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Expert Contribution

The Benefits of Solar Panels and Shingles

By Kevin O'Donnell
O’Donnell Roofing Co.
Newtown Square Friends & Neighbors, September 2022

Now more than ever, home and business owners are looking to solar power as a way to reduce their electric bills, protect themselves from increasing utility rates and protect the environment by producing clean energy. However, most people know little to nothing about the process or the actual savings that comes with solar panel installation.

While most people are familiar with traditional solar roof panels, these days solar shingles are another option for home and business owners. Solar shingles work in a similar way to solar panels—they both absorb the sun’s rays, converting the light to thermal or electrical energy. However, solar shingles (also referred to as solar roof tiles) are made of slim photovoltaic (PV) sheets that can either overlay or replace the existing roof shingles. The number of tiles for a typical roof installation can lower utility bills by 40% to 70%. Of course, by adding more tiles, the energy output increases.

The first step would be to perform an analysis of the home and property, via satellite imagery and specialized software, to determine the best areas on the roof or ground to install a solar array. Then your installer will examine the existing electrical panel to determine how to run the wiring between the PV panels/shingles and the power inverter. After that, the specialist will work with a structural engineer, your insurance company and your municipality to secure the needed permits and begin sourcing the required materials. 

After installation, when your PV system produces electricity, it is either used to power your property or it goes into the grid. That is where you can sell the excess Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), which are generated by your new solar home, to power co-ops. Solar panels also increase the resale value of your home, plus you can take advantage of government rebates and tax credits.

Solar panels and shingles have long life spans, typically 20 years or more, but it does vary depending on the manufacturer and installation. Warranties also vary, so be sure to research all of these aspects of various solar panels/shingles you’re considering. 

Harnessing the power of solar energy is not only good for the environment, it’s good for your wallet too. The best part is that spending less on electricity gives you more money to spend on the things you really enjoy.


About The Author

Roofing, Siding & Carpentry
Kevin O'Donnell
O’Donnell Roofing Co.
610-624-8112

Kevin O’Donnell is the 4th-generation expert roofer now leading O’Donnell Roofing Co, established in 1924. Kevin’s expertise has been passed down to him through four generations of O’Donnells which have guided business owners and homeowners step-by-step to ensure each roofing, siding and carpentry project comes in on time and on budget. O’Donnell Roofing Co. will never mislead customers or even offer a quote for work that isn’t needed. That has been the trusted value of O’Donnell Roofing Co. for over 90 years. Eighty percent of O’Donnell Roofing Co’s new roof customers come from past customer referrals that have all begun with honest estimates for quality workmanship.

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