Vermont solar power facts
Average cost of a 5kw solar power system in 2016
Price shown before incentives
Average payback time
Average lifetime savings
Price shown after repayments of capital
Levelized cost of solar energy
If you don't get solar
The forecast average utility price over the next 25 years
(per kW of peak DC solar panels)
Cash flow graph based on cash purchase of a 5kw system
Solar companies in Vermont that provide pricing through the Solar-Estimate marketplace
Solar power in Vermont
Green Mountain Power, the largest power company in Vermont have a solar production incentive for home solar owners.
The amount a customer receives is based on the value of the energy that GMP charges the customer, plus an additional incentive for every kWh generated of 5.3 cents for installations less than 15 kw, and 4.3 cents for installations larger than 15 kw.
If you already have solar installed at your home, you will need to have an additional meter installed to directly measure the output of solar generation.
With average electricity prices in Vermont being around the 18 cents per kWh this means you get a total return of around 23 cents per kWh or each kilowatt hour of electricity that a solar power system produces.
If you are a GMP customer who is interested in installing solar at your home, you must apply for a Net Metering Certificate of Public Good from the Vermont Public Service Board.
The 30% federal tax credit has been extended and is a significant incentive for many people to go down the solar path.
Combine that with Net Metering and you have a good foundation to incentivise people to get solar power.
You should be able to buy good quality solar power systems from reputable installers in the range of $3.00 to $3.30 per watt for cash purchased systems and $3.50 to $3.70 for systems funded by a solar loan with a low interest rate.
These numbers are before incentives and fully installed.
At this sort of price level you are talking about a payback period of 10 years or less and an internal rate of return on investment of over 10%.
Estimate your solar savings
Compare solar quotes from the top solar companies in Vermont
Solar panel installation in Vermont
Best brands of solar panels
To find the best brands of solar panels you can use America's most trusterd solar panel comparison and reviews website, SolarReviews.
However, reviews of solar panels can be a bit meaningless because most consumer owners have not had any issues and so whilst solar company reviews are very important when choosing solar installers they are of less use when choosing solar panels.
For more information to help you make an informed decision about this topic, I would recommend this article about buying solar panels.
Compare solar quotes from the top solar companies in Vermont
How much electricity will solar panels produce in Vermont
Solar panels produce different amounts of energy in different locations.
Around the Montpelier area solar panels installed on a south facing 34 degree pitch roof will typically produce:
1,080 kWh per year per 1kw of peak DC (direct current) capacity
For more information about how your location, roof direction and roof tilt affects solar power production use the solar panels calculator and enter your address below.
What rebates, solar tax credits and other solar incentives are available in Vermont
Vermont's Renewable Energy Standard
Vermont has a Renewable Energy Target that is referred to as the Renewable Energy Standard.
It has mandated that utilities operating in the state are to source a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources
Vermont doesn't do this as well as some other states as their is no solar specific carve out so the system ends up being overly complicated and of very little value to the potential solar owner.
Net Metering in Vermont
Many people don't understand the importance of net metering policy to the residential solar industry.
Solar by its nature generates most power during the middle of the day when most people are at work or school and little power is being used in the home.
Net metering means that for every unit of surplus solar generation (kWh) during the day you effectively get a credit for a kilowatt hour (kWh) of power purchased from the grid at another time.
This gives you as an owner of a residential solar system the full retail value of every kWh (kilowatt hour) of power your solar system generates.
Vermont's net metering system does not allow a carryover of any unused solar credits.
So if you have generated surplus kWh (kilowatt hours) they will vanish at the end of each 12 monthly cycle.
However, they do have a scheme where you can share this credit with family or friends if you credits are more than your bill.
Still this a great incentive, may it last an eternity. If you don't think net metering will last an eternity, better contact a local solar pro.
Is it better to lease or purchase solar panels in Vermont?
Whilst third party ownership of solar panels has made various zero down solar lease and solar PPA products popular in Vermont generally speaking you will make far greater savings over the life of a system if you purchase your solar panels (whether with cash you have available or through a HELOC loan) rather than enter into a third party owned solar lease or Solar PPA agreement.
You can use the solar savings calculator for now but then to long form calculator once ready.
To see the difference in the overall savings over the life of a system see also:
Vermont Solar Tax Exemptions
If you decide you are adding a solar system to your property you will be happy to know it is exempt from property and sales tax.
Vermont Interconnection guidelines
Connecting solar to the various different utilities in Vermont has recently become easier with the release of standard statewide interconnection guidelines that all utilities must follow.
Basically folk's any residential solar system up to 10 kW in size has a standard simplified set of interconnection rules that must be followed.
You can have a larger system but a non standard interconnection agreement may be required.
Regardless of what you want to know about the economics of installing solar panels for your home or business in Vermont we have a solar calculator that can show you exactly the information your require.
You can either use our full monty solar calculator that shows you everything you could possibly want to know or you can use one of our range of smaller calculators for specific solar calculations that focus on providing you only with the specific information you require.
What you can find out about installing solar panels in Vermont using our full monty solar calculator
This solar calculator requires you to input your address, utility company, your average monthly power spend - It tells you:
- What size solar system do you need?
Answers the question of How many solar panels do I need?
- How many square feet of roof space you need for solar panels
- Solar electricity production in annual kWh (kilowatt hours) you can expect from your solar system in Vermont
- The value of solar tax credits and other incentives you are entitled to based on the estimated size of system you need, your location and your utility provider.
- Likely cost based on an average of prices charged for solar systems of that size in the last year in Vermont or Montpelier;
- The likely payback period on your solar panels and your investment return.
- Your total lifetime solar savings based on each of the major solar finance options, a cash purchase, a cash purchase funded with a HELOC sol (home equity line of credit) and a zero down PPA or third party lease product.
If you want to see all of the above but also see live pricing, the three best solar deals available in your city and get binding quotes from each of these solar companies then use this solar panels calculator. This calculator requires you to also input your name and contact details because most of our 200+ installer partners will only authorize the sharing of their live solar pricing where we have validated that you are a real homeowner with a home in their service area. We respect the privacy of your data and only share your contact details with the solar companies you ask us to get binding quotes from.
How much do solar panels cost in Vermont
$3.10 per watt
Cash purchased solar system
Before 30% solar tax credit
$3.50 per watt
Financed solar system
Before 30% solar tax credit
Av. 15 year term, 2.5% price escalator
What are the pros and cons of buying solar panels for your home in Vermont
The advantages of installing solar panels in Vermont is there is both state based incentives and the federal tax credit. In addition VT also has above average power prices meaning overall the return on investment for an installation of residential solar panels comes in at around 10 years.
So whether you do or don't buy solar in ten years you would have spent the same on electricity either way, the only difference is if you did buy solar then it ten years you are looking forward to at least 15 years of life without a power bill and if you didn't then you will still be paying a monthly bill that it twice or more what you are paying now. I choose solar!! Enter your details to calculate the cost and savings you are likely to get from installing solar panels for your home.
The disadvantage of installing solar panelsfor your home in Vermont is that there is less overall solar irradiation in Vermont than some other areas and so a solar system, produces less than it would in some other areas. However, the local incentives more than make up for this and I think Vermont homeowners will be kicking themselves they didn't install solar panels while these generous incentives are around.