Many people would love to build an entirely "green" house
. But "going green"
isn't always cheap or practical. That's why we're so excited about Dow Chemical's new solar-powered shingles
, which are meant to be used on asphalt-tiled roofs. According to The New York Times, the Powerhouse thin-film shingle can be installed by most roofers, and they're durable, too. You can even drop one from a roof
, or even walk on it, without fear of causing damage. They're simply nailed to the structure like regular shingles, but you'll still need an electrician to connect the panels to the home's electrical system. The Powerhouse shingle will be test marketed in the middle of next year.
While these shingles are only about 10-percent efficient, Dow managing director Jane Palmieri says a lower price and easier installation could create a $5 billion market by 2015. The solar-powered shingles
are about 10-to-15-percent cheaper than a mounted rack of solar panels. That still doesn't change the fact that you'll need a lot of these to really make a dent in your electricity bill
. Unless you're putting new shingles on Bill Gates's house
, it's probably not quite practical to use them. [From: The New York Times