Google tool helps homeowners decide on solar system purchase

A new Google tool, called Project Sunroof, lets users enter their home address and gives them information related to the costs and savings of having a solar power system installed on their home.

Google constantly tweaks its search engine to improve how it handles people's queries. Now, the company is using a range of data to help users decide whether to go solar.

A new tool, called Project Sunroof, lets users enter their home address and gives them information related to the costs and savings of having a solar power system installed on their home, so they can make a more informed decision.

There are a lot of factors to consider. What will be the energy savings? How much will the installation cost? Does my roof even get good enough sunlight?

The tool was designed to help homeowners answer those sorts of questions.

It's currently only available in the San Francisco Bay Area; Fresno, California; and the Boston area. Google hopes to make it more widely available, the company said in a blog post.

The tool combines Google's satellite imagery data and information from other databases to calculate the estimated costs and savings. It also estimates the amount of sunlight per year that will hit the roof.

To do this, the tool takes into account the 3D modeling of a homeowner's roof, shadows cast by nearby structures and trees, and historical cloud and temperature patterns that might affect solar energy production, the company says.

google sunroof costs Google

The tool uses satellite imagery data to estimate how much sunlight hits users' roof each year.

The tool will also recommend an installation size to generate close to 100 percent of the homeowner's energy use, based on roof size, the amount of sun hitting the roof, and the electricity bill, Google says.

The tool also provides users with a list of local solar energy providers who could perform the installation.

Though its availability is limited, Project Sunroof underscores Google's growing ambitions in the home services market.

Last month, after at-home cleaning service Homejoy said it would be shutting down, Google said it would hire a portion of its engineering and product development teams.

Meanwhile, Google's high-speed Google Fiber broadband Internet service is now available in close to a dozen U.S. cities.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags internetGoogle

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?