Google knows if your house can save money on solar energy

18 Aug 2015

The uptake of solar energy in the home has risen in recent years, but is it not surprising that the vast majority of us have yet to embrace what we’re told is a money saver from the get go? Google may now help with that.

A new Project Sunroof has just been initiated by the web giant, making use of the company’s vast array of tools that, when combined, offer the kind of instant information few could have imagined as recently as 10 years ago.

By using the technology behind Google Maps and Google Earth, the company can now tell you – if you live in Boston, San Fransico or Fresno – if it’s worth your while banging a few solar panels onto the roof of your house.

How can I get solar energy?

Users in the three test areas just pop in their address and Google gets to work. It establishes the number of hours the sun hits your roof, considering key metrics like which way your house faces, shaded regions and trees.

You can put in your average electricity bills and it will work out the savings, if any, behind going solar. Better still, it lets you know who can do the installation work – it is Google, after all.

The company said that there are just three test areas at this stage for trial purposes, but hopefully it can roll it out across the whole of the US, and then the rest of the world.

Carl Elkin, the engineer behind the project, hopes it will lead to more people going solar, saving money and making the world a little more green.

“I’ve always been surprised at how many people I encounter who think that ‘my roof isn’t sunny enough for solar’, or ‘solar is just too expensive’,” he said.

“Certainly many of them are missing out on a chance to save money and be green.”

Main image via Shutterstock

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic