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Sungevity wanted to avoid the traditional cost, liability, and management overhead of traveling to customers' homes to measure rooftops to calculate estimates for solar energy systems. To make solar energy affordable and accessible to "Every homeowner with a view of the sun," the company uses Microsoft Virtual Earth mapping technology to capture roof dimensions remotely. At Sungevity.com, customers type in their address, identify their rooftop from an aerial photo, and get a free online quote, usually within 24 hours. The company provides estimates around 27 days faster than the industry standard and at only 20 percent of the usual cost, and cut the price of a new solar system by around 10 percent.
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