This story is part of, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.
What would you say to faster, easier and dramatically cheaper installation of your solar roof? A solar roofing giant hopes that's a resounding "yes." At new solar shingle, called Timberline, that can be installed with a nail gun directly onto your roof. That means faster installation that could cost about half of what Tesla's solar roof costs, according to a GAF Energy spokesperson., GAF Energy, a subsidiary of Standard Industries and sister company to roofing heavyweight GAF, introduced a
Since they'll both go on with a nail gun, Timberline Solar Energy Shingles can be easily installed with traditional shingles. The new solar shingles can also be incorporated with GAF shingles to create a solar roof. Install times are "consistently ... half that required for rack-mounted solar," a GAF Energy spokesperson said, and come in at a comparable cost.
The claim is significant -- installation is typically the largest expense for residential solar energy systems.
The electrical components and wiring are located on top of the shingle because of its low profile. This makes for easy access for servicing, the company said. But it also means that while the shingles are less than a quarter of an inch thick, the conduit for the wiring is visible.
GAF shingles go on a lot of roofs (1.4 million each year, the company says). It will be interesting to see if an easy-to-install product paired with such a large network boosts the adoption of solar as the company hopes it will.