What are some online tools to consider when you want to go solar?
With the increasing demand for solar energy and people wanting to decide about going solar; new online tools have been developed with solar consumers in mind to help them make informed decisions about their going solar. Switchingtosolarpv.com shares most of these new online tools to help online users decide about solar. These tools range from financial calculators, LIDAR developed rooftop solar potential tools such as EnergySage , Pick My Solar, Google Project Sunroof. Furthermore, solar checklists and how-to-guides can be used to help solar customers, solar developers, civil society as well as government institutions to go solar or plan about solar while getting information about the economics or financing for solar.
1. LIDAR powered solar maps
When it comes to LIDAR or commonly known as Light Detection and Ranging data (LiDAR); it is one of the sophisticated technologies used to create three-dimensional digital elevation models that has various uses such as for self-driving cars fitted with sensors to help them navigate the world. Using LIDAR for self-driving cars it is possible to map and navigate an environment and know ahead of time any obstructions, or the bounds of a lane or whether there is a stop sign or traffic light 500m ahead.
Similarly, with LIDAR powered solar maps, it is possible to analyze the impacts of shading obstructions, identify roof tilt and estimate the amount of roof area that can be used for a particular solar installation. Hence, using LIDAR online maps such as those included in the EnergySage or Pick My Solar websites; data is obtained with the greatest degree of accuracy and this boils down to developing some of the best solar PV distributed renewable energy systems which reduces risks of under sizing or over sizing a PV power system.
2. Online solar marketplaces (solar quotes aggregators )
In particular, LIDAR solar maps have been developed to help reduce the soft costs associated with solar because they are now widely available in the internet and users can type their home or business address to find out their solar potential while been provided with useful information of deciding about going solar such as financing, costs and savings of solar.
For instance, EnergySage or Pick My Solar in addition to having LIDAR powered solar maps, they provide solar financing tools or solar calculators as well as solar comparison tools to enable users choose their best solar installers in their local area or even decide about the best financing option such as solar loans, cash or solar power purchase agreement (solar PPA).
In addition to LIDAR powered solar maps available at EnergySage and Pick My Solar, other useful tools to help you make informed decisions include solar checklists, solar panels reviews/manuals to help you navigate the process of going solar from start to finish.
EnergySage and Pick My Solar are solar quote aggregators and when you shop for solar with such online solar marketplaces, a 2017 study conducted by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) titled “the value of transparency in distributed solar PV markets” has shown that quote aggregation drives solar installers to offer lower prices.
The NREL study found out that PV installers bid $0.24 per watt lower on the aggregators quote platform than when they bid directly to the same customers, on average. Also, the study found out that the prices decline as customers receive more solar quotes because of increased solar installer competition.
3. Solar Panels Review/Solar Checklists
You can find some solar panels review for specific solar panel brands such as Solarworld solar panels, Suniva solar panels, LG solar panels etc in this blog. You can also find a good solar checklist that lists the steps of going solar and the items you need to consider before deciding to switch to solar. For instance, this blog describes the IREC’s solar checklist that lists the steps or factors to consider before going solar.
If you are considering solar today, You can find all these tools in one location at EnergySage or Pick My Solar! Please check out EnergySage or PIck My Solar to access especially the LIDAR powered solar maps. These platforms offer a one-stop place for all your solar decision needs.