While solar panel installations are blossoming around the country and the solar industry as a whole has been swelling for years, there are ten states that have demonstrated a tremendous national lead.

The last quarter of 2018 saw more than double the solar installations than the quarter before, and kept solar as one of “the top two sources of new electricity generating capacity in the US,” according to the year’s annual Solar Market Insight Report from the Solar Energy Industries Association.

“2018 marked a year of rebound as the market grew by 7%. [The fourth quarter] was the largest quarter for the residential solar segment in two years, a sign that the residential market is stabilizing,” the report reads. “In total, 314,600 new residential PV systems were installed in 2018.”

At Modernize, we attempt to meet homeowners where they are in the journey to home improvement, whether through solar panel systems or other home improvement projects. And as a result of studies like the one above and our regular conversations with homeowners, we have compiled state-specific guides to help homeowners in 2018’s top states when it comes to solar installations. They’re listed below — in order of their ranking — with some of the most pertinent information about each and links to their more detailed profiles.

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California Solar Installations

Ranking

SEIA ranked the state first in the country in the solar-verse, with solar energy powering more than six million California home, as well as ranking it first in growth over the next five years.

What Homeowners Should Know

Increased competition in the state since 2013—and the nature of the market on a national scale—means residents are primed for home value increases if they install solar panels in California. There are currently 188 incentives for homeowners to increase the value of their property by installing solar panels for houses in California. Find details about each program at the state’s Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) site.  

Trivia

California made solar energy history in 2018, announcing that in and after 2020, builders must include solar panels for houses they construct. The New York Times, labeling California “a leader and trendsetter in its clean-energy goals,” reported the state’s ruling “brings solar power into the mainstream in a way it has never been until now.”

Learn more about California solar at our state guide for residential solar energy there.

North Carolina Solar Installations

Ranking

As of the end of 2018, SEIA reported that nearly 5.5 percent of the state’s energy comes from solar. Additionally, SEIA ranks North Carolina fourth in the nation in projecting its growth over the next five years.

What Homeowners Should Know

Increased competition in the state since 2012—and the nature of the market on a national scale—means residents are primed for home value increases if they install solar panels in North Carolina. There are currently nearly more than 130 incentives for homeowners to increase the value of their property by installing solar panels for houses in North Carolina. Find details about each program at the state’s DSIRE site.

Trivia

In March 2019, the federal Energy Information Administration reported that North Carolina’s solar energy production grew by more than a third (36 percent) in 2018. That growth, according to local ABC affiliate 13 WLOS, “firmly” places the state as “the No. 2 solar-producing state in the nation.” It was in third place in 2018 based on its prior performance then.

Learn more about North Carolina solar at our state guide for residential solar energy there.

Arizona Solar Installations

Ranking

SEIA ranked the state third in the country — nearly 7 percent of the state’s energy comes from solar. Additionally, SEIA ranks Arizona seventh in the nation in projecting its growth over the next five years.

What Homeowners Should Know

Increased competition in the state since 2012—and the nature of the market on a national scale—means residents are primed for home value increases if they install solar panels in Arizona. There are currently nearly more than 115 incentives for homeowners to increase the value of their property by installing solar panels for houses in Arizona. Find details about each program at the state’s DSIRE site.

Trivia

The Arizona Supreme Court has made it much more affordable for homeowners to turn to solar paneling to power their homes. In a recent ruling that affects anyone leasing solar panels in 2019 and beyond, the court “spared tens of thousands of homeowners who lease rooftop solar panels from paying property taxes to the state on that equipment,” according to USA Today’s azcentral.com. Homeowners who bought or financed their solar panels haven’t had to pay taxes on those investments since 2006.

Learn more about Arizona solar at our state guide for residential solar energy there.

Nevada Solar Installations

Ranking

As of the end of 2018, SEIA reported that nearly 13 percent of the state’s electricity comes from solar. Additionally, SEIA ranks Nevada fifth in the nation in projecting its growth over the next five years.

What Homeowners Should Know

Increased competition in the state since 2014—and the nature of the market on a national scale—means residents are primed for home value increases if they install solar panels in Nevada. There are currently nearly 80 incentives for homeowners to increase the value of their property by installing solar panels for houses in Nevada. Find details about each program at the state’s DSIRE site.

Trivia

Nevada isn’t new to solar panels and the industry around them (nor to desert climes and lots of sun). And while it resisted the fundamental solar policy of net metering recently and for a few crucial years, in 2017 the state legislature voted “to resurrect this important state policy,” according to the SEIA. Otherwise, some of the state’s solar policy goes back to the late 1990s.

In its report on renewable energy programs in December 2018, the state’s energy department noted that “solar incentive program received 1,047 applications and completed 979 projects in December.” More importantly, Energy Nevada paid out more than $9 million in solar electric incentives in 2018 alone. Since 2010, the state’s shelled out more than $200 million in solar incentives alone.

Learn more about Nevada solar at our state guide for residential solar energy there.

Texas Solar Installations

Ranking

As of the end of 2018, SEIA ranked the state sixth in the country — less than a percent of the state’s electricity is derived from solar energy but the sheer size of Texas means that statistic is still resounding. Additionally, SEIA ranks Texas third in the nation in projecting its growth over the next five years.

What Homeowners Should Know

Indeed, increased competition in the state since 2013—and the nature of the market on a national scale—means residents are primed for home value increases if they install solar panels in Texas. There are currently nearly more than 115 incentives for homeowners to increase the value of their property by installing solar panels for houses in Texas. Find details about each program at the state’s DSIRE site.

Trivia

Texas is the third fastest-growing solar energy leader in the United States, according to the Houston Chronicle, which reported separately that Texas solar is “on a roll” in its projected growth over the coming decade.

Learn more about Texas solar at our state guide for residential solar energy there.

New Jersey Solar Installations

Ranking

As of the end of 2018, SEIA ranked the state fifth in the country — approximately four percent of the state’s energy comes from solar. Additionally, SEIA ranks New Jersey 11th in the nation in projecting its growth over the next five years.

What Homeowners Should Know

Increased competition in the state since 2015—and the nature of the market on a national scale—means residents are primed for home value increases if they install solar panels in New Jersey. There are currently nearly 100 incentives for homeowners to increase the value of their property by installing solar panels for houses in New Jersey. Find details about each program at the state’s DSIRE site.

Trivia

Despite falling into a bucket of states that still largely rely on nuclear energy, New Jersey has been pushing serious legislation and incentives to promote its clean energy goals. In summer 2018, for example, the state signed into law “a suite of legislation” that “vaults it into the ranks of top US climate leaders,” reported Vox.com.

Learn more about New Jersey solar at our state guide for residential solar energy there.

Massachusetts Solar Installations

Ranking

As of the end of 2018, SEIA ranked the state seventh in the country — nearly 11 percent of the state’s energy comes from solar.

What Homeowners Should Know

SEIA ranks Massachusetts 13th in the nation in projecting its growth over the next five years. Increased competition in the state since 2011—and the nature of the market on a national scale—means residents are primed for home value increases if they install solar panels in Massachusetts. There are currently nearly more than 140 incentives for homeowners to increase the value of their property by installing solar panels for houses in Massachusetts. Find details about each program at the state’s DSIRE site.

Learn more about Massachusetts solar at our state guide for residential solar energy there.

Florida Solar Installations

Ranking

As of the end of 2018, for example, SEIA ranked the state eighth in the country since just about one percent of the state’s electricity came from solar energy. However, SEIA also ranks Florida second in projecting its growth over the next five years.

What Homeowners Should Know

Increased competition in the state since 2016—and the nature of the market on a national scale—means residents are primed for home value increases if they install solar panels in Florida. There are currently 100 incentives for homeowners to increase the value of their property by installing solar panels for houses in Florida. Find details about each program at the state’s DSIRE site.

Trivia

There is only one state with the perfect nickname when it comes to solar energy: Florida, the “Sunshine State.” Though in the last decade it “lagged in renewable energy use,” Scientific American recently reported, “solar is about to boom in the Sunshine State as the price of photovoltaic cells and related installation costs drop to all-time lows.”

Learn more about Florida solar at our state guide for residential solar energy there.

Utah Solar Installations

Ranking

As of the end of 2018, the SEIA ranked the state ninth in the country — more than six percent of the state’s energy comes from solar. Additionally, SEIA ranks Utah 15th in the nation in projecting its growth over the next five years.

What Homeowners Should Know

Increased competition in the state since 2015—and the nature of the market on a national scale—means residents are primed for home value increases if they install solar panels in Utah. There are currently nearly more than 80 incentives for homeowners to increase the value of their property by installing solar panels for houses in Utah. Find details about each program at the state’s DSIRE site.

Trivia

Almost out of nowhere, Utah has become one of the country’s leading states for solar energy. Jumping up on national rankings for its solar panel installations and output, an April 2019 report from Environment America Research & Policy Center lauded the city’s explosive growth in the solar sector.

“In addition to the national rankings, the report examined national solar power in major cities over the course of six years,” reported the city’s KUTV news station. “According to the report, solar energy capacity has more than doubled in 45 of 57 of the country’s largest cities and it has more than quadrupled in Salt Lake City from 2013 to 2018.”

Learn more about Utah solar at our state guide for residential solar energy there.

New York Solar Installations

Ranking

As of the end of 2018, SEIA ranked the state 10th in the country — 1.4 percent of the state’s energy comes from solar. Additionally, SEIA ranks New York sixth in the nation in projecting its growth over the next five years.

What Homeowners Should Know

Increased competition in the state since 2014—and the nature of the market on a national scale—means residents are primed for home value increases if they install solar panels in New York. There are currently nearly more than 100 incentives for homeowners to increase the value of their property by installing solar panels for houses in New York. Find details about each program at the state’s DSIRE site.

Trivia

In early 2019, New York state governor Andre Cuomo unveiled an ambitious plan to push the state into new clean energy heights, aiming to become completely carbon-neutral by 2040.

“This plan can bring massive economic and environmental benefits to communities throughout the state, spurring many new, well-paying jobs and cleaner air,” said Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) in a statement about the plan. And while jobs and development are great for the state, it’s been seeing dramatically positive growth in other aspects.

An April 2019 report from real estate site Zillow has found that homes with solar panels sell for 4.1 percent more than they would without them.

“Of the metropolitan areas included in the analysis, homeowners who stand to gain the most from solar panel installation include those New York,” reported CNN’s MONEY site, adding that the state saw a “5.4 percent, or a $23,989 premium on a $440,400 home.”

Learn more about New York solar at our state guide for residential solar energy there.