Paying for solar power is getting easier all the time—from an ink-jet device that can print solar panels, to solar leasing, to government subsidization, there’s an ever-increasing number of ways to buy solar panels on the cheap. But even if solar power keeps getting cheaper, that doesn’t mean it will be feasible for every family or business—to use solar power, you first need to figure out if you have a place to put solar panels. Fortunately, there’s now an app that will do that for you.
The Solar Panel Suitability Checker, available on the iPhone and iPad, uses Google Maps technology to determine if your roof, or another location of your choice, would be a suitable spot for solar panels. Just plug in your address—or let the app home in on your current location—and it will determine whether your roof is facing the optimal direction. If you’re looking at a non-rooftop location, the app will tell you if there are any obstacles that would block the sunlight. Within minutes of installing the app, it seems, you’ll have your answer.
This is nothing revolutionary—it goes without saying that most solar companies would be able to determine the best place to put solar panels, too. But maybe you don’t want the added expense of paying a company to consult on your property’s solar panel suitability. (The app, by the way, is free). Or maybe you don’t want to take the time to deal with a company unless you already know you have a spot that’s suitable for solar panels. Either way, it looks like this app makes switching to solar just a little bit easier.
Photo via Solar Panel Suitability Checker