About Our Data

Where does DecideOnSolar.com get their information?

It’s simple really. I gathered publicly available data on every city and state in the United States and use that data to collect weather data for each and every one. The data goes back 365 days to get a complete snapshot of an entire calendar year. That data is collected separately for each and every city I list on this site. Once I have information on how much it rains, how much cloud cover, and what the UV index is for any given city, I can tell you how effective a solar installation will be and with an average electricity cost (also publicly available), estimate how long it will take to pay back your investment.

I tried to make it sound easy there.. but to be honest it wasn’t. I do happen to like large data sets and using them to help make informed decisions, but this is a ton of data. I was able to collect geographical and electricity cost information for 25,913 cities and towns across the United States. I maintained other data like what zip codes are in each city and what state they belong to as well as their latitude and longitude and elevation. Once that was organized, I could iterate over that data and get weather stats for the most recent 365 days. Even that is over simplifying it. I mean I got data for each individual day. (Stored in this website’s database is a snapshot of the weather in Yuma, Arizona on August 10th, 2023.) For each city and for every day I compiled that data and figured out what was relevant and what was not so relevant.

A lot of it was very relevant and thats the data you’ll see in articles across this site. I also put together datasets that when compared across the nation didn’t make as much sense to include as I had originally thought. Turns out over a calendar year the average daylight in just about every city across the US is around 12 hours and 15 minutes. A data point I thought would be interesting, but turns out when averaged over a year is pretty useless. There are other data points I hope to include in the future as well. Like if your city has more cloudy days in spring and summer months than in fall or winter months. That data exists here but has not been released just yet because we want to make sure its presented in a relevant manner.

The idea here is to be as transparent as possible about how I’m able to determine where each city stands on solar viability. The truth is it’s almost always a worthwhile investment. It just may be easier and more cost effective depending on where you live.

I hope you find the data here helpful on your solar journey!

– Sean