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10 best states for going solar in 2024

What are the best places in the US to use solar energy? What makes solar panels pay off better in a particular place to begin with? In this article, we’ll look at the 10 best states for going solar in 2024 and explain what makes them so good.

High bills + A lot of sun + Solar incentives = Best state for solar

Let’s break down the reasons for which a state ends up in our Top 10. The most obvious one is the amount of sunlight that the area offers. While it is significant, some states in the list are quite cloudy. That’s because it is not only important how much energy you get but also how much you earn from it.

Electricity prices in the area are the most important factor for a state to be good for solar energy. The higher your bill is, the faster a solar system pays off. If the state offers a good net metering program, which is selling your extra solar energy into the grid, your savings are going to be even higher.

We decided against putting states in a particular order — with several factors at play, it gets too subjective

Finally, solar incentives and programs from the government and utilities are what help a state to get into the Top 10. These programs can be different: tax credits and exemptions, rebates, solar grants, and loans at a low interest rate.

Read also:

Califonia — Solar haven

California historically has been the most important state for solar energy development in the United States. The state is not leaving the Top 10 any time soon.

Solar systems get around 5.6 peak sun hours throughout the year on average. After all, sunny weather has earned California the nickname “Land of Sunshine” which it shares with Florida. High electricity prices are what ensure a good payback on solar panels in California. The average monthly bill for Los Angeles floats around $220 — much higher than the average $150 across the country.

NEM 3.0 doubled payback time of PV system in California

Net metering at full retail rate was the main reason California became the best state for solar and the leader in adopting solar systems in the US. Net Energy Metering 3.0 (NEM) approved on December 15, 2022, reduced net metering compensation rates by around 75%. New customers are compensated at an avoided cost rate instead of the full retail rate — California transitioned from net metering to net billing. The new policy increased the payback time of a solar system in the state from 4-5 years to 5-10 years.

While NEM 3.0 is a big hit to the idea of California being the leader of adopting solar energy in the US, it’s not nearly enough to make it miss the Top 10. The state still has all the ingredients for being the right place to go solar: sunlight, high bills and solar programs. You can read more about them in our article on California solar incentives.

Check out solar panels near you!

Looking to build a home solar system? Check out solar panels that we have for sale in California

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Florida — Land of storms and sunshine

Florida gets 5.6 peak sun hours a day on average throughout the year. In summer solar panels work at full capacity for more than 6 hours a day. What’s most important is how expensive electricity is in Florida. The residents spend around $230 per month on electric bills. That’s 40% higher than the US average electric bill of $150. A system of solar panels in Florida that fully covers your consumption could bring you around $2,500 per year. After 4-6 years with this solar installation, you may already break even.

Florida is affected by a tropical storm or hurricane every 3-5 years

What stands out about Florida is the unpredictable weather. Every 3-5 years a hurricane comes to the East Coast. Luckily, most solar panels are made to withstand winds of 140 mph speed and higher. With a battery backup, your house will retain power even when power lines are down.

Solar is cheaper with incentives

Want to know how to make a switch to solar energy easier in Florida? Check out our article on solar programs!

Florida solar incentives

New York — Even though the skies are cloudy

Who would’ve thought that cloudy Big Apple would make it to this list? New York may not be the sunniest state in the country but solar panels pay off quite well there.

The secret is high electricity prices. The average electric bill in the state reaches $180, higher than the average across the US. In New York City, it goes over $200-210.

Solar panels in New York get around 4.6 peak sun hours on average throughout the year: a little less in winter and more in summer. Even though they don’t work as hard as their partners in crime in other states, they earn a lot of money and that’s what counts. You can make the payback even better by making use of New York solar incentives.

Texas — Future of American solar

Texas produces more than 12% of all the solar energy in the United States. It is the second state with the most solar power in the country, right after California. It is not going to stay runner-up for long: SEIA expects Texas to take the lead in installed PV capacity in the US by 2028.

One big reason for this is that Texas gets a lot of sunlight. It has 135 clear days each year and about 5.7 hours of strong sunlight every day. Being in the southern part of the country helps too, as it gets plenty of peak sun hours in both summer (up to 6.3 in August) and winter (at least 4.1 in December). With a 7-kilowatt solar system, you can generate more than 30 kWh of electricity per day for half the year, enough to power a medium-sized house completely.

Solar is cheaper with incentives

Want to know how to make a switch to solar energy easier in Texas? Check out our article on solar programs!

Texas solar incentives

Massachusetts — Land of high electric bills

Massachusetts is a cloudy state with high electricity prices. In fact, the state has one of the highest average bills with an electric rate reaching $0.30 per kilowatt-hour. Some Massachusetts residents pay over $280 per month just for electricity. Bringing it down to zero is too tempting of an idea to not to try solar power. Solar incentives in Massachusetts make the switch easier — be sure to read our article about it.

Solar panels in Massachusetts get around 4.5 peak sun hours on average. National Climatic Data Center indicates that about 58% of daylight hours in Massachusetts annually are sunny. While there are cloudier states, we recommend getting solar panels with good performance in cloudy conditions such as Canadian Solar or Q CELLS solar panels in Massachusetts.

Hawaii — Possibly the best payback

Hawaii is the state with the most expensive electricity and it's not even close. The average electric rate for Hawaii residents exceeded 40 cents per kilowatt-hour. All the better for solar owners. The state receives over 6 peak sun hours on average throughout the year so a solar system is going to produce a lot of electricity. In theory, you could get the fastest payback on a solar system in Hawaii of 3 years whereas the average across the US is 7-8 years.

3 years

possible payback time of a solar system in Hawaii

The problem with solar panels in Hawaii is getting them. A solar system in Hawaii is usually a bit more expensive than in the rest of the United States. Shipping of the equipment may also take longer. Don’t forget that Hawaii residents are eligible for a 30% Solar Tax Credit, just like the rest of the US residents.

Solar is cheaper with incentives

Want to know how to make a switch to solar energy easier in Hawaii? Check out our article on solar programs!

Hawaii solar incentives

Arizona — More sun that you can use

The big benefit of a solar system in Arizona is the sheer amount of electricity you get from it. The state receives over 6.6 peak sun hours throughout the year on average. A 7-kilowatt solar system could generate over 40 kilowatt-hours of electricity in a day — more than enough for an average household.

The amount of sun that Arizona gets has its downsides. Solar panels work worse when it gets too hot and you may see a 5-15% performance drop on a hot summer day. Learn more about the temperature coefficient of solar panels and how to minimize power losses caused by heat.

Check out solar panels near you!

Looking to build a home solar system? Check out solar panels that we have for sale in Arizona

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North Carolina — Keeping up with leaders

North Carolina ranks 4th in the SEIA list of states with the highest installed solar capacity — the state has over 8,000 Megawatts of solar power. Almost 9% of electricity in the state comes from photovoltaics. It makes sense: the state invests heavily in renewable energy and the citizens get to enjoy North Carolina solar incentives.

The state gets around 5.1 throughout the year on average. The average electric bill in North Carolina goes to around $180. The payback time is slightly longer than average and takes about 8 to 12 years.

Check out solar panels near you!

Looking to build a home solar system? Check out solar panels that we have for sale in North Carolina

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Colorado — Sunny all around

Colorado combines in itself an area with lots of sunlight in it, moderately expensive electricity and enough solar incentives to make a PV system an attractive investment. The state receives about 5.8 peak sun hours on average throughout the year. The average electric bill reaches $140-$150.

The programs that the state offers for solar residents include property tax exemption, sales tax exemption and rebates from utility companies. Of course, you should also make use of the Solar Tax Credit as well. Read more in our article on Colorado solar incentives.

Connecticut — Just the bills alone

Connecticut is quite boring in terms of potential for solar energy per se. It’s way up north, it’s cloudy and it doesn’t have a lot going on in terms of support for those who desire to go solar. But — and it’s a very strong ‘but’ — its electric rates are second only to Hawaii. Connecticut residents were paying over 31 cents for kilowatt-hour of electricity in 2023. With a monthly cosumption of 900 kilowatt-hours, the monthly bill reaches $280.

Say, you have a 7-kilowatt solar system on top of your house in Connecticut. With the average number of 4.5 peak sun hours throughout the year, a system generates about 30 kilowatt-hours per day and earns you $9 a day. That’s why the average payback of a system in Connecticut is 5-6 years.

Check out solar panels near you!

Looking to build a home solar system? Check out solar panels that we have for sale in Connecticut.

Shop solar panels
Andrey Gorichenski
Senior Editor

Andrey had been a news editor and freelance writer for a number of medias before joining A1SolarStore team. Climate change and its impact on people's lives has always been among his interests and it partially explains his degree in Philosophy and Ethics.

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