Berkeley residents and businesses can now get free solar energy consulting services from the City of Berkeley and Community Energy Services Corporation.
The new program, SmartSolar, will help consumers understand and adopt energy efficiency and solar technologies by providing information on available technology, project planning, cost, and financing; an online solar mapping tool to estimate their building’s solar potential; and free project-specific advice on how to best utilize that potential. Berkeley’s work to promote this solar deployment is a result of Berkeley’s designation as a U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Solar America City.
The online solar map, is an important educational outreach resource designed by CH2M HILL that will help residents and businesses reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. The solar map identifies all the existing solar PV installations in Berkeley, as well as allowing residents and business owners to instantly assess the solar PV potential of their homes and places of business. Building owners in Berkeley can log on, view their rooftops, calculate the available square footage for panels, get an estimate of the potential electricity and natural gas savings, and get detailed information on tax rebates available for solar installations. The solar map accurately reflects elements such as rooftop structures, the slant of the roof, and shading from obstructions, and takes into account the angle of the sun for PV panel placement.