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At this very moment there's a team of dudes on our roof equipping us to harness the power of the sun. All said and done, Cartegraph's new solar setup will save our company approximately 10% annually on electricity costs (even more if electricity costs happen to spike).

I know, I know. 10% percent isn't exactly an eye-popping number. But when you're paying to power an entire facility, every bit helps (a few renewable energy tax subsidies never hurt, either). But if we think beyond the bottom line nature of business, there's a factor that defies numbers — doing the right thing. 

For us, this solar setup is our latest example of practicing what we preach. A big part of Cartegraph's mission is to help businesses and organizations become more sustainable. That's why we design and build technology that helps users manage operations intelligently and eliminate waste — of money, time, resources, and more.

It's unfortunate that the clean energy conversation got lost in the bitterness of this last election cycle. In the big scheme of things, it was definitely a conversation worth having. But even without the attention, the clean energy effort has remained alive and well and at the top of many peoples' minds. Case-in-point: the City of Cambridge, Massachusetts. 

Just last year, Cambridge teamed with the Sustainable Design Lab at MIT in the development of a web application that helps Cambridge residents understand how much a solar setup might cost for their business and/or home, and how much money they might save in doing so.

If you're a fan of sustainability, the effort, in and of itself, is very cool. What's even cooler, though, is that the app uses satellite mapping to demonstrate how effective a given address is at soaking-up sun. Sustainability is, after all, a not-so-distant cousin of practicality. And with this information,  businesses and home owners are equipped to make practical decisions about whether their building is good candidate for solar. 

Click here to read more about the project and the city's Solar Tool. You can even check out the app itself on the City of Cambridge's website.

What do you think; are there sunny days ahead for solar powered buildings in your region? Are those days already here? We'd love to hear your thoughts.
Editor's Note: This post was originally published in January, 2013.

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