If you’re thinking of moving to a place with a lower cost of living, are you factoring energy prices into your decision? Typically, expensive states (on average) like New York and California — as well as many New England states — historically have the highest costs per kilowatt hour for conventional electric. Northwestern states tend to have the overall lowest energy costs.
But there’s good news for homeowners considering solar electric power. Some of the states with the highest rates for conventional electricity make the list of the top 20 states for cheapest solar power installations. Since the price of a solar PV array is the main cost associated with solar energy, that means you’ll save a lot of money if you live in, for instance, New York or California, and decide to install a solar system on your rooftop.
The pricing differences have to do with local costs, competition in the marketplace, and state incentives available to homeowners who switch to solar power.
How Much Can You Save with Solar?
Typically, you can expect to cut your energy bills in half with a solar PV array, but this figure varies widely. If you live in a state with high electric costs but the price to install a solar array is relatively low, you could save even more.
The Cheapest State for Solar
So where’s the best place to be if you want to pay less for your solar PV array? According to the Q3 2010 report from U.S. Solar Market Insight (published by the Solar Energy Industries Association and GTM Research), it’s Colorado.
Colorado tops the list of states for cheap solar power with an average installed price of $5.90 per watt. In fact, Colorado is the only state where you’ll pay less than $6 per watt. Wisconsin brings up the rear with solar PV installations costing $7.55 /watt. California and New Jersey hover in the middle of the pack at $6.71 and $6.75, respectively, while New York is a respectable $7.10.
Where Does Your State Rank for Residential Solar Energy Costs?
Where does your state fall in terms of costs for residential solar PV installations? Check out the chart at right to find out. If your state isn’t on the list, don’t despair. The really good news, as shown by the U.S. Solar Market Insight report, is that solar PV installations continue to drop in price across the country.
That doesn’t mean you should wait to install your solar PV array. After all, it’s always a good time to begin saving money. Why continue paying too much for your home’s electricity when you can join tens of thousands of homeowners, and even more businesses, who rely on solar power for at least part of their energy needs?
Stay tuned for more state-by-state insight on solar, and to find an installer near you, get your free customized solar savings report now.