StarlingRFS built the first roof designed for solar. Their mission is to scale solar roofing massively in the United States and beyond by giving solar roofers a product advantage. It’s beautiful, easy to install, durable and performs better than asphalt for heat, fire, hail, snow and wind. 

Interview with Brian Atchley, CEO & Amy Atchley, COO at StarlingRFS.

Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company?

Brian Atchley & Amy Atchley: We make solar roofing products- a roof shingle that helps streamline solar install and is warrantied together and looks good. Better lifetime match. That, and our solar hardware which integrates with the top 5 modules on the PVEL reliability scorecard. We chose to use commodity panels to help the solar roofing market scale faster.  Solar panels are already cheap and efficient.  No need to re-invent that. 

Instead, our product system answered the questions: 

  • What do homeowners want from their solar roof? 
  • What do installers need from a solar roof option? 
  • How can we scale this asap?

E.E: What’s the news about new products?

B.A & A.A.: Our solar hardware was recently tested to also be used on asphalt shingles.  4 kW of solar hardware fits in a medium size box, allowing solar installers the flexibility to use it on the most common roof type gives them more flexibility and ease of ordering. 

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E.E: What are the ranges of products?

B.A & A.A.: We build the Starling metal roofing shingles designed for solar and self-templating, deck-mounted solar hardware.  We have IP for flat roof and ventilation products also. 

E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active?

B.A & A.A.: Solar roofing is in its infancy.  Other solar roofing products out there break the supply and labor chain. We are the only ones making products for solar roofer that can scale massively. 

E.E: What can you tell us about market trends?

B.A & A.A.:

  • Solar Roofing market projected $1B by 2025= 82% increase year over year.
  • Residential Solar grew 24X from 2011 to 2021
  • Metal Roofing Demand is rising. Expected to rise 2.7% by 2023. Has about doubled in the past 10 years. 
  • In the US, the 30% Federal Tax Credit incentivizes solar
  • California and 22 other states have net zero carbon goals
  • NREL is making solar permitting easier. 

In addition to solar’s contribution to the net zero carbon goals, Metal Roof has lower carbon footprint for shipping, same carbon footprint for manufacturing, but lasts 2-3x asphalt shingle.  Beats the pants off concrete tile. (see chart in appendix) Metal also has the ability to lower carbon footprint in manufacturing, though asphalt cannot.

Dark metal Colors outperform light asphalt colors in “Cool roof” type requirements currently being enacted by states. 

Raise the Roof bill, currently being considered by the congressional committee on finance, will include a new roof part of the expense of solar for federal incentives. 

E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed?

B.A & A.A.: Last year we won the American Made Solar Prize for our solar roofing products because our product was seen as the most impactful. 5 million people re-roof every year in the US and last year only 500,000 got solar. If only 20% of re-roofs chose to go solar (it’s the obvious choice when you look at the numbers), then we will have doubled the annual solar installations. When we are at cost parity with asphalt shingle, it will be even more of a no brainer to go with us. 

E.E: What estimations do you have for the rest of 2022?

B.A & A.A.: Outlook good.