County launches solar map Web page

It might be a stretch to call it the “dawn” of a new era in solar power. But KPCC’s Nick Roman says the Web site Los Angeles County launched today can help you figure out whether solar panels on your roof will save you money on your electricity bills.

It might be a stretch to call it the “dawn” of a new era in solar power. But KPCC’s Nick Roman says the Web site Los Angeles County launched today can help you figure out whether solar panels on your roof will save you money on your electricity bills.

Nick Roman: Type in your address – with the city and zip code – and you get a satellite photo of your house, along with a pop-up info box. It’ll tell you how big your roof is, how much of it you can use for solar panels, and how much money they’ll save you on electricity in a single year.

Here how the Web page analyzed two homes in L.A. County: A ranch-style house in sunny and sometimes smoggy Monrovia could only handle about 150 square feet of solar panels. But a South L.A. house with a flat roof could handle 875 square feet. The South L.A. house looks like a good candidate for solar panels.

But it all depends on the cost, and that depends on a range of factors – including whether you can fold the cost of installing those solar panels into a home loan. L.A. County’s “solar map” page links to a California Energy Commission calculator that can help you figure out that cost. Here’s the “solar map” Web address: http://lacounty.solarmap.org.

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