic shingles are an innovative solar energy technology that is designed to replace traditional asphalt shingles on the roofs of homes. The shingles consist of solar cells that convert sunlight into electricity. 

The electricity is then fed into the home's electrical system, via a DC-to-AC inverter, and can be used to power lights, appliances, and other electrical items. 

The shingles are typically installed in a grid pattern and linked together to form a larger solar panel. This allows for greater efficiency in converting sunlight into electricity. 

Photovoltaic shingles are particularly useful for homeowners who want to save money on their energy bills but do not have the space or budget for a large traditional solar panel system. They may also help to reduce your long-term carbon footprint.

Solar-Reflective Shingles

Solar-reflective shingles work to keep homes cooler in the warmer months by reflecting the sun's rays away from the roof. This helps reduce the amount of heat that is absorbed by the roof and transferred into the house. 

The shingles are usually made from a combination of materials that reflect different spectrums of the sun's rays, dissipating the thermal radiation into the atmosphere instead of your home

With the upper areas of your house cooler, your HVAC unit can run less since it doesn't have to work so hard to keep the house cool, hopefully saving you money on your utility bills.


When choosing between solar photovoltaic shingles and solar-reflective shingles, it is important to consider both initial cost and the potential long-term utility bill savings. 

Solar photovoltaic shingles are more expensive upfront, but they can generate electricity for your home, which can significantly reduce your long-term utility bill. 

Solar-reflective shingles, on the other hand, are less expensive, but they do not generate electricity. Thus, they will not offer any utility savings except during the warmer months when the HVAC runs almost constantly.

Ultimately, the right choice will depend on your roofing budget and whether you want to save in the short or long term.

To learn more, contact a solar roofing service in your area.