SAN MATEO, Calif. — SolarCity® has unveiled Energy Explorer™, a new software service that provides homeowners a self-guided tour of their energy use to help them find areas for improvement.

Powered by the company’s proprietary algorithms, Energy Explorer performs more than 100 million calculations per household to pinpoint the source of inefficiencies and rank possible improvements by cost and savings. New SolarCity residential solar customers will have free access to the software, and will receive complimentary efficiency evaluations with their solar site assessments.

“Traditional efficiency audits generalize energy expenses, fail to pinpoint the source of problems, and leave consumers guessing about possible solutions. It’s like providing a symptom without a diagnosis,” said Peter Rive, SolarCity’s co-founder and chief technology officer. “Energy Explorer isolates the sources of energy expenses and analyzes the specific impact of solutions. With Energy Explorer, SolarCity has changed a process that used to require four hours and cost hundreds of dollars into a free service that takes a few minutes and the single click of a mouse.”

The Energy Explorer software operates as follows:

1. After a homeowner signs up for solar, a SolarCity expert evaluates the customer’s home for solar. The expert also records information related to energy use. This includes details about the heating and cooling equipment, water heater, insulation levels, and window types.

2. Energy Explorer combines data from the evaluation with local weather information, a three-dimensional model of the building, and a Department of Energy database of equipment efficiencies to run a simulation of energy use in the home. The result is a breakdown of energy costs and potential efficiency improvements, including estimated savings and project costs.

3. Following the evaluation, the customer can access a personalized website for a self-guided tour of evaluation results. The customer can select from a list of improvements and choose to be contacted by a certified contractor to perform upgrades.

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Publication date: 7/8/2013

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