We posted about a solar oven yesterday, and today we heard about a less tangible but equally valuable product offered for free by Google: by visiting their Project Sunroof webpage, you can find out in seconds if your roof is suitable for panels, how many panels you’d need, and finally, what your payment options are depending on your location (at the moment it seems focused on the US and the different state and federal tax credits available). From their About page:
Why are we doing this?
As the price of installing solar has gotten less expensive, more homeowners are turning to it as a possible option for decreasing their energy bill. We want to make installing solar panels easy and understandable for anyone.
Project Sunroof puts Google’s expansive data in mapping and computing resources to use, helping calculate the best solar plan for you.
How it works
When you enter your address, Project Sunroof looks up your home in Google Maps and combines that information with other databases to create your personalized roof analysis. Don’t worry, Project Sunroof doesn’t give the address to anybody else unless you ask it to.
Customizing for your roof
Project Sunroof computes how much sunlight hits your roof in a year. 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
Choose what you need
Project Sunroof recommends an installation size to generate close to 100% of your electricity use, based on roof size, the amount of sun hitting the roof, and your electricity bill.
We recommend an installation that covers less than 100% of your electrical usage because, in most areas, there is little financial benefit to producing more power than you can consume.
Computing your savings
Project Sunroof uses current solar industry pricing data to run the numbers on leasing, taking a loan, or buying solar panels for your house to help you choose what’s best for you.
Project Sunroof also compiles the following incentives to calculate your final cost:
- Federal and state tax credits
- Utility rebates
- Renewable energy credits and net metering
Visit Project Sunroof by Google.