An online tool that informs UK households of rooftop solar panel performance and savings on electricity bills has been launched by Google.
The company’s Project Sunroof was first launched in America in 2015 and was then rolled out in Germany two years later. It has now teamed up with energy supplier E.ON to launch a UK version.
The tool looks at factors including local weather patterns, roof orientation and shading from the nearby environment to determine how much solar energy could be generated by a rooftop photovoltaic (PV) system.
The data, sourced from Google Earth and 3D modelling, is combined and the tool then utilises technology to assess the solar potential of an individual roof, as well as how much a household could save on a typical electricity bill as a result.
Michael Lewis, chief executive at E.ON, said: “Last year, we successfully launched Google’s Project Sunroof in Germany and we’re delighted to bring this exciting new technology to British homeowners too.
“At E.ON, we’re aiming to create a better tomorrow by offering customers smarter, innovative solutions like Google’s Project Sunroof and Solar and Storage, our solar PV and battery offering.”
Households will require the capital to install the solar arrays and last September, a £1bn programme was launched by the UK Government to ensure that more than 800,000 low-income UK households will have access to cheap solar electricity in the next five years.
Last year, Google released its first set of data in the states, that maps air pollution, to enable residents to make alternative travel route decisions and help improve air quality in the area.
The sensors record levels of pollutants emitted from cars, such as nitrogen dioxide and black carbon, so that non-profits and residents can identify areas where air quality could be improved, either by choosing a different route to work, or using other means of transport.