Google Wants To Help More Homes Switch To Solar Energy

The big G has plans for clothes that connect to your phone and smart contact lenses that monitor glucose and blood sugar levels, as well as balloons that bring 4G service to places without it. And now, the company wants to teach you about solar energy.

Google on Monday launched Project Sunroof, an online tool that helps people determine whether they should get solar panels for their home. The experiment, part of Google’s push to increase awareness of solar energy, analyzes your house’s location, roof space and energy bill, and tells you how much solar panels will cost you — and how much money you could save on electricity.

For now, the tool is limited in scope, showing data for homes in only three general locations: the greater Boston area, the San Francisco Bay Area and Fresno, California.

If you own a home in one of those places, you can input your address, and the tool will draw from aerial mapping technology to check out whether you have room on top of your house for solar panels. It will also calculate the number of hours of usable sunlight your property receives per year, taking into account “factors like roof orientation, shade from trees and nearby buildings, and local weather patterns,” according to Google’s blog post introducing the tool.

Project Sunroof weighs all this data against your current energy consumption, compares it to solar options, then shows you a guide to leasing, loaning or buying solar panels for your specific needs. It even includes links to your nearest solar panel providers. Google notes, however, that it “may” have been compensated by some of the solar companies it recommends.

To demonstrate Project Sunroof, Google featured a San Jose, —> Read More