(not so) ENERGY EFFICIENT
New report throws shade on Houston's renewable energy use in 'solar cities' ranking
As the cost of solar panel installation becomes more attainable to homeowners, more Americans are willing to reduce their carbon emissions and their electricity bills in the process.
So just where does Houston rank in new tech like solar panel installation? According to a new report from home service management platform Thumbtack, it doesn't.
Houston, which has no shortage of sun — as residents are well aware — fails to place in Thumbtack's new list of the top 15 most "solar" cities in the United States.
Austin leads the way for Texas, ranking the No. 3 most “solar” city in the U.S., per Thumbtack. Austin, with the highest net-new solar panel installations within the past year in Texas, splits up four Californian cities in the top five. Only San Diego (No. 1) and Los Angeles (No. 2) outranked Austin.
San Antonio follows not behind atNo. 9 and just outside the top 10 is Dallas-Fort Worth at No. 11.
For the curious, Texas Property Code 202.010 forbids homeowner associations from restricting the installation of solar panels, so any Texas homeowner can do it as long as they follow the standard procedure for “improving” their home to comply with a separate state law.
Thumbtack home expert David Steckel said in a press release that they chose to focus the report on cities with the most new solar installations because they wanted to “celebrate those [cities] making the biggest change.”
“When we looked at all solar projects – from installations to modifications, repairs, consultations and more – we found that unsurprisingly, California dominated the list with 9 out of the top 10 spots – given their long-term commitment to and adoption of solar energy," he said. "We really wanted to celebrate cities that are seeing a shift in behavior.”
The top 10 most “solar” cities in the U.S. are:
- No. 1 – San Diego
- No. 2 – Los Angeles
- No. 3 – Austin
- No. 4 – Palm Springs, California
- No. 5 – San Francisco
- No. 6 – Las Vegas
- No. 7 – Phoenix
- No. 8 – Orlando
- No. 9 – San Antonio
- No. 10 – Tampa, Florida
Steckel said the company has seen a year-over-year increase of up to 96 percent in solar energy projects among consumers for March 2023.
“We recently found that 71 percent of Americans are prioritizing sustainable, energy-efficient home improvement projects this year – with more than one-third of Americans planning to install solar panels in 2023 – showing an accelerating change in consumer behavior,” he said.