Why we're getting all hot and bothered about solar energy!
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or happen to be a vampire), you know that Florida has the reputation of being the sunshine state. Between having a subtropical climate, Tampa averaging 244 days with sun, and the license plates, we totally earn the moniker. So, we’re always kind of surprised by how many people around here don’t know about or aren’t interested in solar power.
Solar power’s cool factor has gotten a huge boost recently. We’re no longer talking Captain Planet (though we think he’s ah-mazing) cool levels, but Tesla cool. No seriously, we’re talking Tesla Solar Roofs. Announced in October 2016, Elon Musk did the impossible, he made solar sexy. And that is a good thing, especially for sunny Florida. While Tesla has its competitors, this is the first time that people are realizing that solar doesn’t just have to be bulky panels covering your roof. Right now, Tesla has four different tile types, including “Tuscan” which looks a lot like the clay tile roofs we see EVERYWHERE.
So it surprised us when we were recently talking with a new home builder that they completely dismissed the idea of solar. “Too expensive, not worth it.” Was the basic take away from that conversation. And that got us thinking, there should be an easy way to find out what solar roofs/panels would cost and how much we could benefit ($$ in our piggy bank) from it. Turns out Google already answered that!
Google’s Project Sunroof basically took their data from Google Maps and adds local weather info to determine how much solar “potential” your home has. Let’s be honest it’s way more complicated than that (they also include electricity rates, incentives data, pricing data, & Solar Renewable Energy Credit data), but for the end user (Us!) it’s a simple as typing in your address. That’s not creepy at all is it? It also tells you how expensive it would be to install solar on your roof (with tax credits), if you’ll save enough money to make it worth it, and includes a list of local providers.
According to Google, a roof has solar potential when:
1) It receives enough sunlight
2) Is large enough
Tampa is actually a prime location for solar power. Google estimates 79% of roofs in our fair city have potential for solar panels. That means if everyone who could have solar, had solar, we could reduce CO2 emissions by 1.6 million metric tons. Need a better visual? That would basically be like taking 335K cars off the road for a year. 79% is also the average for the ENTIRE country. If you want more info on that check out this article.
Trust us we know there is huge room for improvement with solar energy, but we’re kinda excited by what we’re seeing. Curious as to what the future holds for Florida and solar power? Check out this article that discusses 2016's failed solar power amendment (which was a good thing!) & what we can expect to see. Have you considered solar?