Solar Roofing Grabs the Light

As consumers increasingly demand conservation minded building materials, companies are rolling out new products.

On the horizon: A novel solar roofing system with appeal for homeowners. Its shingles and tiles incorporate photovoltaic materials that convert sunlight into volts. The palette of colors and styles available range from flat slabs to curvy mansard tiles and will go a long way toward ameliorating concerns of homeowner associations that ban conventional, bulky solar panels that squat on rooftops.

The new systems offer more than better aesthetics. They’re also more flexible, so they can cover entire roofs, including eaves, porches and irregular spaces, to capture more power. That translates into more hours each year when residents may be able to get by without buying electricity from the local power company or even sell electricity to the utility and watch the meter run backward.

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Associate Editor, The Kiplinger Letter