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CertainTeed solar panels: the complete review

CertainTeed is a large North American manufacturer of building materials, producing everything from drywall to roofing materials. Established in 1904 as the General Roofing Manufacturing Company, it is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Saint-Gobain SA, a 300-year-old materials company based in Paris. They bring years of experience and understanding in the roofing industry to solar, designing products that can be installed by both experienced roofers and solar professionals. CertainTeed manufactures its solar products, which include solar panels and solar roofing tiles, in either Vietnam or the United States.

A thorough review of solar panel product specifications is the best way to be confident in your solar investment. Our CertainTeed solar panel review breaks down all of the details to help you evaluate how CertainTeed compares to other solar panel brands on the market.

This is an unbiased review: EnergySage is not paid to review brands or products, nor do we earn money from affiliate advertising in this article. The content of this blog is based on research and information available at the time of writing. Learn more about our mission and how we make money as a company.


Key takeaways

  1. CertainTeed makes solar panels, solar shingles, and solar roofing tiles.

  2. The efficiency of CertainTeed solar panels ranges between 16% and 20.5%.

  3. CertainTeed solar panels cost between $2.54 and $3.28/W on the EnergySage Marketplace.

  4. Shop for CertainTeed solar panels (and many other brands!) today on the EnergySage Marketplace.

What’s in this article?

CertainTeed solar: what series are available?

CertainTeed offers two series which include solar panels, solar shingles, and solar tiles for residential and commercial systems: the Solstice Series and the Apollo Series. Here’s what you need to know about each of them:

Solstice Series

Launched in 2023, CertainTeed’s Solstice series includes two different solar panels, coming in outputs of 400 Watts (W) and 440W, and a solar shingle that is available in 70W. The solar panels are made of half-cut, monocrystalline, n-type photovoltaic solar cells (the building blocks of solar panels). N-type solar cells are comprised of two silicon layers designed to reduce heat loss, making the half-cell structure more efficient in producing solar power.

The Solstice solar shingle is CertainTeed’s newest addition to its solar roof shingles and tiles. Unlike traditional solar modules, Solstice shingles aredesigned to blend in with the asphalt shingles used most commonly by roofers. The Solstice shingles should be installed by roofing companies (with the help of an electrician), making it easy to integrate solar into your new roof installation. It’s important to note that because of the Solstice shingle’s lower output (due in part to its smaller size), you’ll need to install more solar shingles to generate the same output as a traditional solar panel system.

Apollo Series

CertainTeed’s Apollo series is available as both monocrystalline solar shingles and solar roofing tiles. The Apollo Tile II is CertainTeed’s has an output of 63W and is designed to blend in with typical concrete tile roofing. It’slighter than regular roof tiles, so there is no need for additional structural support.

The other product in CertainTeed’s Appollo series is the Apollo II, another solar shingle with an output of 70W. Based on CertainTeed’s website, they appear to be shifting focus to the Solstice solar line, with additional announcements anticipated later in 2023. Depending on the solar provider you use, they may only be able to install CertainTeed Solstice equipment.

We’ll dive into the efficiency ratings, performance, and warranties of the Solstice Series and the Apollo Series below.

How does CertainTeed solar compare to other manufacturers?

There are four key metrics that you should review as you evaluate solar panel quality: efficiency, performance, warranties, and price. EnergySage has reviewed CertainTeed panels for each metric to make your solar decision easier. We’ve also compared CertainTeed panels against other leading panel manufacturers on the EnergySage Marketplace.

Efficiency

The term “solar panel efficiency” refers to how well a solar panel captures sunlight and converts it into usable electricity. In the same conditions, a high-efficiency solar panel will produce more electricity than a lower-efficiency panel of the same size. For this reason, a higher efficiency rating is generally preferable.

The efficiency of your CertainTeed panels or shingles will vary depending on the specific model that you choose for your system. Panels and solar roofing in CertainTeed’s product line have an efficiency rating between 16% and 20.21%. The efficiency of their Solstice panels (ranging from 19.9% to 20.5%) is comparable to the rest of the market. Any panels that have 18% efficiency or higher can be considered “high efficiency.” On the EnergySage Marketplace, the highest efficiency panels are SunPower, at 22.8%. CertainTeed solar shingles and tiles fall into the typical range of solar roofing efficiency, which is usually anywhere from 14% to 18%.  

CertainTeed series efficiency CertainTeed panel seriesEfficiency rating Solstice Panel 400W20.5% Solstice Panel 440W20.4% Solstice Shingle 70W17.2% Apollo II Shingle 70W17.2% Apollo II Tile 63W16%

Performance (temperature coefficient)

Temperature coefficient is an indicator of how well your solar panels perform in less-than-ideal conditions. Solar panels, like other electronic equipment, perform better when kept cool (ideally around 25°C/77°F). The temperature coefficient tells you how much your panel’s performance will change during hot, sunny summer days.

For every degree above 25°C (77°F), your solar panel’s electricity production will decrease by its temperature coefficient. For example, the temperature coefficient of the CertainTeed Solstice panels (both the 400W and 440W) is 0.35%/°C. This means that if the panel’s temperature increases by one degree from 25°C (77°F), its electricity production will decrease by 0.35%; if its temperature rises to 35°C (95°F), electricity production will reduce by 3.5%.

Your solar panels will likely see more than a few hot and sunny days over the course of each year, so ideally, they will have the lowest temperature coefficient possible. CertainTeed’s solar products have temperature coefficients between -0.35 and -0.45.

CertainTeed series temperature coefficient CertainTeed seriesTemperature coefficient Solstice Panel 400W0.35%/°C Solstice Panel 440W0.35%/°C Solstice Shingle 70W0.36%/°C Apollo II Shingle 70W0.37%/°C Apollo II Tile 63W0.45%/°C

Warranties

Whether you’re buying a TV, a car, or solar panels, the manufacturer should stand behind their product with a strong warranty. A solar panel’s materials warranty (sometimes referred to as the product or equipment warranty) is a guarantee from the manufacturer that they will replace your panel if it fails as a result of manufacturing defects or environmental issues.

CertainTeed offers a comprehensive 25-year warranty on all of their solar products. This warranty covers both the materials, as mentioned above, and the panel’s power output. The power output warranty guarantees that your CertainTeed panels will still produce at least 85% of their original output by the end of the warranty period at 25 years.

As with most warranties, CertainTeed’s product warranty covers degradation of the panel quality from normal wear and tear as a result of being installed on a roof, but does not cover any damage caused by things like extreme weather events or maintenance by workers without the proper certifications. The annual degradation of CertainTeed’s solar products cannot exceed 0.54%.

CertainTeed includes an additional unique workmanship warranty, which is typically only offered by your solar installer. If your CertainTeed solar system is installed by one of their “Certified” installers, your system is eligible for a 15-year workmanship warranty guaranteed by CertainTeed. If it’s installed by one of their “Master” installers, they add an additional 10 years, bringing your workmanship warranty from CertainTeed up to 25 years. 

For more information, check out our in-depth review of CertainTeed’s warranty and our guide to comparing solar panel warranties of the top brands on the market.

How much do CertainTeed solar products cost?

For many homeowners, the final decision around the solar power equipment they choose rests on cost. The total price you’ll pay for a solar energy system with CertainTeed panels will vary depending on the other equipment (such as inverters and mounts) used in the installation, as well as the characteristics of your roof.

To identify the range of prices for CertainTeed systems, we analyzed quotes that homeowners received from installers on the EnergySage Marketplace that included CertainTeed home solar equipment. Most CertainTeed systems are typically priced between $2.54 and $3.28 per watt – fairly average when it comes to residential solar panels quoted on the EnergySage Marketplace.

This means that, for a 6 kW system, your gross cost (before subtracting any tax credits or other incentives) would be anywhere from $15,240 to $19,680 – this is the highest average price range we see on the EnergySage Marketplace. As a point of comparison, the cost of a 6 kW system from Tesla ranges from $18,180 to $20,100. But, most homeowners pay much less than the total gross cost; there are plenty of solar incentives and rebates to help you reduce upfront costs, including the 30% federal tax credit for solar, which lowers the cost range of a CertainTeed solar panel system to $10,668 to $13,776.

Advantages & disadvantages of CertainTeed

As with any product that is such a significant investment, CertainTeed solar panels, shingles, and tiles have advantages and disadvantages to keep in mind before purchasing a solar panel installation. Whether your primary motivation for switching to solar is powering your home with clean energy or lowering your electric bills, it’s important to weigh your options.

Pros of CertainTeed solar panels, shingles, and tiles

  1. Comprehensive panel warranty: CertainTeed’s extremely comprehensive warranty offering covers all aspects of the installation, including workmanship if they are installed by a certified installer. It is important to note that the Solstice Shingles have the same 25-year warranty as the panels, but the product warranty is only 10 years for these.

  2. Reliability: Solar equipment from CertainTeed is backed by an over 100-year-old company (Saint-Gobain) as well as CertainTeed’s extensive experience in the building industry.

  3. Aesthetics: CertainTeed’s solar shingles and tiles are a great choice for anyone concerned about how solar panels will appear on their roof, as both of these options are designed to blend in with traditional roofing materials. CertainTeed’s years of experience in roof installation and materials development gives them a leg up when it comes to designing reliable and aesthetically pleasing solar roofing materials.

Cons of CertainTeed solar panels, shingles, and tiles

  1. Efficiency: CertainTeed panels are not a standout in the market when it comes to efficiency, so if that is your main concern, you should consider exploring the other options.

  2. Temperature coefficient: CertainTeed’s panels are average when it comes to temperature coefficient, which can impact the lifespan and power production of your solar equipment over time.

How to find the best price on CertainTeed solar panels

The best way to determine whether CertainTeed offers the best solar panels for your home is to review multiple quotes with different solar equipment options before making a decision. When you compare all of your options on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace, you’ll find the right combination of price and quality that meets your needs.

Many of our qualified, pre-vetted solar installers offer CertainTeed in their quotes to EnergySage users. When registering, simply note in your profile that you’re interested in receiving quotes that include CertainTeed panels for your home.


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