If you’re skeptical of installing solar panels on your roof because you think they’re too expensive or you’re not sure if your home even gets enough sunlight, Google may soon be able to tell you if your skepticism is in fact true.
This week, Google launched “Project Sunroof,” a side project that calculates a household’s potential for solar panel output.
The system combines Google Maps’ database of aerial images with the 3D modeling of your roof and the data it has about the surroundings of your home. This means it can take into account local weather or how much shade falls on your home from nearby trees and buildings.
Once Google generates an analysis of your roof’s solar potential, it then tells you how many hours of usable sunlight your roof is exposed to, and how much of that is available for placing solar panels.
If solar panels are in fact a good fit for your home, Google will tell you how much they’d cost if you leased them for 20 years, used a loan to buy them, or bought them outright, in comparison to your current electricity bill. Google will even go as far to include a list of solar providers in your area.
Right now, Project Sunroof if only available to residents in Boston, San Francisco and Fresno, but Google already suggested they want to take this solar power project worldwide.