It’s usually the biggest question facing any homeowner looking to possibly add solar panels to their roof: Will solar panels be effective on my house? Google’s Project Sunroof aims to answer that burning question. The mega-company has created an online tool to help homeowners make the move into solar by providing you with a wealth of information about installing solar on your home.
Think of Project Sunroof like a Zillow for your solar panels. It takes data from Google Earth or Googlemaps to predict the amount of sunlight time as well as any obstructions that may prevent your solar panels from achieving their maximum performance and value. Visually, the website displays which side of the roof would work best for photovoltaic panel placement using a simple and effective white-to-yellow-to-purple color gradient. White depicts the brightest portion of your roof (usually the southern facing portion) while purple shows areas of shade.
In addition to offering a pleasing and simple visual presentation, Project Sunroof presents all the information a potential solar buyer would want. After you input into Sunroof your home address, the web tool immediately spits out information on how many solar hours a system could generate in one year, as well as the estimated square footage available for solar panels and an estimated net energy savings for your home over the next 20 years. If you scroll down you can see an estimated reduction in your carbon footprint starting with your carbon tonnage. It is represented in icons showing the number of cars taken off the road and the number of tree seedlings grown during a 10-year span. The final row shows installation estimates with upfront costs and savings in both the short term and long term.
In the end, Google Project Sunroof is a great tool for you as a homeowner to gauge and examine all your options. Similar to the process of buying a car, it is important to always know what you’re getting into from all angles. This website gives you that perspective and offers realistic expectations on the kind of savings you might enjoy.
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