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By Simon Turner
From his blog: How Google Maps can be used to make solar power decisions for your home
As energy prices continue to climb, the idea of utilizing solar energy is common sense. The process of getting solar panels installed, however, is quite the opposite.
RoofRay, a new Californian business, aims to give homeowners better information to enable them to make more-informed environmental decisions for their luxury home. Using the site’s modeling tools, consumers can estimate how much solar energy a home could capture and how that would affect their monthly bills.
The data provided is based upon historical weather conditions, current power usage charges, the gradient of the property, and the maximum amount of solar paneling the roof can hold. One tool uses Google Maps to let users calculate the size of their roof and build virtual panels. RoofRay then estimates the output potential of the solar panels as well as financial considerations like costs of installation, upkeep and return on investment.
Whilst not yet available in Australia, such a tool would be a welcome addition to our growing eco-conscience and our excessive reliance on fossil fuels. Furthermore, it would be useful for would-be real-estate buyers in making purchase decisions, something that the Marquette Turner team is increasingly finding is a factor in how and where buyers buy.
To find out the latest information available in Australia, a good start is the federal government’s portal www.climatechange.gov.au and Marquette Turner’s Clear the Air site
Simon Turner is the co-Founder and Director of Marquette Turner Luxury Homes, a member of Luxury Real Estate in East Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Founded on Australia Day 2007 by Turner and Michael Marquette, Marquette Turner is a property consultancy company covering the Australian states of New South Wales and Victoria. Born in England, Turner traveled much as a child, finally settling in Australia. He joined the Australian Defence Force Academy and graduated with a degree in Politics and History as an Intelligence Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force. This is a very fascinating topic. Jean-Yves Piton actually wrote a blog entry on “green” luxury real estate a little while ago, too. I just finished writing an article on “green” luxury properties for the winter 2009 issue of LuxuryRealEstate.com Magazine.
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