• Home Home

This stylish 'gazebo' gives you free solar energy without ever having to install a roof panel — here's how it works

The PowerGazebo has solar energy go incognito.

PowerGazebo, Power your home with solar panels

Photo Credit: Arka Energy

Some of the best technologies work hard while letting you relax, and the PowerGazebo from Arka Energy seems to fit this bill. This stylish free-standing structure allows you to power your home with solar energy while adding outdoor covered space and not moving a single shingle on your roof.

Picture this: keeping cool in the shade, perhaps with an icy drink in hand, smoke drifting from an electric grill, while above you, the system's black-glass "PowerTiles" provide shelter from the sun and simultaneously crank out kilowatts.

The PowerGazebo — which, according to the product's website, will come in more than 10 design configurations — addresses the problem of powering your home with solar (at least in part), even if you don't have the roof for it or don't like the look of panels atop your house. As with other solar-energy systems, it lets you save money with free power from the sun and may reduce your use of electricity made by burning fuel that creates planet-warming pollution.

As Electrek reported, other solar gazebos, pergolas, and canopies are out there. And another great option for homeowners to go solar without a rooftop is to explore community solar programs, such as those suggested by the platform Arcadia.

But for going solar while creating sheltered outdoor space, PowerGazebo has great appeal. According to Arka Energy, the Silicon Valley-based startup that recently started offering its product in the U.S. (after operating in India), the PowerGazebo features sleek panels on top and a decorative interior ceiling with warm lighting. An integrated power port provides for plugging in electronics, and periphery LED lights are an option.

"Our aim is to develop elegant solar solutions because the customer should not have to choose between style and sustainability," Surya Potharaju, founder and CEO of Arka Energy, told pv magazine last year.

The PowerGazebo can generate up to 14 watts of power per square foot, according to the product's website. As of mid-June, Arka Energy listed three sizes of system on its website, with the largest, 312-square-foot PowerGazebo able to produce up to 4.31 kilowatts in peak conditions. 

For reference, the blog SolarReviews.com estimated that a 6-kilowatt solar system would produce about 10,950 kilowatt-hours per year (though systems vary widely in production). A PowerGazebo could meet a good portion of this need — and reduce your energy bill significantly.

The roofs of PowerGazebos are pitched at slight angles to maximize efficiency, are waterproof and made to withstand snow, and include a 25-year warranty. The systems are rated for winds up to 120 miles per hour — higher than a category 2 hurricane.

Arka Energy told Electrek that PowerGazebos would be available to ship from its warehouse in May. The company listed prices as of mid-June ranging from $24,499 for its smallest system (with an estimated total cost of $16,799 after a federal tax credit) to $33,999 for its largest ($23,799 estimated after a credit). 

The tax incentives are part of the Inflation Reduction Act, and the company recommends contacting a tax advisor. For exact pricing, system customization, and ordering, Arka Energy encourages contact via its website.

Join our free newsletter for easy tips to save more, waste less, and help yourself while helping the planet.

Cool Divider