Project Sunroof, Google’s new solar mapping service, is now online and operational for the Greater Boston Area. The goal of the application is to simplify the process of figuring out the savings realized from decking one’s roof out with solar panels. Project Sunroof utilizes Google’s already expansive data mapping and computer resources to help calculate the best solar plan for users.
The inspiration for Project Sunroof came from Cambridge-based Google software engineer, Carl Elkin who said: “Millions of people are already beginning their solar journey by searching for ‘solar’ right on Google and using that to take the next step.” Project Sunroof would help these people by giving them a close savings estimate if they were to pursue solar paneling. All they have to do is type in their address and answer several questions about their energy use and cost.
Currently, Project Sunroof is only available in the Greater Boston Area, Fresno, CA., and the San Francisco Bay Area. Google plans on expanding the service to other areas as well as increasing its capabilities from being just a savings estimator. Ultimately Google could make money from Project Sunroof by charging solar installation companies a fee for every customer the program refers, said Joel Conkling, Project Sunroof’s business lead in Mountain View, CA. For now, the program is free and is an excellent way to for homeowners and companies to figure out if solar paneling is a good option for them.
-EarlyBird Power Market Research Team