There’s a lot to consider when thinking about upgrading your home. Deciding on the details of an upgrade usually involves comparing costs, choosing contractors, reading reviews, and doing a ton of research. Luckily, homeowners are now getting some extra help from tech companies to help them decide whether going solar is a smart upgrade for their home. Online services, like those offered by Google and Zillow, reflect a rising interest in residential solar energy and provide an increasingly easy way for homebuyers and homeowners to find out if their home is solar eligible.
An important thing to remember is that while the technology is great it doesn’t replace getting an actual solar quote from a true solar professional who can determine how much energy your roof can produce and how much money you’ll save.
Google’s Project Sunroof calculates your potential solar savings.
Google is using increasingly sophisticated technology to calculate the potential savings you can expect from going solar. Project Sunroof uses Google Maps, Google Earth, 3D modeling, and machine learning technology to estimate the amount of sunlight your roof gets throughout the year. Project Sunroof also looks up typical electricity rates and solar energy prices for your region, as well as available solar rebates and incentives provided by your state. Google’s proprietary algorithm then crunches the numbers for you to determine how much you could save over the next 20 years by switching to solar energy.
Over 60 million roofs across the country have been analyzed since the tool launched in 2015, and the results are encouraging. A whopping 79% of roofs in the United States could save by going solar! Houston, Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Antonio, and New York City have the highest city-wide solar potential of all cities analyzed, with San Diego, Jacksonville, Oklahoma City, Dallas, and Albuquerque rounding out the top 10. According to Google, 8 million homes across the country could be powered if just these 10 cities reached their solar potential!
When one neighbor goes solar, so goes the neighborhood.
As of June 12 this year, Project Sunroof will not only tell you how much money you’ll save by switching to solar energy–it’ll also let you know which homes in your neighborhood have already made the switch. That’s right–when you view a map of your neighborhood in Project Sunroof, you’ll see a red dot over every home or structure that appears to have rooftop solar panels installed. Soon, your home could be one of them: it’s never been easier to evaluate your options, and solar energy prices are at an all-time low.
Zillow’s Sun Score makes it simple to consider solar potential when shopping for a new home.
Homebuyers can now look to Zillow’s Sun Score to determine whether a home they are considering is well-suited for solar energy production. The scores are calculated by Sun Number, a Minneapolis-based company, using a proprietary algorithm. Much like Project Sunroof, Sun Number accounts for variables like the size and shape of the roof, shade from nearby trees, and the amount of sunlight the home can expect to receive each year. Homes are rated from 0 to 100, with a Sun Score of 100 indicating the highest possible solar potential for a home.
Zillow now lists Sun Scores alongside more traditional real estate information like square footage, number of bedrooms, and lot size. The company’s decision to include Sun Scores shows that solar energy potential has become an important consideration for a growing number of homebuyers.
The future’s looking bright.
A big reason why so many homeowners are becoming interested in solar: the savings potential is huge. In the past, homeowners considering going solar were faced with the high cost of installing panels. Today, however, solar panels are more efficient and affordable than ever before.
Solar leases and power purchase agreements provide additional financing options beyond purchasing your solar system outright. As pioneers of the solar lease, Helios Solar Development has made it possible for homeowners to go solar for little to $0 down, getting access to the solar power without having to purchase the panels. That said, as the largest residential solar provider in the country, we know that every home has unique needs. That’s why we offer a variety of products to suit every home and every homeowner’s preference.
To top it off, modern solar panels have a lifespan of about 20-30 years, which means you could lock in lower energy rates for decades at a time by making the switch to solar. In fact, the average price of solar energy nationwide has dropped 67% in the last five years. Compare that to the rising cost of electricity, and you could be saving 20% on your energy bills for the next 20 years.
Going solar is a smart decision, and it’s easier than ever to find out which product is best for you.