New tools have been launched for consumers to find out whether or not they can install solar panels on their property and how much money the technology could save a household in its lifetime.

The useful programmes have been launched by Solar Panels UK, with both the Suitability Checker and the Photovoltaic (PV) Calculator available to access via its website.

Users who take advantage of the suitability checker will be able to see whether or not it is in fact worthwhile to have solar panels installed on their roof. This is judged by how efficient they are estimated to be, on the basis of how long during the day they will be able to capture sunlight for. This can depend on the location of the panels, or the area in which the house is.

The tool is now being rolled out for customers who have accessed to an iPad or IPhone. By selecting the 'Use Current Location' option, a GPS signal will help to define whether or not the property would benefit from a solar PV installation or not. Users can also key in the postcode and the address of the property in question.

Chief executive of APB Media, the company who founded Solar Panels UK, Andy Biggs, said: "Once the property or site has been identified and the satellite imagery utilised to fine tune things, the tool makes use of a performance graph overlay to work out the suitability of a specific area of the roof or site to help the customer identify the most solar efficient spot."

The Solar PV Calculator on the other hand is able to calculate how much money a carbon-efficient energy generation system could save a property.

By using the GPS signal option, the app can work out the average sun time the property can see, and then provide an accurate estimate of how much can be struck off from energy bills in the future.

"We believe that both these tools will prove invaluable to the customer in helping them make the correct decision about the suitability or solar panels," Mr Biggs said.