Google now lets you see if your house is a good candidate for installing solar panels. Project Sunroof, a 20 percent project by Google engineering lead Carl Elkin, shows you how much solar power your roof could generate using Google Maps and the data it has about the surroundings of your home. This means it can take into account local weather, your roof’s orientation and how much shade falls on it from nearby trees and buildings.
Sadly, this currently only works in the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno (which Google helpfully tells us is in central California) and Boston (a major city on the East Coast, as far as we are aware).
To get started, you simply plug in your address and some data about your monthly electricity bill, and the tool will tell you what the recommended solar installation size is and how much it would cost to buy or lease the hardware.
In case you want to go ahead with a solar install, the tool also lets you reach out to local solar providers. Google says these listings are sponsored, so chances are it’ll get a bit of a kickback when it generates a sales lead for these companies.