June 29, 2016
It's always sunny in Delaware County.
PublicSource, an investigative news organization that serves Pennsylvania, published a story earlier in June that looked at solar energy use in the state.
The piece dived into the state's Solar Renewable Energy Credit program and how low-income residents can have a difficult time getting bang for their buck after going solar because of the state's open border policy, in which Pennsylvania businesses can buy SREC credits (one is earned from every megawatt hour of electricity produced) from individuals living in any state, not just Pennsylvania residents.
Businesses want the SREC credits to meet state solar production requirements, but because they can get them from anywhere, Pennsylvania residents are forced to sell them at incredibly low prices. The whole story is worth a read and can be viewed here.
The piece also looked at what municipalities are best for generating solar power. To do so, the author used scientific models that measured how much sunlight hits specific towns across the state and determined how much residents stand to save on their electricity bill by going solar.
The top six towns that would theoretically make the most in yearly savings were all from Delaware County. Topping the list was Chester Heights, where residents could save an average of $859.34 a year.
Delaware and Chester counties dominated the list, with towns from the two taking up the top 19 spots. Coming in 20th was Philadelphia, where residents could save an average of $853.45 a year.
Here are the 20 "sunniest" towns in Pennsylvania, via PublicSource:
1. Chester Heights — Delaware County — $859.34
2. Garnet Valley — Delaware County — $857.23
3. Chester — Delaware County — $856.36
4. Aston — Delaware County — $856.36
5. Brookhaven — Delaware County — $856.36
6. Marcus Hook — Delaware County — $856.36
7. Lincoln University – Chester County — $856.05
8. Landenberg — Chester County — $855.96
9. Avondale — Chester County — $855.46
10. Chadds Ford – Delaware County — $854.99
11. Oxford — Chester County — $854.92
12. West Grove — Chester County — $854.50
13. Nottingham — Chester County — $854.34
14. Toughkenamon — Chester County — $854.09
15. Media — Delaware County — $853.87
16. Glen Mills — Delaware County — $853.53
17. Darby — Delaware County — $853.45
18. Lansdowne — Delaware County — $853.45
19. Upper Darby — Delaware County — $853.45
20. Philadelphia – Philadelphia County — $853.45
The author does warn that because of limitations to her calculations, the findings should be “categorized as a conservative or realistic example” of what residents could save by using solar energy. For more on the methodology behind Pennsylvania's sunniest towns, check out the full piece from PublicSource here.