In an article for the Denver Business Journal, Cathy Proctor tells Denver and Colorado Springs residents they too can take advantage of the technology. Project Sunroof uses Google Earth images to estimate the amount of sun on a given roof to determine the amount of solar residents could obtain with solar panels. It also estimates how much the solar panels would cost either upfront or over the term of a lease.
The program estimated that the solar power system for the Denver home would cost about $16,000 — after taking the 30 percent federal solar power Investment Tax Credit — if purchased outright, and how that compared to paying for it via a loan, or leasing it from a third party, such as companies that offer little or no money down options and stretch out the lease payments over the years.
The program also calculated how much electricity would be purchased from the utility — in addition to the power from the solar panels. Over 20 years,Google Sunroof figures that the Denver homeowner would buy $2,953 worth of electricity from the local utility, assuming prices for that power would rise 2.2 percent every year.