We all live under the same sun, but some places get a lot more sun-love than others. The Northeast region of the United States might seem like one of those places that is lacking in the sunlight department when compared to areas like the West Coast, but there is actually a lot of untapped solar potential in that part of the country.
There are a number of reasons why a homeowner would want to invest in solar panels for their home. While the initial cost of solar panels can be a bit steep (ranging anywhere between $15,000 and $40,000), the panels eventually pay for themselves over time, as the use of solar energy can significantly decrease the cost of utility bills. Solar panels also increase the value of a home. “Buying a solar energy system will likely increase your home’s value. A recent study found that solar panels are viewed as upgrades, just like a renovated kitchen or a finished basement, and home buyers across the country have been willing to pay a premium of about $15,000 for a home with an average-sized solar array. Additionally, there is evidence homes with solar panels sell faster than those without,” according to the Department of Energy. These days there are many cost effective options for going solar.
So, Redfin teamed up with Sun Number, to find out which U.S. cities have the most untapped solar potential. Sun Number is a U.S. Dept. of Energy SunShot-funded startup that has developed a patented, automated process for analyzing the solar potential of rooftops using a Sun Number scale from 1 to 100. “Sun Number scores make it easy for homeowners and homebuyers to understand the solar potential of their current or future home, and Sun Number is committed to working with real estate companies like Redfin to make the scores widely available,” says Sun Number co-founder David Herrmann.
To come up with the list, Sun Number looked at cities with an average Sun Number above 70 in the Northeast region and then Redfin looked at those areas with the lowest percentage of homes mentioning “solar panels” in the listing description to come up with the top 10 cities for untapped solar potential. These areas would benefit greatly from investing in solar panels, but have not embraced the energy source like other areas of the U.S. Redfin found that listings in this region that do mention “solar power” sell at a price premium.
Here are the top 10 U.S. cities in the Northeast region with the most untapped solar potential:
Median Sale Price: $139,400
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $329,000
Average Sun Number: 79
Median Sale Price: $107,000
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $136,500
Average Sun Number: 80
3. Syracuse, NY
Median Sale Price: $95,000
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $262,500
Average Sun Number: 84
Median Sale Price: $173,000
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $215,000
Average Sun Number: 82
5. Buffalo, NY
Median Sale Price: $108,000
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $200,000
Average Sun Number: 83
6. Boston, MA
Median Sale Price: $450,000
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $629,251
Average Sun Number: 71
7. Newark, NJ
Median Sale Price: $191,000
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $345,050
Average Sun Number: 76
8. Augusta, ME
Median Sale Price: $115,450
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $153,500
Average Sun Number: 75
9. Albany, NY
Median Sale Price: $171,495
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $243,750
Average Sun Number: 81
10. Concord, NH
Median Sale Price: $182,500
Median Sale Price for Solar Listings: $290,000
Average Sun Number: 72
To learn more about Sun Number, visit www.sunnumber.com.
NOTE: Keep in mind, not all homes are eligible for solar panel installation, so it is important to talk to a local solar panel company about the process and eligibility.