Google's Project Sunroof checks houses for solar potential

MANILA, Philippines – Google has come up with an online tool to help homeowners determine if their home would be better served with solar paneling.

Known as Project Sunroof, the project, which was announced on Monday, August 17, uses high-resolution aerial mapping to help you calculate the solar energy potential of your home's roof.

Those in the test regions – the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno (in central California), and the Boston area – can enter their address, and Project Sunroof will do the calculations for you.

According to Carl Elkin, Engineering Lead for Project Sunroof, "It first figures out how much sunlight hits your rooftop throughout the year, taking into account factors like roof orientation, shade from trees and nearby buildings, and local weather patterns. You can also enter your typical electric bill amount to customize the results"

"The tool then combines all this information to estimate the amount you could potentially save with solar panels, and it can help connect you with local solar providers," Elkin added.

Google notes that the project is still in its pilot testing phase. Over the next few months the company will also look into improvements for the online tool, and increasing the availability of locations that can get solar paneling data from Project Sunroof. –

Victor Barreiro Jr.

Victor Barreiro Jr is part of Rappler's Central Desk. An avid patron of role-playing games and science fiction and fantasy shows, he also yearns to do good in the world, and hopes his work with Rappler helps to increase the good that's out there.