Is your roof good for solar? There’s a map for that

WASHINGTON — If you’ve ever thought about supplementing your electricity usage by going solar, there’s a map that can show you your house’s solar potential.

The Northern Virginia Regional Commission says the interactive map is the first of its kind in Virginia.

“The map is very simple — it gives you a bird’s-eye view of your property to see how many solar panels could fit on it, and the potential dollar savings in terms of electricity,” said Bob Lazaro, director of regional energy & sustainability for the Northern Virginia Regional Commission.

“It’s a very sophisticated algorithm that takes into account data that [are] provided to us, and then there is a calculation done based upon the amount of solar that hits the house, time of year, shading, et cetera — so it’s very sophisticated computer work,” he says.

Find your house (there’s a search box) and then click on it. A pop-up will display your address, your total roof area, usable roof area, the potential size of a solar installation and the projected annual savings in dollars.

The map is part of NVRC’s regional effort with the nonprofit Local Energy Alliance Program to promote renewable energy through Solarize NoVA.

Since Solarize NoVA’s inception in the fall of 2014, 85 contracts for new solar PV arrays have been signed, worth about $2.3 million. Solarize NoVA, which works only with Virginia-based solar contractors, says the program has increased the amount of solar power used in Virginia by 6 percent over 2013.

“It is meant to take the mystery out of solar, and we work with local contractors on a bulk discount purchases to give homeowners and business owners the best potential price,” Lazaro said.

Read more about the project, and see your own house’s solar potential,

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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