The top 10 states for residential solar


SolarReviews, a residential solar installer review and informational website, has released its ranking of the top ten best markets based on a series of metrics.  

While these 10 states fared best on a variety of weighted criteria, each home’s suitability varies, and solar is not one-size-fits-all. SolarReviews has a calculator tool to estimate your home’s solar savings potential based on the utility rates and programs in your area. 

The rankings are based on the following criteria:

Category Factor Weight 
Policy Renewable Portfolio Standard 10% 
  Solar carve-out 5% 
  Electricity prices 15% 
  Net metering / Feed-in tariff 15% 
Incentives Tax credits 10% 
  Solar and battery rebates 15% 
  Performance payments and virtual power plants 15% 
  Property and sales tax exemptions 5% 


Average system payback time 5% 
  Internal rate of return on investment 5% 

 Based on these rankings, the top 10 states are as follows: 

  1. Massachusetts
  2. Colorado
  3. Washington D.C.
  4. Maryland
  5. New York
  6. Minnesota
  7. Rhode Island 
  8. New Jersey
  9. Illinois
  10. Connecticut

Homeowners looking to maximize the financial gain of solar may first look to the payback period, but SolarReviews said this measurement overlooks what happens after the payback period (or breakeven) is achieved. Instead, homeowners may get a better idea of the financial value of solar with their estimated internal rate of return.

Solar shoppers often use the stock market as a proxy to understand the value of their investment. According to, the average annual return of an Internal rate of return (IRR) 5% of grade investment in the S&P 500 for the last 25 years is around 8%. The top ten states for IRR blow this figure out of the water:

Image: SolarReviews

“The states recognized in our Top 10 rankings are excellent examples of using government policy to produce good outcomes for ordinary homeowners. By encouraging private investment in solar, these states will reap the benefits of improved environmental quality and increased energy self-reliance for generations to come,” said Andy Sendy, president of SolarReviews.

Find the full SolarReviews report with detailed state-by-state breakdown here.

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