Project Sunroof

Project Sunroof

Posted On: August 20, 2015
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Comments: 5 Responses

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.

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

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.

Solar panel installations come in sizes measured in kilowatts (kW). When discussing solar installation with your providers, the recommended installation size (in kW) is a good starting point for a more fine-tuned estimate of total costs and benefits.

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.

Hint: Change the amount of your average electrical bill with the bill slider to get a more accurate, customized estimate for your house.

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.

Compute your savings
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