If you don’t know whether or not solar panels on your roof is a worthy investment, Google might have an answer.
The search giant says it has a new tool which will allow homeowners to query Google on if it’s a good idea to slap solar panels onto one’s home. Project Sunroof is now available to residents in select cities in California and Massachusetts.
The tool uses high-res aerial mapping to calculate potential energy conversion based on factors such as roof orientation, shade from trees and other structures, and local weather patterns. These combined variables provide an estimate on how much a homeowner could save if he did install solar.
As with everything else Google does, Project Sunroof is a free tool that will eventually link consumers to merchants (in this case solar providers).
“The cost of solar power is at a record low,” says Google engineer Carl Elkin. “A typical solar home can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars per year on their electricity bill.”
Elkin added that Project Sunroof may be expanded into other regions in the coming months.