3. SOLAR PRODUCTS
Dow. Expected to be widely available in 2011, Powerhouse solar shingles install and perform like standard asphalt shingles while harnessing the power of the sun to offset a home’s energy usage. Unlike traditional frame-mounted PV panels, the shingles are installed flat against the roof deck; they are compatible with most new and existing residential rooftops. http://www.dowsolar.com/index.htm
Demand for solar products will continue to be hot because photovoltaics dropped in price last year as production caught up to demand. Especially noteworthy are new low-profile systems that don’t detract from a home’s curb appeal.
For example, Koerner points to offerings such as Dow’s new Powerhouse photovoltaic shingles that can be integrated into rooftops with standard asphalt shingle materials and the barrel-style Solé Power Tile from SRS Energy, which installs alongside U.S. Tile’s traditional clay tile roofing.
Meanwhile, state, local, and federal tax incentives and utility company rebates will also continue to keep solar products in the limelight, Koerner says. For example, a bill proposed in Congress in early February aims to install solar photovoltaic systems on millions of roofs across the country over the next decade. The measure would offer rebates on top of existing incentives to cover up to half the cost of new solar arrays and solar water-heating systems, according to the legislation.