Google expands its Sunroof estimates to more US territories

This month, the focus is placed heavily once more is on climate change and the environment in general. Considering their reliance, as well as adverse effects, on the environment, tech companies have rallied around efforts to use or at least promote more responsible use of resources. At the start of the UN Climate Change Conference last week, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, and a whole host of other Silicon Valley luminaries announced a new Breakthrough Energy Coalition. Now Google is making its own very small contribution by making its Project Sunroof available to more states in the US.

Despite the name, Project Sunroof doesn't actually provide solar panel installations on people's rooftops. Launched in August this year, Sunroof is actually a sophisticated calculator that could help you decided whether you can make that jump in the first place. Moving over to solar energy, especially completely, is no small matter, and every small bit of information to make that transition feasible goes a long way.

Project Sunroof combines a couple of Google technologies, particularly its mapping tech, to help make those calculations. It can determine how much sunlight your roof can actually get, by taking into consideration its orientation as well as nearby obstacles like trees and other buildings. Users can then add their average electricity consumption to find out if solar can not only supply their needs but also cut costs down.

When Sunroof launched, it only covered the rooftops of the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno in central California, and Boston. Starting this week, it will also look down on California, Massachusetts, Arizona, New York, New Jersey, Nevada, Connecticut, Colorado and North Carolina.

Despite a popular alternative source of energy, solar installations haven't completely taken the country by storm and Google sees a huge untapped potential in that market. While Project Sunroof might not directly help make that happen, the knowledge it provides could at least help reduce the reluctance of homeowners to adopt the technology.

SOURCE: Google