Among fossil fuel alternatives, solar energy shines! By installing a home solar system, you’ll reduce the effects of pollution and save money on electric bills. Now is the ideal time to switch. Here are the rewards of going solar and the top cities lighting the way.
Environment America advises that US metropolitan centers are quickly transitioning to solar energy. What is the catalyst? Federal, state, and local programs are working collaboratively to make solar power more accessible. By the end of last year, 20 cities accounted for a significant percentage of photovoltaic capacity across the nation. Below are 10 golden leaders and why they’ve chosen solar.
1. Los Angeles, California
The Los Angeles City Council is committed to a fossil-free future, aiming to convert to 100 percent clean energy. It plans to achieve this in stages, 25 percent by the end of 2016 and 33 percent by 2033.
Fueling this momentum are contracts with coal-fired plants due to expire in 2025. The Aliso Canyon gas leak was another influential factor. The massive blowout created a state of emergency, forcing thousands of residents to evacuate. It took four months to gain control over the leak and plug it permanently.
Los Angeles encourages residents to adopt solar with an array of tax breaks, rebates, and incentives. The cost of installing a 5-kilowatt system is reduced by half after applying a city rebate and federal tax credit.
1800 Solar USA will ensure that you receive the maximum rebates and discounts available to you. For the state policies and incentives offered in your locale, visit http://www.dsireusa.org/.
2. San Diego, California
San Diego’s primary reason for going solar was to reduce its steep electric rates, among the highest in the nation. The city also has 70 miles of pristine coastline to protect from polluting fossil fuels. Municipal leaders envision San Diego as solely relying on green energy by 2035. Along with a sunny climate, the city has policies in place to facilitate complete solar conversion.
A 2015 report by Berkeley Lab advises that owning a 3-kilowatt solar system adds an average of $15,000 to your home’s value.
3. Phoenix, Arizona
Three factors prompted Phoenix to go solar – public alarm over global warming, lower installation costs, and technological advances. By the end of 2015, Phoenix had the solar capacity to power over 20,500 homes. An ideal climate also supported the endeavor. Phoenix averages 300 sunny days per year.
Nationwide, installation costs continue to fall. The Solar Energy Industries Association reports that solar conversion expenses have plunged by more than 70 percent over the last decade.
4. Honolulu, Hawaii
Hawaii was quick to adopt solar due to its exorbitant energy costs, triple the national average. A tropical location is a clear advantage. The city has the highest concentration of solar power per person in the US. Its renewable energy goals are 40 percent by 2030 and 100 percent by 2045.
Honolulu residents have several incentives spurring solar use. Among them are state and federal tax credits and a solar access law, protecting their right to installations. Through net metering, residents receive credit for energy they add to the grid.
Net metering rocks in Denver, Colorado! Each month, residents receive either energy or cash for excess power their solar systems generate. Denverites who use less energy than they produce make a profit. Denver is one of seven cities served by 1800 Solar USA.
5. San José, California
San José aims to obtain 100 percent of its electrical power from renewable sources. The city is one-quarter of the way to this goal. Its green vision is supported by the desire to save money and lighten the city’s carbon footprint.
Toward this end, San José offers purchase agreements for homeowners and businesses. The city is also developing partnerships with civic organizations and leaders in the private sector. To promote solar energy, the city conducts demonstration projects and powers its public buildings with solar panels.
Maintaining solar panels is a breeze. Just keep them free of dirt and debris. Simply hose them down, apply soapy water with a squeegee brush, and rinse again.
6. Indianapolis, Indiana
At the other end of the sunshine spectrum is Indianapolis, with an average of 187 sunny days per year. Yet, reduced sunlight hasn’t stopped this city from becoming a solar dynamo. It contains the largest airport solar farm in the world! Government initiatives and consumer-friendly utility companies are enabling solar to thrive.
Your solar system will likely pay for itself within seven to 10 years, possibly less. The time frame depends on the amount of energy your system generates, the price of grid electricity in your locale, and the total installation cost. After reaching the payback period, you’ll enjoy free electricity for the life of your system, at least 25 years.
7. San Antonio, Texas
It especially pays to go solar in San Antonio! CPS Energy, the largest municipal utility in the US, has taken a proactive stand on renewable energy. When solar panels are installed by a third party, CPS provides homeowners with monthly credits. Residents also benefit from a solar rebate program, federal tax credit, and extra funding when using local installers.
Driving this incentive is a renewable energy goal of 20 percent by 2020. As part of its STEP plan, San Antonio aims to save 771 megawatts of electricity over the next four years.
San Antonio leads all Texas cities in its photovoltaic capacity, followed by Austin, Houston, and Dallas. 1800 Solar USA serves each of these regions, as well as Portland, Oregon and Cheyenne, Wyoming.
8. New York City, New York
The “City That Never Sleeps” is on a mission to increase solar-generated energy. City leadership is committed to reducing carbon emissions as well as electric costs for New Yorkers. In July 2015, the mayor announced a goal of powering 100 percent of city operations with clean energy. The city’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) aims to cut emissions 35 percent by 2025 and 80 percent by 2050.
NYC’s clean energy initiative will reap numerous benefits, including improved air quality and less pollution-related illness. It will also save the city hundreds of millions of dollars each year! At the heart of the plan is developing new public-private partnerships to purchase solar power collectively. Such aggregation will give New Yorkers greater access to low-cost solar systems.
By installing a home system, you offset 178 tons of carbon emissions over 30 years. You also help conserve the massive amounts of water required to cool power plants. Your eco-conscious example becomes a model for other members of your community, inspiring them to join the green movement.
9. Albuquerque, New Mexico
To avoid soaring electric bills, thousands of Albuquerque residents have switched to solar. Enticed by plunging prices, installations increase by 20 percent each year.
New Mexico’s RPS mandates that 15 percent of the city’s electric energy must currently be from renewable sources. In 2020, that requirement jumps to 20 percent. Homeowners adopting solar receive a utility incentive, state tax credit, and federal tax credit. They can also take advantage of net metering.
10. Las Vegas, Nevada
It’s apparent why the “City of Lights” adopted solar. With ravenous energy consumption, carbon dioxide production, and 300 sunny days per year, solar power in Las Vegas is a wise utility choice. Nevada has an ambitious RPS, mandating that 25 percent of the state’s energy must be renewable by 2025.
Residents tied to the grid who generate surplus power see their meters spin backward! Net metering yields energy credits on their accounts. Solar panels have a sleek design, blending with the city’s aesthetic. Las Vegas has large-scale plans for sourcing renewable energy. Currently, the city has solar installations on 37 structures, including public buildings, community centers, and fire stations.
High Quality, Low Cost
At 1800 Solar USA, we’re committed to helping you slash electric costs while protecting our Earth from the effects of global warming. Accordingly, we offer high-quality products at low prices to make energy usage more efficient. With a discerning eye, we identify home energy leaks and provide you with personalized solutions.
Our auxiliary services include installing attic insulation, energy-efficient windows, insulated siding, and radiant barriers. Insulating your attic can reduce your energy expenses by half. Complement the material with the reflective surface of a radiant barrier, and your cooling costs drop by up to 10 percent.
With over 10 years of professional expertise, our trademark is stellar service. An installation by 1800 Solar USA makes for a happy conscience and hefty dividends!