Now that you’ve rented out your empty driveway to that guy who circles around your block every morning at 8:30 a.m. sharp in search of parking, you may be looking for another way to transform other unutilized parts of your property into potential moneymakers. Turns out, you needn’t look much further than your roof.

For solar-curious homeowners with rooftop real estate to spare, a new startup called Gridbid connects them with local solar installers who are desperately seeking raw space. Acting as an online auction house of sorts, Gridbit helps the the homeowner lists his roof with all the pertinent details: the roof's exact location along with its physical composition, inclination and direction; monthly electricity usage; size of photovoltaic system desired, etc. Once the post goes live, competing solar installers (no more than four) are able to bid on the hot piece of property and, based on the resulting offers, the homeowner picks the winner to complete the installation with no up-front costs.
Using an rooftop solar-bidding website obviously works a bit differently than, let’s say, selecting a local car dealership to place a giant flashing billboard atop your home. You don’t get cut a check every month for providing the valuable rooftop real estate, but you do save serious cash on monthly utilities and, of course, get the whole shebang installed by a reputable installer for free (in some instances, you can buy the solar system outright and have it installed for free while avoiding any monthly leasing fees). The installer benefits greatly from the arrangement as well, saving up to 80 percent on what he’d normally spend securing rooftop space. Plus, the installer is paid by utility companies for the excess juice generated by the array that’s fed back into the grid. It’s a win-win situation for both parties and, besides, who doesn’t like an online auction?
"After speaking with over 100 players in the solar market, we found that solar installers were paying way too much in business development costs (sometimes up to 20 percent of total project cost) and building and home owners were struggling to find and select high quality, affordable solar installers," Gridbid founder Thomas Kinshanko told Co.Exist in a recent profile of the company. "We came up with Gridbid to solve both problems."
Gridbid launched as a pilot this past March and, according to the company, $300,000 worth of rooftop solar projects were auctioned off during the website’s first week online. Not too shabby at all. Putting your roof up for auction on Gridbid is free (installers pay a small fee once selected) and you can cancel before selecting a winning bid.
Interested in auctioning off your rooftop to save on monthly electricity costs? Head on over to the Gridbid auction website to learn more.
Via [Co.Exist]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Gridbid: A rooftop auction site for solar-seeking homeowners
Described as the world's first rooftop solar auction, connects homeowners with reputable solar installers on the hunt for available rooftop real est