Solar panels are booming around the world, as homeowners look to have more sustainable energy sources and reduce their dependence on utility companies. Some homeowners have been known to grumble about the appearance of solar panels, thinking that they don’t integrate well into the curb appeal of the rest of the house. Although there are already shingles and all-black panels to look a bit neater, a new company is taking graphic design for solar panels to the next level. Sistine Solar burst onto the scene a few years back by creating camouflaged panels called SolarSkin. Now Sistine Solar is giving control directly to the homeowner.

Sistine’s new online platform, SolarSkin Design Studio, allows homeowners to customize everything about their solar installation. The application is the first of its kind. Homeowners will be able to select a design that naturally blends with the color of their roofs. This gives homeowners great flexibility, whether they have traditional Mediterranean tiles, black shingles, or green roofs. This app basically takes the technology used to create custom laptop or phone skins and transfers it to panels.

One of the best aspects of Sistine’s app is that it helps homeowners estimate the cost of installation in their zip code, as well as the average monthly utility bill. Homeowners can essentially test-drive solar, comparing their monthly bill with the cost of installing solar panels.

This is a welcome development. Turning to solar energy can save most homeowners between 30 – 50% off their average bill, and increase the value of their home. However, as anyone who has considered solar knows, actually getting connected with a solar company can be a difficult process. Usually homeowners are limited to just black of blue panels, and consumers may give up because of the number of phone calls and meetings it takes just to get an estimate.

Ideally, Sistine hopes its Design Studio will encourage more people to make the switch. Having a fun app to play with should certainly cause more people to at least consider solar energy, especially since the Studio allows them to bypass the lengthy phone call and meeting process.

The app is easy to use and makes it easy to estimate costs. Homeowners can track pricing information in real-time while they create their customized look. The site will also help homeowners find complementary options, whether its colors and patterns, warranty packages and monitoring solutions.

If a homeowner decides that they want to move forward with solar, the SolarSkin Design Studio is open for orders. You can order from your mobile phone or from a desktop or laptop. You only need to make a $99 deposit, which is fully refundable, to get a preliminary design for your home. This includes a detailed layout showing where the panels would be installed on the house, LIDAR mapping, a realistic rendering of how the panels will actually look on the house, production figures which are guaranteed by the company, and a guaranteed delivery time of just 90 days or less.

More information about the app can be found at Sistine Solar’s website.

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