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Solar and other alternate power sources have been a big theme so far this decade and are liable to get bigger in the future. In the UK if you want to get solar panels there are number of possible ways from outright buying and fitting yourself to getting them entirely paid for and maintained via an external company.

The question is not is it possibleĀ to do it but is your property in a good enough position with enough light to make it economic to invest the time and money to do so? Google are hopefully soon going to be able to answer this question. Project Sunroof was a 20% project that has taken off and is being expanded. In essence it takes the satellite images and data they have gotten for Google Maps and looks at the location and orientation of your house and the properties around it and adds that to the average weather over a year and the types of panels that would fit and are available. All this data is reduced to the amount of money that you could save from your electric bill annually and how much it would cost to get installed.

It’s a simple idea that uses pre-existing information and Google are rolling it out in three US markets with the idea of slowly rolling it out across the US and then worldwide over the next few years. The tool is called Project Sunroof and is available here.