By Glenn Volk, August 11, 2014

The Solar Crowd: Saving the Planet One Roof at a Time

I grew up on a farm in Kentucky. Even though we were close to the land, our energy practices weren’t exactly “green.”

But it didn’t dawn on me how behind the times we were until I moved to California. Since then, our farm has transformed and my pops has even installed a massive 80 watt solar panel on top of our barn. We use this 45 x 110 foot behemoth to power our equipment, our home and even some of our neighbors.

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My family’s evolved outlook has coincided with growing American affinity for solar power over the past few years. As such, countless solar installation companies have emerged to get homeowners up and running. To help drive sales, these companies either partner with utilities companies, rely on inbound leads, or employ a force of outside sales reps. With thousands of rooftop data points to sort through, data enrichment platforms, such as CrowdFlower, offer an excellent solution to identify buildings that are best suited for solar panels.

Over the past year, a number of companies have leveraged CrowdFlower for this exact task.  By analyzing address locations on Google maps we make it easy for these companies to qualify prospects.  

Among other tasks, a critical qualifier for solar installation is how shaded the property is from trees or other structures. To determine this, a CrowdFlower job is setup to observe an overhead view of a property on Google Maps. Our contributors look at the photo and identify how much of a roof is shaded with overhanging trees or anything that can block out direct sunlight. This job disqualifies many structures due to the fact that the available roof won’t have enough direct sunlight for solar panels to be cost effective. If a property passes than the sales reps have some critical information to go on.

You can take a look at the job here:


Why is this method so effective?

Using the crowd to qualify whether a property is suitable for solar panels is simple, fast, and cost-effective. Thousands of man hours are saved in the map analysis and time that sales reps would spend driving around to disqualified properties.

We’re excited at the prospect of supporting the growth of the solar industry as in continues to accelerate!