Sunshine=a good time. It’s no secret that people are happier in sunnier places.

Studies have found that just a few minutes of exposure to sunlight every morning can re-energize you and even elevate your mood. The sun and warm weather have the power to increase people’s positivity and can increase the brain’s serotonin, which leads to calmness and satisfaction. So it only makes sense that people tend to be happier on sunny days versus cloudy days. After all, who doesn’t find their happiness basking in the light vs. hiding in the drear. Wondering what cities are the best places for sunshine? Let’s find out.

Top 10 Sunniest Cities

sunniest cities in US chartThese cities have soared to the top of the list when it comes to the average amount of sunshine and clear days. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has tracked data following each city’s patterns, some of it for more than 100 years. When you think of the sunniest places in America, your mind might go to Florida. That might be because they are great at marketing themselves as the “Sunshine State.” However, the majority of the cities that have graced the most recent top 10 list are on the West Coast with multiple cities represented from states like California, Arizona, and Nevada.

Why the Sunniest Cities NEED Solar Panels

The perks of living in one of the sunniest areas of the United States are endless. By living in a sunny city, you’re set up to save money by taking advantage of all of that sunshine to power your home. You also have potential to save on the ridiculous rising costs of electricity bills. Thankfully, there are so many ways living in one of the sunniest cities can benefit you. Harness the power of solar energy to electrify your home and cut the cost of your home’s energy bill by an average of $10,000-$30,000 in the system’s lifetime.


Top Cities for Solar Energy in the U.S.

How does the list of the sunniest cities in the United States compare to the top cities for solar? You might think that the sunnier the city, the better location it is for solar — but that’s not always the case. Sun exposure is the perfect start but there’s so many more factors that play into a good solar city. We’ll go into those a bit later, but for now, let’s take a look at the top 10 solar cities in the United States.

America’s Top Shining Cities (By Solar PV Installed per Capita):

  1. Honolulu, HI
  2. San Diego, CA
  3. Albuquerque, NM
  4. San Jose, CA
  5. Burlington, VT
  6. San Antonio, TX
  7. Las Vegas, NV
  8. Phoenix, AZ
  9. Riverside, CA
  10. Denver, CO

According to the data analysis site Stacker, the following states receive the most sunlight, and therefore provide an opportunity for homeowners to reap the most value out of their home solar panel systems:

The cities on this list have the greatest Solar PV (photovoltaic) capacity installed per capita, according to a report by Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group. These major cities have led the way for the adaptation of solar across the United States. Their residents understand the benefits of solar and their governments and regulatory agencies do too. They know the power investing in solar energy can have on the health, independence, and financial status of its residents.

From the Top Shining Cities list, only two cities show up from the sunniest cities list: Las Vegas, Nevada, and Phoenix, Arizona. Why is this?

More than just the sunniest – What makes a city good for solar

You could have all the sunshine in the world, but there’s more that can make an area (and more specifically your property) suitable for solar. Here are some additional things that factor into what makes a good city for solar:

  • Cost of electricity
    • The higher the cost of electricity means the higher the potential for savings when you switch to a solar system. Also consider the rate at which electricity costs are set to rise in the coming years in this area. Another factor is how much energy your area consumes. If the electricity rates are low, but the rate of consumption is high due to heating, cooling, or other factors, your energy bill could still be high, leading to more savings by going solar.
  • Incentives in your area
    • Even if an area isn’t as sunny as others, there may be solar panel incentives, such as tax breaks and increased home value. This will make the switch to solar affordable and easy, making it a wise investment in your area.
  • Weather patterns
    • Some areas are unfortunately more prone to natural disasters. So if your area is prone to the power outages that follow, a solar panel system along with solar battery backup is a wise decision to protect your home.

Yes, Solar Panels Work in Cloudy Areas Also!

Didn’t see your city on either list? Well, a solar panel system is still a wise investment no matter where you live. In fact, solar panels will even work on cloudy days in the dreariest of towns.

In fact, some of the cloudiest cities house some of the country’s best solar producers. So don’t let it deter you from installing solar panels on your home. Talk to a Solar Energy Specialist about it.