CITY WEBSITE allows San Franciscans to learn solar power need to power their homes, businesses

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By Matt Wynkoop
Bay City News

San Francisco expanded efforts to promote alternative energies today by launching a new solar mapping web portal that estimates solar energy potential for city homes and businesses.

The new website allows home and building owners to estimate the potential savings and environmental relief that would result from installing solar energy panels on the roofs of their buildings, according to a spokesman for the San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom.

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By entering a San Francisco address into the web portal, users can retrieve a solar potential analysis that produces a breakdown of property square-footage and the amount of savings likely to result from installing solar panels on a structure’s rooftop.

Solar panel installation by customer choice of companies comes with a discount of up to 40% and a $2,000 Federal Tax Credit.

The solar map uses Google maps to take into account rooftop angles and nearby shade producing trees or buildings, said San Francisco Department of the Environment director Jared Blumenfeld.

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Jared Blumenfeld, left

Users are provided with information estimating the amount of solar photovoltaic energy that could be generated from each roof, as well as the potential electricity cost savings resulting from installation, according to Blumenfeld.

The solar mapping also estimates potential carbon dioxide/greenhouse gas reduction resulting from the installation of a solar PV system, according to a statement from Newsom’s office. Studies and testimonianls from other San Francisco businesses and homeowners who have installed solar PV systems are also available on the site.

“This new website is an easily applicable way to make solar more tangible and accessible to everyday community-members,” San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newson said. “Residents and businesses can determine whether specific photovoltaic projects will pencil out, which is the first step to getting more renewable energy in the city.”

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The project has been a partnership between Colorado-based CH2M HILL Enterprise Management Solutions and the City and County of San Francisco.

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