Here’s a cool graph that shows just how rewarding it is for citizens to buy solar panels for their houses. Washington is doing iffy in 26th place, Oregon is rocking it in 6th place, and California is in a solid 14th place.
Also, I see absolutely zero correlation between how sunny a place is and how much the government helps subsidize solar panels. But it appears most of the great plains states are not convinced solar power should be promoted.
This isn’t to say that buying solar panels is a bad idea in those states, it will just take around 18 years to make your money back. Whereas in a top-tier state it currently only take 4 years, after that you’re raking in the green.
But what are states doing differently? This website explains it all, but some take-homes are that helpful states are exempting solar panels from taxes, giving subsidies to buy and maintain solar panels, and paying people who put excess solar electricity on the grid.
That last one is called net-metering, and right now, utility lobbyists are reworking many state laws so that people make less money giving solar power back to the grid. This will definitely slow the return on solar panels, but utility companies are fighting a losing battle as solar just gets cheaper and more efficient and home battery technology explodes, effectively letting anyone get off the grid and BOOM no electricity bill.