County Launches Solar Map Upgrade; LA County Solar Map and Green Planning Tool

New features include upgraded calculator with cost benefit analysis, and the addition of solar hot water and efficiency projects.  Mobile access to solar information is also added.

(Los Angeles, Oct. 17, 2012) – Los Angeles County and Energy Upgrade California are pleased to announce the launch of the LA County Solar Map and Green Planning Tool, the next upgrade to the award winning LA County Solar Map website.

The site brings new visualization and analysis tools for residents and businesses interested in “going green” to reduce energy costs and carbon emissions.  Local businesses that install green projects can use the tools to identify properties with the best potential for outreach.

“The site provides a single source for information about solar electricity, hot water and energy efficiency projects, and personalized information about their property, including where panels would go and what their production and savings could be,” said Howard Choy, manager of the L.A. County Office of Sustainability.  “It also allows the public to access Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles County through the Green Planning Tool, and connect with solar and energy project installers.”

Recent updates to the map include an improved user interface, graphical ‘calculators’ detailing costs, savings and payback for solar systems,  addition of detailed rooftop shading visualization for panel placement, a birds-eye view option for inspecting rooftops, mobile access to solar data and printable property-level solar reports.

At the heart of the site is the largest high-resolution solar model in the world, covering  more than 3,000 square miles and including over 250 million calculations of solar potential including the impacts of trees, roof pitch and features, and nearby buildings.  The new site, developed by Critigen, BKi & Renewable Funding,  shows the County’s commitment remain at the forefront of improving the lives of County residents and businesses through the cutting-edge use of technology.

A major enhancement to the site is the new cost/benefit calculator, which estimates the cost, payback time, and cost savings over 25 years.  Interactive graphs allow users to change the interest rate and system size and see the impacts on cost and payback.  Users can then find qualified installers from the County’s Contractor Directory.

In partnership with Energy Upgrade California in Los Angeles, the new LA County Solar Map and Green Planning Tool also recommends and informs citizens on efficiency projects and associated cost savings to those projects like adding insulation, installing energy efficient heating and cooling systems, and insulating pipes and ducts.

A free iOS and Android mobile application allows solar potential to be accessed on the go, so that users and installation professionals can view solar potential in the field.

The first solar map for La County was launched on Earth day 2009 and this release will mark the 3rdversion of the LA County Solar Map.

“This application has evolved to provide citizens with new interactive tools that allow them to gain insight into cost savings and return on investment information for their solar rooftop, solar hot water, and energy efficiency projects quickly,” Choy said.