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Solar energy has never been more affordable. According to projections from the Solar Energy Industries Association, solar energy costs are at a record low in the U.S. Unfortunately, many Americans still feel solar power is out of their reach because of viability, cost, and effectiveness.

Luckily, Google is taking action to make it easier than ever for homeowners to add solar panels to their homes. In 2015, they started Project Sunroof, an online tool that helps people assess the costs and benefits of installing rooftop solar panels. Using their extensive mapping data, paired with weather pattern information, and potential shadow obstruction, Project Sunroof tells customers how much money they could save by switching to solar. It’s as easy as entering your address and  average monthly electric. The program will then give your estimated costs and savings if you switch to solar. It’ll also direct you to the nearest solar provider so you can get started!

This is great news, considering the fossil fuels we use to electrify our homes are doing so much damage to our planet. With coal as our most prevalent energy source, it’s estimated that 8.4 million acres of land have been destroyed to make way for mines. Worldwide, coal mining is responsible for 10 percent of the methane emissions and releases 1,790 tons of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) per year. Oil also poses a serious threat to some of the Earth’s most valuable ecosystems and has been responsible for endangering many animal species. The list of problems caused by fossil fuels could go on forever.

But with Google’s new technology, it’s much easier step away from our reliance on fossil fuels. Not only does adding solar panels help you to save money, but you’ll have a little more change in your pocket! Looks like Google knows that saving the planet pays off.

Featured Image Source: Mike Linksvayer/Flickr

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