Until the last few years, the cost of solar power technologies was so high that they had to be supported with government incentives to encourage businesses and individuals to purchase the expensive, but environmentally friendly and long-term more economical solar systems. Today, the prices of solar panels and other solar technologies have come down enough to be reasonably affordable in many high-sunshine locations across the country.
Tech titan Google certainly has its flaws, but it is fair to say it is much more environmentally aware than most large American corporations. In the spirit of encouraging the development of green power generation and minimizing the use of C02-creating fossil fuels, Google is launching a new initiative called Project Sunroof. With Project Sunroof, Google technology makes it possible for anybody to find out if their home is a good candidate for a solar power installation.
More on Google’s Project Sunroof
Project Sunroof is the brainchild of Google engineering lead Carl Elkin, who developed the app as a “20% project” in his spare time at work. The software identifies your address, and then calculates how much solar power your roof could produce using Google Maps and other public data regarding the surroundings of your home such as the local weather, the orientation of your roof and how much shade is created by neighboring trees and buildings.
Getting started is a snap. You just type in your address and some info about your monthly utility bill, and the app will provide you with the recommended solar installation and how much it will cost to either purchase or lease the hardware you need.
If you are ready to move ahead with a solar install, you also reach out to local solar providers directly through the app. Keep in mind that these provider listings are sponsored, so Alphabet will be paid wen they produce sales leads for these solar firms.
For now, Google’s Project Sunroof will only work in the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno and Boston. But assuming the launch of the new service goes well, we can expect to see more cities added to the list in the coming months.