Now’s a good time to shine a lightweight on home solar – Connecticut Journal


Sure because the planet tilting towards the spring equinox, annually brings an enormous exclamation level for the solar energy business. The largest punctuation mark landed in 2016 when, for the primary time, solar eclipsed pure fuel for the biggest proportion of recent electrical era capability within the U.S. of all kinds.

But decide any yr and you will discover lots extra watershed moments, resembling 2020 when a brand new regulation took impact in California mandating that each one new homes be constructed with solar panels. In 2006 you had the debut of the federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, which Congress lately prolonged for an additional two years to 2023. And beginning subsequent yr, Connecticut will debut incentives towards the acquisition of battery storage techniques just like the Generac PWRcell or the Tesla Powerwall to squeeze most utility out of solar panels throughout the in a single day hours.

That’s 4 moments in time proper there — and with 4 prime months of daylight for solar manufacturing in Connecticut’s latitude, let’s check out 4 issues to contemplate in becoming a member of the greater than 47,000 fellow Connecticut householders who’ve flipped the change to solar.

How a lot will I save?

While some on-line solar energy financial savings calculators spit out gargantuan numbers, Google’s Project Sunroof ( returns a extra conservative estimate for the swath of Connecticut residential addresses it covers, at greater than $10,000 over a 20-year interval for a lot of single-family houses, factoring in price of set up, incentives and the suitability for a home for solar based mostly on roof orientation and shade.

Add in funding returns on these financial savings at a 4 % charge of return compounded yearly, and the financial savings come out to greater than $15,000 over 20 years and $22,000 over a quarter-century, which is the accepted benchmark for the minimal lifespan of photovoltaic panels. Either means you add it up, it’s an honest down cost on the subsequent electrical automotive or truck.

How a lot will it price?

Depends on how you propose to pay on your panels — and in case your roof wants changing previous to set up, a value you’ll bear sooner or later both means however a chore which can must be front-loaded at a value of a number of thousand {dollars}.

If you ink a solar power-purchase settlement from a service supplier like SunRun, you’ll be able to pay no cash upfront, with the corporate retaining possession of the panels. You get billed month-to-month at a variable charge — decrease than the electrical utility in lots of months however no ensures on that entrance — with the price of set up and offsetting incentives factored into these charges.

A solar lease has an identical cost profile, however you personal the photovoltaic panels and pay for them over time no completely different than a automotive mortgage. You acquire any related tax credit with the set up of the system, and choices usually exist for upkeep agreements as a part of the lease. EnergySage calculates the price of a five-kilowatt photovoltaic system in Connecticut at practically $13,500.

With an upfront buy, you tackle all the advantages, upkeep and dangers. Panels and accompanying electrical techniques usually include warranties extending a decade, and insurance policy can be found for maintenance and injury from ice or different perils.

The federal Solar Incentive Tax Credit is ready at 26 % of the price of a brand new photovoltaic system by this yr, with the tax credit score scheduled to drop to 22 % in 2023. It is ready to run out in 2024, however Congress has a historical past of extending it.

In January, Connecticut kicked off its new Renewable Energy Systems program which provides a number of choices by 2027. One is to export any unused electrical energy generated by your panels to Eversource or Avangrid subsidiary United Illuminating, with a sensible meter calculating the online differential. The different choice is to promote all of the electrical energy generated by your panels to your utility at charges set by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, getting both money again or credit for the electrical energy you buy to power your home. 

How about these home battery techniques?

For the primary time with that Renewable Energy Systems program, Connecticut is permitting home battery techniques to be eligible for incentives. Upfront for the standard home, that may price as much as $10,000 or extra. The state can also be permitting incentives to cowl the price of extra panels to deal with the recharging wants of electrical automobiles householders have. 

Where can I be taught extra?

The Connecticut Green Bank has a primer on-line at which runs over the prices and advantages and every part else, “from paper to panels” in its phrases. Eversource and Avangrid have web sites ( and detailing choices, and EnergySage ( is one in every of a variety of price-quote engines providing substantial background data and updates, together with on a state-by-state foundation.

The solar push is occurring towards Connecticut’s self-imposed goal of a “zero carbon” electrical grid by 2040. As of 2020, the Energy Information Administration estimated the state’s share at 5 %, so we now have an extended option to go, with offshore wind farms within the offing anticipated to dent that mark, however solar, energy-efficient techniques and conservation to play a component as nicely.

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