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Report: Best States for Home Solar Are In the East

A report that ranks the 50 states by “friendliness to rooftop solar” finds that, for 2019, the top four are MassachusettsNew JerseyRhode Island, and Maryland, plus Washington, D.C.

Solar Power Rocks (SPR), an organization in Portland, Ore., that collects and disseminates information for homeowners about state and national solar policy, incentives, and financial estimates, announced Jan. 16 that its 2019 State Solar Power Rankings Report is based on “friendliness to residential solar installations.” Each state is awarded letter grades for a dozen factors that contribute to overall solar-friendliness, including renewable energy mandates, tax breaks and available solar incentives. The factors are weighted by their importance and overall A-through-F grades are tallied for each state.

“2019 is shaping up to be a watershed year for solar power in the United States,” said Ben Zientara, SPR’s lead policy analyst. “The industry weathered 2018’s tariffs on solar equipment, and now, facing the beginning of the end for the federal solar tax credits, several states have taken the lead in ensuring a positive future for solar homeowners.”

2019 marks the 11th anniversary of the State Solar Power Rankings Report, in which SPR staff calculates example return-on-investment numbers for each state. New for 2019, the calculations are based on average household electricity usage numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration and estimates of solar production from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PVWatts tool.

The numbers provide customized estimates of average system size for each state, allowing SPR to more accurately provide projections for simple payback time, internal rate of return and net present value.

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