Anyone familiar at all with solar power in America knows that California is the leader in solar adoption. The specific locales, however, might not be as well known. The following post, inspired by a recent EcoWatch.com article, will detail exactly where solar is booming in the Golden State.
Any article about solar energy in California should start with the fact that former Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, helped launch the solar boom with the Go Solar California! campaign. This campaign, launched in 2004, set a goal of 1 million solar roofs by 2018. While the campaign might fall short of a million by 2018, the more than half a million total installs so far is a testament to how far solar adoption has come.
Data from the Center for Sustainable Energy (CSE) was drawn upon to discover not only the most solar friendly cities in California, but also the “hottest” solar zip codes.
San Diego County is the official solar power leader of the state. According to CSE, the county has approximately 76,239 homes that have gone solar. An incredible 1 out of every 8 single family homes has solar.
Even more incredibly, the graphic below shows that the top 10 solar zip codes have a solar adoption rate of more than 20 percent on average. This amazing saturation rate means that, in some neighborhoods, 1 out of every 4 homes has a solar panel installation.
The study also mentioned that it’s still early days concerning how a home with a solar panel system will sell. Realtors’ MLS tool still does not include solar power information on listings. However, it is becoming common knowledge that a solar power system adds at least $15,000 to a home’s value, on average. While future sales of solar homes are sure to be quicker if they are owned outright, a recent survey by Berkeley Lab found that sales of homes with solar leases went smoothly.
While California is still, by far, the leading installer of solar panel systems, there’s nothing to stop most of the rest of the country from catching up. For example, there’s no longer any state-based incentives for solar in the Golden State. The same federal tax credit that all 50 states are offered is the only subsidy in California. Many states currently have very solar-friendly policies. It’s lack of awareness that prevents many from realizing the benefits of solar power.
The good news is that word will eventually spread and we’ll see many more solar rooftops all across America real soon.