A new website and widget (which can be pasted into any blog) offers a major contribution in the solar space. For too long, assessing the solar potential of a home has been difficult, requiring complex calculations to determine roof & sun angles, longitude and latitudes, costs and paybacks.  Now Roof Ray, an online solar modeling service, allows you to trace available areas on your home’s roof and get an instant report about your solar availability and how much energy you can save through a solar installation.

There are 3 steps to determining your solar availability:

1. First, you type in your address and through the wonder of google maps, your home pops up in the map window at scale.  The widget pulls in data about solar availability in your area.

2. A clever drawing tool lets you trace a simple diagram on your roof where you think solar panels could be placed. The widget will solve the area for you. You then need to drag a 5th point to determine the roof pitch.

3. A little drop down bar lets you select the roof angle and shading amount. Presto, a number is crunched for your solar availability.  Below is the widget so you can try it out here:

 The second tab lets you select your utility company and average power bill. This produces a diagram of how much energy you would save/create given the selected solar panel area. The third tab, lets you follow up with a professional installer to get a full estimate with rebates and financing.

The drawing tool is a little tricky to get used to, and would benefit from some basic instruction on the widget.  To start, you need to click on a corner to create your first point, and when complete you need to drag the red cursor to indicate which way the roof slopes. 

But overall a very, this is a very effective widget which will help encourage people by giving them that moment of instant gratification — seeing how much money one can save on utility costs. It also feels very real, because you have just traced the diagram yourself, and then there is the easy link to get started financing a solar system for your home.

Read more about it and get the widget at Roofray.com.

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