Vermont solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels

Last updated 12.02.21

Vermont State 54 solar panels available

  • $2.20 / W Average gross price of a solar power system as of March 2023
  • 7 years Average system payback period
  • $41 734 Average savings from going solar in Vermont
  • 9 ¢ / kWh Levelized cost of solar energy
  • 3.98 kW Recommended system size

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What our happy customers say

Great purchase experience with A1SolarStore! Convenient pickup location.
Mike Chin
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Mar 27, 2023
Was able to purchase 6 Suntech 370W panels. I knew what I was looking for and was able to find the brand and wattage at a discounted rate from other sites. Would recommend!
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Mar 24, 2023
Thanks for the great shopping experience. Nice store!
Miguel Matias
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Mar 23, 2023
A1 SolarStore is a great place to purchase solar panels. When I was first loaded into the page I had seen a plethora of options to choose from. I only needed one type but it was not a hard search to find what i needed. definitely a great store.
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Mar 18, 2023
There’s a lot of stores for any particular product and it’s no different for solar panels. A1solar has an easy to navigate website, an open line to communicate if a customer has any questions and most importantly they deliver a solid product. If you’re in the market for solar panels please check them out because they have a wide variety to choose from.
Nic H
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Mar 10, 2023
I was looking for a good website to purchase solar panels and I came across the A1 solar webpage. The website is straight to the point and well-designed. I am pleased to say, that I will continue to go through with this company.
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Feb 27, 2023

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Solar laws, incentives and rebates in Vermont you need to know

Save 30% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit

The US government wants more people to go solar: it’s a modern and green way of getting energy. This is why the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program was developed. It allows American citizens to claim 30% of the cost of their installation as an income tax deduction. The cost here is not only solar panels, but also shipping, installation expenses and more. For example, if your system overall made you spend $10,000, the government returns you $3,000. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes.

Join Net Metering program to cover your electric bills

Net Metering is the main way in which a solar system pays for itself in the US. The idea is always the same: you sell your excess solar energy into the commercial grid, gain credits and use them to cover your next electric bill.

Vermont has a complicated and diverse Net Metering program. To participate in it, solar owners must first obtain a Certificate of Public Good. You can apply and register for Net Metering here. The capacity limit for solar systems is 500 kW. Net excess generation (NEG) is credited at a blended residential rate and carried over to the customer’s next bill. If any credits that you earn aren’t used in 12 months, they are granted to the utility. 

For solar owners that obtained Certificate of Public Good after January 1, 2017, special credit adjusters come into effect that depend on the size and siting of a solar system. For example, homeowners with systems of 15 kW or less in capacity receive a 1 cent/kWh adjuster.

In Vermont group Net Metering is allowed. The group must discuss their initiative with the Public Service Board and provide such information as involved customers and meters, contact information and a dispute resolution process. Each member is going to be billed individually. NEG is credited at a blended residential rate and allocated to group members.

For generating clean energy, solar owners receive Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) — one REC for 1 MW of produced electricity. In Vermont, utilities retain these RECs unless the customer expresses his desire to keep them. If you give up RECs to the utility, you receive a bonus of $0.02/kWh for 10 years in addition to everything that your system already makes. If you keep the RECs to yourself, there is a negative 3 cent/kWh credit adjustor. Currently in Vermont there is no system for trading SRECs like in other states, so the question of whether or not you should keep them is not that simple.

Solar systems under 50 kW are exempt from property taxes

Solar systems in Vermont under 50 kW that are net-metered or off-grid and only provide energy to the property where they are located are exempt from property taxes. Systems that are grid-tie, but aren’t net metered are taxated, as well as off-grid installations that provide power for remote property. However, Vermont allows municipalities to exempt even these solar systems from property taxes, so you can inquire of your local authorities if they have decided to do so.

What is more, there is a uniform tax of $4.00 per kilowatt (kW) instead of the statewide education property tax for systems that are 50 kW or greater in size. Don’t forget that while a small solar system doesn’t raise your property taxes, it does increase the value of your house on the property market.

Sales taxes exemption makes solar panels in Vermont cheaper

Vermont solar laws exempt grid-tie and off-grid systems from sales state taxes. Systems that are 500 kW or smaller are eligible for that exemption. Sales tax rate in Vermont is 6%, so in theory this incentive should make PV systems cost in Vermont more accessible for everyone. 

Finance your solar project with Commercial energy loan program

Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) helps businesses and individuals in bringing to life their solar projects with loans up to $2 million. The loan is usually issued for 5 year and loan terms and amortization are determined on a case-by-case basis. The funding is usually limited to 60% of the cost of the project, but VEDA can pay up to 90% if the project is worth up to $500,000. Learn more about the fees and apply here

Get a permit and install your solar panels in Vermont with no worries

Generally, it is legal to install solar panels on your house in Vermont after you get a permit from your local authorities. Vermont officials have released an installation guide for systems under 15 kW (which are most residential systems anyway). It states that you need to at least register your system and obtain a Certificate of Public Good to connect it to the grid. Some cities demand additional permits and documents. However, usually your installer knows all the details about permits in your area and handles most of the process. Be aware that city or county officials can impose additional fees on you for inspections and documents. Find more useful articles and links at the Department of Public Service website.

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