Congratulations New Jersey, you’re at the head of the class! According to SolarPowerRocks.com, New Jersey has the best incentives for helping residents adopt solar on their homes. The site, SolarPowerRocks.com, has recently issued a series of state-by-state reports or scorecards, examining which states offer the best incentives for solar. Among the state ratings it issued are performance-based incentive payment grades, solar incentive grades, policies and rates for utilities, return on investment grades, residential solar incentive grades. The grades help people understand how solar-friendly their state is compared to other states.
Despite California being the largest photovoltaic (PV) and solar market in the country, it doesn’t top any of the lists. Rather, New Jersey, the second biggest state in terms of installed solar power in the United States, tops more of the report cards than any other state, and it never falls below the top 10. That’s because New Jersey has strong solar incentives to encourage residents to install PV and other forms of solar, like solar thermal.
The reports rely on a variety of data that SolarPowerRocks.com has categorized and weighted in an attempt to develop an apples-to-apples comparison. For instance, in its Electric Utility Policies and Rates scorecard, the site determined that both New Jersey and New York topped the list with a 97 percent score. They were closely followed by Colorado, which got a 96 percent score.
In its methodology for this scorecard, the site said it ranked states’ renewable portfolio policies on a scale of one to five.
“While 38 out of the 50 states have a renewable portfolio standard, only 17 states have a specific carve out for solar energy.” The policy portion of the grade is worth 30 percent of the overall score. State’s renewable energy standards count for 10 percent of the grade, while distributed generation rules (meaning utilities must buy power from customers) account for 15 percent of the grade. And utility net-metering prices account for another 5 percent of each state’s grade in the scorecard.
The web site has developed similar ranking methodologies for its other report cards. Check it out to see how you’re state stacks up. And for a list of your state's solar incentives and rebates, click the link and check our list.