Panasonic has teamed with cloud platform company ezzingSolar to extend upon its virtual solar mapping and offer an online, ‘try before you buy’ equivalent.

The “simulate your solar system” tool takes a user’s address, roof characteristics and energy consumption to produce an estimate of certain specifics regarding a potential solar installation.

The tool can provide homeowners with the required investment, the returns and savings on household bills, allowing them to make an informed decision on a potential installation. Once the simulation has been run, users can then request a free quote from a Panasonic-accredited installer.

Panasonic launched its in-store simulation service in May last year. The new tool is available to UK homeowners now and is to be rolled out across Europe in the coming weeks.

“By giving consumers control over how they are introduced to solar with data-driven, real-time estimates, we believe that this platform will undoubtedly drive Europe-wide demand for residential rooftop solar for next year and beyond,” said Daniel Roca, senior business developer at Panasonic Eco Solutions Europe.

Internet giant Google worked alongside US domestic installer Vivint Solar to launch a similar online solar calculator for homeowners in US cities of Boston, Fresno, California and San Francisco in August last year, before extending the service to 15 metropolitan areas earlier this month.