London homeowners now have a tool to see if solar panels fit and mean energy savings

The tool is an online map called MyHEAT Solar, which allows Londoners to identify benefits and costs associated with solar panel installation, with data specific to their home.

The website includes links to London Hydro for additional information, and a grant page for possible rebates

Solar panels installed on a house in northern Alberta. Demand for solar installations is surging across Canada, according to the Canadian Renewable Energy Association, an industry group that represents 300 companies involved in wind, solar and energy storage. (Submitted by Tera Born)

The City of London has launched a new online tool designed to help homeowners decide if solar panels are a viable option for their power needs.

The tool is an online map called MyHEAT Solar, which allows Londoners to identify benefits and costs associated with solar panel installation, with data specific to their home.

"We really want to engage and inspire Londoners to take action to reduce their emissions," said Jamie Skimming, manager of energy and climate change for the City of London.

The map, developed by MyHEAT and Google, uses Google Maps and other technologies like aerial imagery to identify the energy potential of homes in the city through tracking weather patterns, orientation of rooftops, and the position of the sun in the sky relative to homes at any given moment.

This data is used to provide relevant information to Londoners about the impact solar panel installation might have on both their wallets, and the environment.

Users can enter their address to find their home. When their home is selected, the website will then display important metrics specific to measurements taken directly from the map, including a suggested installation size tailored to the user's monthly electrical bill, and the size of their roof.

The website outlines additional details such as upfront costs for installation, number of years until the panels are paid off, and total savings after 25 years of operation. It also includes how many tonnes of carbon dioxide would be offset, as well as the number of equivalent trees planted, and how many cars' worth of emissions that counts for.

A screenshot from the MyHEAT solar map for the City of London.
A screenshot from the MyHEAT solar map for the City of London. (MyHEAT website)

"When we look at our local greenhouse gas emission sources here in London, single family homes are our second largest source of emissions," Skimming said.

These greenhouse gas emissions can be cut significantly when solar panels are installed on a home, something Skimming says makes them a good way for Londoners to contribute to the municipal Climate Emergency Action Plan. 

He adds, even the simple sight of a neighbour's solar panels can put environmentalism top of mind for some people.

Solar surge

When Londoners are asked about what they would like to do to pitch in to the climate plan with their actions, solar panels are usually top of mind for homeowners, said Skimming.

"Kind of like buying an electric vehicle or buying an E-bike," he added.

Rooftop solar power generation is on the rise across Canada. MyHEAT has websites set up in both Edmonton and Fredericton, and the City of Calgary made a similar tool available in April 2022.

In 2021 during and interview with CBC News, Nicholas Gall, a director at the Canadian Renewable Energy Association, said demand for solar installations is on a meteoric rise. Data from his association showed that commercial and residential solar generation has grown from enough to power a few hundred homes a decade ago, to enough to power more than 100,000 homes.

The City of London hopes to use data collected from users' interactions with the MyHEAT map to measure and quantify the demand for solar energy in London. 

Once users identify their home on the map, Skimming says links to London Hydro and the Canada Greener Homes Grant page are listed on the website. These resources provide next steps for Londoners hoping to move forward with installation.

The MyHEAT solar map for London can be found at this link:


Alessio Donnini


Alessio is a Sarnia-born, London-raised multimedia journalist. Graduating from Fanshawe College's Broadcast Journalism program, he's worked in markets from Toronto to Windsor, and has a love for all things news. Alessio can be heard on weekday afternoons reading the news for Afternoon Drive. In his free time, he can be found enjoying a good book, watching a documentary, or learning to cook a new recipe.


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