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Illuminating the Investment: Understanding the Cost of GAF Timberline Solar Energy Shingles

December , 2023 | 9 min. read

By Nicole Corson

beautiful brick house with solar shingles on the roof

With the rise in popularity of producing solar energy, homeowners are starting to consider going solar when it’s time for a roof replacement. This can be a great idea because using your roof to produce solar energy can be a solid investment.

two roofers installing GAF Timberline Solar Energy Shingles on a roof

But the truth is, everyone isn’t going to be able to afford to invest in solar. That’s why it’s important to know how much a roof replacement is going to cost using the new GAF Timberline Solar Energy Shingles. 

Before deciding if it’s right for your home.

Unfortunately, roofing contractors like to keep their numbers under lock and key. That is until you offer to invite them to your home to do an inspection and in-home consultation.

We disagree with that.

Our family at RoofCrafters has been helping homeowners make their roof replacement decisions for nearly 3 decades. Because of this, we’ll do our best to help you determine if the new  GAF solar shingle roof will be a great investment and fit your budget.

2 story house with GAF solar energy shingles

In this article we'll cover:

  • The 5 main factors that will impact the cost
  • The average cost of a Timberline Solar ES roof
  • The benefits of producing solar energy

By the end of the article, hopefully, you’ll have all the answers you need to decide if solar shingles will be a great investment for you.

Evaluating Solar Roof Costs: 5 Key Factors Influencing GAF Solar Shingle Pricing


It would be impossible for us to give you an exact price without knowing all of the many factors used to calculate the costs. However, we've narrowed it down to five key factors.



The 5 key factors that impact the costs of producing solar energy:

  1. The square footage of your roof.

  2. The average annual electricity consumption.

  3. The amount of sun-facing slopes on your roof.

  4. The complexity of your roof replacement project.

  5. The incentives for going solar.

Let's discuss square footage.

Understanding the Impact: How Roof Size Affects Solar Shingle Installation Costs


There are several factors that go into a roof replacement. The size of your roof is one of the many factors and will also have one of the greatest impacts on a solar roof investment. A solar roof replacement requires purchasing specially designed asphalt shingles. The new GAF Solar HD asphalt shingles are almost 2 inches larger than the standard architectural shingles. Yes, this means your entire roof has to be replaced. We can't just add solar shingles to your existing roof.

GAF Solar asphalt shingles beside GAF HDZ shingle

The new GAF Timberline Solar HD shingles are designed to be compatible with the GAF Timberline Solar Energy-producing shingles. This requires purchasing the correct amount of Timberline Solar Energy Shingles to power your house. This leads us to our next factor, energy consumption. 


Assessing Energy Needs: How Your Household's Annual Consumption Influences Solar Roofing Costs


solar system with diagram of net metering electricity flowElectricity usage over time is measured in watt-hours. Your electricity provider or utility company typically measures usage in kilowatt-hours or kWh. (kWh = kilowatt-hour) One kWh is one kilowatt generated for one hour. Let’s say you use a 40-watt light bulb for five hours, you’ll have used 200-watt hours or 0.2 kWh of electricity. 

We all use different amounts of energy. Depending on how energy efficient your home is and how conscious you are about your energy usage. The good news is you can reduce both and in turn, save yourself bundles of money. It really matters how much electricity you consume annually.  Once we know how many KWs you need we can effectively calculate the size of the solar system needed to power your home. The less energy you consume the smaller the solar system is needed.

Maximizing Efficiency: The Role of Sun-Facing Roof Slopes in Solar Shingle Installation


We use tools to determine the amount of sun on your roof. The amount of great sun-facing slopes will impact how many arrays of solar energy shingles will be required. Optimal sun-facing roof slopes are east and south-facing roof slopes.

birds eye view of roof with sun-facing roof slope

Having roof slopes that are shaded may require compensation. Which means installing more arrays of solar shingles on less optimal slopes. Compensation is needed sometimes. We need to produce enough electricity to power your home based on your yearly energy consumption.

Once this is determined the next main factor that impacts cost is the difficulty of your roof. 

Navigating Complexity: How Roof Replacement Intricacies Influence Solar Shingle Costs


Is your roof steep? The steepness of your roof pitch will have a major impact on calculating the final cost of your solar investment. Because the safety and set-up take longer. And the roofers are not able to work as fast. Slower installation times increase the labor cost of any home improvement project. 

crane loading roof materials on 3 story complex house

We view investing in the new integrated solar energy shingles as doing two home improvement projects in one. New roof and new solar system, all in one. Keep in mind, once the solar roof is installed the electricians will be required to get on the roof to connect all the wiring to make your new system run.

roofers on a steep commercial roof repair

If your roof is steep or difficult to access the labor portion of the installation will also increase.  Difficulty or complexity will impact the cost. The good news is incentives are available to offset these costs as well as your new roof.

Exploring Financial Incentives: How Energy Production Rewards Impact Solar Roof Costs


Financial incentives take many forms. The incentives available are what help reduce the initial investment. Thus making it much easier to get a return on the investment in a shorter period of time. Our federal and state governments have incentives in place to help homeowners afford to produce clean energy.  

Here is a list of the most popular solar incentives: 

Diagram of solar incentives
  • Federal Solar Tax Credit
  • State Tax Credits
  • Net Metering
  • Local Solar Incentives
  • Sales Tax Exempt
  • Property Tax Exempt
  • Production Incentives
  • Cash Incentives


Incentives will help reduce the cost and in many cases offset the cost of the roof replacement. Thus making the two home improvement projects in one a fairly easy decision.

What is the Cost of a Timberline Solar ES Roof?


As you can see, there are many factors that will impact the cost of a new solar energy roof. It would be nearly impossible for us to provide you with an exact cost without knowing all of the factors.  So to be fair, we will provide you with the average cost of a Timberline Solar roof installed on a fairly simple roof of a 2000 to 2500 square foot house.  Fair?

GAF timberline solar shingle array being installed over tiger par underlayment

Also very important, is a house that needs a solar system to produce 7 KW of electricity.  Just like the square footage of the house we've selected is average, most houses will range between needing 5 KW and 9 KW of electricity usage. So a 7 KW solar system is average.

installers connecting solar energy shingles

You can expect the average cost of a solar roof system to be between $35,000 and $40,000. That’s before deducting any incentives previously mentioned. By applying the 26% federal tax incentive alone, it'd reduce the average cost to between $25,900 and $29,600.

GAF Solar energy shingles on a roof

Keep in mind, that the average price we’re providing is for a complete solar roof system. This includes a complete roof replacement. This means installing the new Timberline Solar HD asphalt shingles and installing enough of the new Timberline Energy Shingles to produce 7 KW of electricity. Two home improvement projects in one. 

graph of savings producing clean energy

If you're concerned about the rising cost of electricity. This may be a great investment for you. There's no doubt in our minds that the cost of electricity will continue to rise. Producing your own clean energy and decreasing your reliance on the utility company may be worth looking into.

Let’s go over some of the other benefits of the new GAF-integrated solar shingle roof.

Harnessing the Sun: Top 5 Benefits of Opting for GAF Timberline Solar Roofing


We believe the top 5 benefits of choosing the new GAF Timberline Solar Shingles for your upcoming roof replacement are:

  1. Substantially reduce your monthly energy bill.

  2. Offset the cost of your roof replacement with electrical savings.

  3. Foster energy independence.

  4. Increase the value of your home by as much as 4%.

  5. Reduce greenhouse emissions and your carbon footprint through clean energy production.

Related read: Are the new GAF Timberline Solar Energy Shingles right for my home? 

Choosing the Right Contractor: Ensuring Excellence in Your Timberline Solar Roof Installation


Now that you have an idea of what the cost will be to turn your roof into an energy-producing asset. You’re probably ready to hire a contractor to start the process. But remember the numbers we provided are only an average cost. The final price will be determined after your local GAF Master Elite Contractor performs the onsite inspection.

Our family here at RoofCrafters has helped thousands of families over the past 3 decades. Not only by providing high-quality materials and 25-year workmanship warranties. But we’ve also helped by educating them about the roofing industry. And by guiding them to make the best decisions for protecting their families for many years to come.

If you believe that we’ll be a great fit for your roofing or solar needs and would like us to come out to see if a solar roof is right for you submit your info below.  We look forward to discussing your solar goals soon.

Nicole Corson

At RoofCrafters, our mission is to provide job opportunities for others to thrive and grow while making a meaningful impact within our communities.