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4 Mountainside Locations for the Best Solar Panel ROI



The beauty of living off the grid is being self-sufficient, and solar panels provide sustainability for mountainside homeowners. Solar energy also eliminates traditional, costly electric bills and can even pay you back for the energy you save over time. 

And it's not only a great investment to help offset your utility costs; it’s an integral part of environmental health and conserving natural resources. Preserve the beauty of nature in mountainside cities by prioritizing eco-friendly installations like solar panels.

If you’re planning a move, or simply want to see if your area yields the best returns for solar panel investments, check out the following mountainside cities.

Vail, CO

Cost of Solar in their 2013 Geostellar Solar Index ranked Colorado the number five state for solar panel return on investment (ROI). To determine the best markets for solar panel value, analysts calculated the cost of solar energy, including the intensity of sunlight and installment costs, combined with conventional electricity rates and additional solar incentives like tax credits and rebates. The Internal Rate of Return (IRR) described how much of the initial investment is returned on an average year. In Colorado, the IRR is 15 percent, just behind Hawaii, the District of Columbia, New York and Connecticut.

If you’re interested in relocating to Colorado, consider moving to Vail. The median home value in Vail is $776,800, which represents a 4.6 percent increase over the past year. The potential for a home value increase, combined with the massive IRR on solar panels, make Vail a perfect match for eco-minded investors and homebuyers alike.

Santa Fe, NM

The number seven state for solar panel returns is New Mexico, which isn’t surprising given the hot and sunny climate. The average return is 13 percent per year for homeowners.

One of the best spots for solar power in New Mexico is Santa Fe. In fact, the Santa Fe County Solar Energy Center recently broke ground on a solar farm just south of the city. When 40,000 panels are installed at the end of 2015, they will provide energy for 3,850 residential households each year. So, if you’re looking for a year-round warm climate and a city highly focused on alternative energy, consider moving to Santa Fe where the median home value is just over $300,000.

Tahoe, CA

California is number eight on the list of the top IRR states according to Cost of Solar, coming in with a 12 percent return. In California, the average 20-year savings of going solar in California is $34,260. Even more impressive is that California was recently named the first state to generate more than 5 percent of their electricity from utility-scale solar, further representing the importance California residents place on green energy.

If you want to reside in one of the most solar-equipped states in the U. S. and are considering a move to California, homes in Tahoe are a great option for mountain living lovers. Tahoe’s median home value is $353,800 and homes are experiencing 7.8 percent appreciation in the past year alone. Even better? Zillow forecasts Tahoe homes to increase another 5.6 percent in value throughout the next year.

Bozeman, MT

Montana is significantly lower on the list, but still provides a strong return for homeowners who install solar panels. The IRR in Montana is 4.5 percent. According to MontanaGreenPower, eastern Montana receives an annual average of 5 hours of full sun daily and western Montana receives 4.2 hours. The Montana Department of Environmental Quality offers low-interest loans for up to $40,000 with repayment up to 10 years to fund alternative energy systems.

If you’re considering a move to Montana to benefit from these solar panel savings, check out homes in Bozeman. Home values there are $284,600. Bozeman is a great mountain location for new homebuyers or second homebuyers who also want to save on energy costs.

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