SO­LAR GETS STYLISH TILES BE­COME POP­U­LAR OP­TION PROS AND CONS

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - TRADES + SERVICES - Re­becca Isaacs For more de­tails visit: monier.com.au

IN­STAL­LA­TION: Pan­els need to be at­tached with a bracket, which means cut­ting or drilling through the ex­ist­ing tiles. En­sure your in­staller checks that the roof can han­dle the weight of pan­els. So­lar tiles need to be im­ple­mented with match­ing roof tiles, which will in­volve re­plac­ing at least part of the ex­ist­ing roof. EF­FEC­TIVE­NESS: Pan­els used to be su­pe­rior but re­cent de­vel­op­ments have im­proved the ef­fi­cacy of so­lar tiles so these days the two are com­pa­ra­ble. COST: Pan­els and tiles are both more af­ford­able than they once were. Pan­els are still cheaper but as more homes opt to in­stall tiles, they will be­come more af­ford­able. TIME: Tiles may be faster to in­stall than pan­els, but this de­pends on the type of tiles you choose and how much of the roof you elect to cover. IF YOU’RE a gree­nie with a bit of cash in the bank, you might want to think about so­lar tiling your roof.

The magic slabs aren’t main­stream but Lyle Stowe, NSW con­struc­tion man­ager for Monier Roof­ing, says they are be­com­ing more pop­u­lar.

“Once peo­ple see how nice the tiles look, they be­come more of an op­tion,” Mr Stowe said.

The tiles do sit well with the plane of the roof but those keen on the aes­thetic ap­peal should be pre­pared to pay 40 per cent more than a grid-con­nected so­lar panel.

The Gov­ern­ment’s Small-scale Tech­nol­ogy Cer­tifi­cates re­bate scheme might soften the blow, al- though this cash prize.

STCs live online in the Re­new­able Energy Tar­get reg­istry data­base. They can be traded or sold.

Mr Stowe said so­lar tiles of­fered bet­ter pro­tec­tion from roof leaks than pan­els be­cause there was no drilling into the ex­ist­ing roof tiles.

And that ques­tion you have about whether grey skies mean no power? It isn’t silly. Pho­to­voltaic tiles and pan­els use light energy from the sun to power your home.

Less sun equals less energy, although Mr Stowe said the ef­fect was min­i­mal.

To be on the safe side, in­stall a bat­tery. This will store energy for when the weather is over­cast.

isn’t an im­me­di­ate

Pic­ture: CARMELA ROCHE

Lyle Stowe says so­lar tiles are be­com­ing pop­u­lar.

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