PHOENIX - Google recently launched a website to help you estimate the cost of savings, by going solar. The goal of the website is also to use satellites to let you know who is using solar panels in your neighborhood
While the concept was good, solar panel installers warned residents to take the information with a grain of salt.
Corey Garrison, the CEO of Southface Solar in Phoenix said there's no perfect algorithm out there to estimate your savings. A true cost and savings analysis could only be done in person.
ABC15 put the website to the test by talking to those who were already solar panel users.
Warren Harris installed panels on his roof about three years ago. A smart financial move in his home, Harris said his electric bill went from about $125-150 a month to $14-25 a month.
Harris said he broke it down and figured out he was saving about $1,800 a year on his electric bill after going solar.
When you put Harris' information into the Project Sunroof website, it showed his home got more than 2,100 hours of usable sunlight a year, and his estimated savings were $10,000 over 20 years or about $500 a month.
"Oh it's way more than that, that number is very low," Harris said.
The website does allow you to enter additional information to fine tune the estimate, but Garrison stressed the numbers could still be way off.
He also admitted there were times when solar may not be a good option for someone and he had turned customers away because of that.
"We tell customers if they have a horrible roof layout, there's too much shading from trees, that is a huge factor. Hip Gable roofs are not ideal, multiple roof planes you can spend more than you actually receive, and the direction your home is facing is a huge factor," Garrison said.
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