The Tesla Solar Roof is one of the most complex and intricate roofing systems ever made – it consists of textured and undeniably aesthetic solar tiles that mimic standard roof tiles.
But even though the company tried to break into the mainstream with this new product, it proved hard to sell, mainly because of its high price.
“On average, an 8 kW solar roof will have about 460 solar tiles. This means you have 460 wiring points on your roof,” Southern Energy Management explained. “On the other hand, a traditional solar system of the same size would include about 25 solar panels, which means 25 connections.”
What’s more, Tesla significantly increased the cost of its solar roofs last year due to the mentioned “complexity factor.” At the same time, the company’s technology has improved significantly: its solar panels can now produce 22% more energy.
But now Tesla has a new competitor, and it could be a game-changer. GAF Energy has released a new solar tile that is about half the Tesla roof price.
GAF Energy is a subsidiary of Standard Industries, the parent corporation that owns several roofing companies. This gives it a serious competitive advantage over other solar roof businesses.
“We are part of the world’s largest roofing manufacturer. We have access to materials that ordinary solar companies do not have access to, CNBC quotes Martin De Bono, president of GAF Energy.
“No one has ever specifically tried to make a solar product that a regular roofer could install. It can be nailed to the roof.” De Bono added.
GAF hopes this approach will allow the company to reach out to all consumers who are remodeling their roofs, not just those who are already considering installing solar panels. “In the US, 200,000 to 300,000 people receive a new solar system each year. Currently, there are already more than 5 million such roofs,” De Bono said.