Still, while solar-adorned roofs aren’t as rare of a sight as they used to be in this part of the country, they aren’t nearly as common as they should be considering the financial benefits of going solar. That’s why we were interested to see a new analysis of cities with untapped solar potential in the northeast, courtesy of Redfin and Sun Number – a Department of Energy-funded startup that uses satellite imaging to formulate a “Sun Number” that reflects the solar generating potential of a given site.
The analysis combines a list of cities with an average Sun Number of 70 or above (on a scale of 1-100) with Redfin’s database of home listings featuring “solar panels” in the description, creating a “Top 10” of the cities with the lowest percentage of homes mentioning solar. While the results are obviously not definitive, they are an eye-opener, with a number of major cities likely underachieving their solar potential.
For those of you scoring at home, that list includes the four largest cities in New York outside the New York City metro area, the largest city in New Jersey, and the state capitals of Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Rhode Island! That’s serious untapped potential, especially considering the fact that the combination of the highest utility electricity rates in the country plus supportive solar policies in most of these states can make the economics of going solar particularly attractive.
Not only that, but going solar adds value to your home. The Redfin analysis offers further evidence for this, as houses in these cities that do mention “solar panels” are fetching major premiums. For example, in Newark the median sale price for solar home listings is $345,050, compared to an overall median price of $191,000. While this may be due in part to factors beyond solar panels (e.g. house size, age, condition, other amenities, etc), a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found significant premiums for solar home sales in every part of the country even when controlling for other factors.
Of course, while the analysis presented by Redfin and Sun Number is helpful in spotlighting which cities are behind the curve on solar, it doesn’t help you determine whether or not your home is right for solar.
Fortunately, Trinity is a major solar installer in almost all of these states, and we’ve got some pretty nifty tools of our own to quickly assess whether solar might make sense for you. Click here to get started with a free solar quote!