In an effort to make solar easier to access and understand, Google has launched Project Sunroof, a website where homeowners plug in their address to get an estimate of their rooftop’s potential to generate electricity with solar panels, as well as an outline of the potential cost savings over time on electricity. So far, the tool is only available for three cities in the United States: Boston, San Fransisco, and Fresno. Their promotional video explains the reasoning behind the project:
Solar Energy Estimates Made Simple
Using the tool is fairly straightforward. You enter your address at the Project Sunroof website, and an estimate given of how much solar energy your roof can harness, as well as an estimation of space available on your roof for solar panels, along with an estimate of how much you would save over a 20 year period by leasing solar panels. To get this estimation, it takes into account:
- Google’s database of aerial imagery and maps
- 3D modeling of your roof
- Shadows cast by nearby structures and trees
- All possible sun positions over the course of a year
- Historical cloud and temperature patterns that might affect solar energy production
If our office was a home, Project Sunroof estimates that we would save $12,000 over the course of a 20-year lease.
Further down the screen, you can give an estimation of how much your average monthly electric bill is to get an even more accurate result. Then, look through a chart that explains the differences between leasing, loaning, or buying the solar panels, and helps you decide which option may be best for you.
Finally, Project Sunroof lists out some solar providers in your neighborhood. Check the boxes of the companies you’d like to receive more information from, fill out the form, and you’re done.
Learn more about Project Sunroof at: https://www.google.com/get/sunroof