New solar roof tiles allow eco-conscious and well-heeled homeowners to enjoy the benefits of low-cost energy without annoying their neighbors with traditional solar panels deemed unsightly by some communities.
"At first glance, Paul Rupert's Livermore, Calif., home looks like any other residence. But the 2,900-square-foot house has a powerful secret. Last year, Rupert installed a solar energy system that cut his monthly electricity and heating bill from $400 to $25.
Rather than use traditional photovoltaic panels that mount to a rack and are sometimes considered unsightly, Rupert choose integrated solar roof tiles that interlock with his new concrete roof tiles and lie flat. "Most people don't even notice that it's a solar roof," said Rupert, 67, an aerospace systems engineer.
As the state pushes for more solar-produced power and more builders and sellers realize that solar can help move homes and increase their value, a new generation of solar energy systems is taking hold."