Google has developed a new tool in the UK that it says can give an “accurate, personalised prediction” of how much solar energy your roof is capable of generating.
The tool, Project Sunroof, has been developed by Google and uses Google Earth and Google Maps to assess a property’s surroundings, weather data, and the sun’s positioning.
The service is currently available in the UK via energy provider Eon.
Originally launched in the US, Project Sunroof was designed using the company’s AI to accurately predict how much sunlight a property could receive over the course of a year.
In the US it would give you a rough savings estimator which will tell you how much money you could save and even provide some pretty inspiring facts about how much electricity solar could actually provide.
What do solar panels actually do and how much do they cost?
Solar energy is renewable, so there are no fuel costs or polluting gases from emissions - but they are also very expensive to install and can be less efficient than as they rely on sun to work best.
There are two types of solar panel- one designed to generate electricity (photovoltaic) and another, (solar), that generates hot water.
According to MoneySavingExpert, you usually need a predominantly south-facing roof to get the best benefit and they can cost around £5,000 - £8,000.
In the UK, where we’re not always blessed with long sunny days, that means solar might not always be the best energy option for your home.
Even thought they might help to reduce your energy bills, it might take years (up to 23 years according to some estimates) to make back the cost of installation through those energy savings.
You can check out an estimate how much energy you could save on the Google tool here.