As energy prices continue to climb, the idea of utilizing solar energy is common sense. The process of getting solar panels installed, however, is quite the opposite.

RoofRay, a new Californian business, aims to give home owners better information to enable them to make more informed environmental decisions for their home. Using the site’s modeling tools, consumers can estimate how much solar energy a home could capture and how that would affect their monthly bills.

The data provided is based upon historical weather conditions, current power usage charges, the gradient of the property, and the maximum amount of solar paneling the roof can hold. One tool uses Google Maps to let users calculate the size of their roof and build virtual panels. RoofRay then estimates the output potential of the solar panels as well as financial considerations like costs of installation, upkeep and return on investment.

Whilst not yet available in Australia, such a tool would be a welcome addition to our growing eco-conscience and our excessive reliance on fossil fuels. Furthermore it would be useful for would-be real estate buyers in making purchase decisions, something that the Marquette Turner team are increasingly finding is a factor in how and where buyer’s buy.

To find out the latest information available in Australia, a good start is the federal government’s portal climatechance.gov.au and Marquette Turner’s Clear the Air site

Simon Turner

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