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Google Launches 'Project Sunroof' to Encourage Solar Power

Not sure whether installing solar panels is worth the money? Google's new 'Project Sunroof' wants to help.

Not sure whether installing solar panels is worth the money? Google's new "Project Sunroof" wants to help.

The project launched on Monday tells people how much sunlight their home or business gets each year, how much space is available for solar panels, and who is available to install them.

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April 21, 201500:43

"As the price of installing solar has gotten less expensive, more homeowners are turning to it as a possible option for decreasing their energy bill," Google wrote on the Project Sunroof website. "We want to make installing solar panels easy and understandable for anyone."

Right now, it's only available in the San Francisco Bay and Greater Boston areas, but Google plans to eventually expand the service to cover the entire country.

Project Sunroof

Project Sunroof uses Google Maps and weather data from other sources to create its recommendations. Using the average utility rates in the area, it can also estimate how much energy someone uses and how big of a solar installation they would need to supply all of that power.

Finally, it gives cost estimates for leasing or buying solar panels, along with links to businesses that can install them. President Barack Obama has been a big booster of solar, recently announcing a plan to make the technology more accessible to renters and low-income communities and to create 75,000 solar industry jobs by 2020 .