Enter your address and you can instantly see how suitable your roof is for solar panels or a solar water heater. That is the principle of the solar map. The map shows how a roof scores for solar energy and how much an installation will cost and yield.

Custom advice

One in eight buildings in Flanders has solar panels or a solar water heater. Yet there are still many owners with a sunny roof who do not realise the opportunity they are missing. The solar map shows the potential of these roofs. The solar map can easily be consulted at www.energiesparen.be/zonnekaart.

Users enter an address and can immediately see on a map whether their roof is ideal (green colour), usable (yellow) or limited to not usable (orange) for the installation of solar panels and/or a solar water heater. The tool also calculates the price and the payback time (based on your actual household consumption) and shows the annual savings on energy costs and CO2 emissions.

For the development of this tool, the researchers based themselves on the Large-Scale Reference Database of Information Flanders, which contains the location of each building in Flanders. Aircrafts with laser recording equipment mapped the height of houses and landscape elements. This information was linked to measurements from the Royal Meteorological Institute to model the annual solar radiation for each roof. In December 2017, Agoria (the association for technology companies in Belgium) awarded the solar map the eGOV prize for Open Data.