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Turnkey Solar

New solar initiative for GAF's parent company, Standard Industries


By Kate Carsella, Associate Editor May 24, 2019
A new approach to offering solar roofing products to consumers
The range of solar options for consumers continues to expand. (Photo: Pxhere)
This article first appeared in the June 2019 issue of Pro Builder.

Standard Industries, parent company of residential roofing shingle manufacturer GAF, is going solar. Its launch of startup GAF Energy and its DecoTech System seeks to “revolutionize the adoption of rooftop solar for everyday consumers” by offering solar as a standard option, altering the cost breakdown, and shouldering the implementation process.

Joining the ranks of Tesla Solar Roof, Sunflare, and others, Standard Industries is investing heavily in solar. The 2018 edition of the International Energy Conservation Code is the first version to account for solar energy use—its impact can be included in a home’s HERS (Home Energy Rating System) score, a code change builders explicitly requested. 

As well, new data from Stanford University updates the number of U.S. solar energy installations (rooftop and plants) to possibly 80 million in 48 states, exceeding prior tallies from Google and volunteer database Open PV. No official central database currently exists to document such installations.

With its manufacturing infrastructure already in place, GAF aims to drive “scalable adoption” with a cost-effective turnkey approach to rooftop solar by handling financing, planning, permitting, and installation at the time of roof finish. 

Meanwhile, Tesla’s customer installations are rolling out slowly against initial order dates, and Sunflare’s lightweight, snap-lock tiles printed on polymer sheets are anticipated to debut on the market in 2020. 

GAF Energy is hoping for wide adoption, encouraging homeowners to connect with GAF’s local and regional contractor network about the DecoTech System, while providing contractor training and support. GAF will leverage this network as its primary sales conduit, avoiding markups on consumer purchases at the retail level. “[We] capitalize on the historic challenges facing the rooftop solar industry and turn them into demonstrable strengths,” said Martin DeBono, president of GAF Energy, in a statement. 

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