Timberline solar roof gives Tesla's tiles some competition

Roofing company GAF Energy has announced Timberline Solar, a new solar roof option for consumers who want to decrease their dependence on the electrical grid and their home's carbon footprint. Timberline Solar is a new product poised to take on Tesla's Solar Roof in a big way, not the least of which is due to GAF Energy's massive presence in the roofing industry.

GAF Energy's sister company GAF is behind one out of every four new roofs installed annually in the US. As such, the company points out that its existing contractor network across the US will significantly help it bring solar-based roofing systems to homes throughout the nation.

Timberline Solar is designed to install like an ordinary roof, GAF says, and it has one particularly unique feature: it can be nailed down. As such, GAF says installation requires only a nail gun, no other specialized skills or materials necessary. The company describes its solar shingles as easy to install, durable, and visually appealing.

According to the company, its Timberline Solar scored UL 7103 certification; with that established, GAF's product has official recognition as a solar product and roofing product, allowing contractors to install it as both. The green energy solution is only available in select markets for now, however.

GAF says it plans to "rapidly" increase the product's availability, but it doesn't have any additional details on that at this time.

Timberline Solar will offer consumers an alternative to Tesla's Solar Roof, a similar product that involves installing solar tiles across a home's roof as a low-key green energy source. Tesla's product integrates with the company's Powerwall, a home battery system that is included with the Solar Roof.

The Powerwall is a great aspect of Tesla's system, as it offers backup energy for times the grid may be down. On the flip side, however, GAF Energy claims its Timberline Solar will undercut Tesla when it comes to cost, also alleging its product is more durable than that of its competitor (via CNBC).

A huge benefit particular to GAF's product is its simplistic design, enabling the average roofing crew to install the shingles using a nailgun. This, the company claims, cuts the time it takes to install the solar roof in half compared to "typical" residential solar systems.

All good things come with compromises, however, and in this case, it revolves around design. GAF had designed its solar shingles to be quite large at 64-inches in length, reducing the amount of wiring and units needed for a home. This, however, means the Timberline Solar also stands out more as a solar installation compared to Tesla's product, which blends in better with traditional home styles.