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Vermont solar 101: must read before you buy solar panels

Last updated 12.02.21

Vermont State 52 solar panels available

  • $2.21 / W Average gross price of a solar power system as of December 2022
  • 7 years Average system payback period
  • $41 784 Average savings from going solar in Vermont
  • 9 ¢ / kWh Levelized cost of solar energy
  • 3.94 kW Recommended system size

Benefit from a PV system
in Vermont

Solar panels in Vermont

Vermont #49 in the US
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What our happy customers say

Hi all, i wanted to share my experience of buying from a1solar. I needed panels for my yacht. I wanted to have only 3, but they have a minimum order size for delivery so I opted for pickup. It was good. It went smoothly. I appreciate the split payment that they offer. I basically went to the center, grabbed the panels, loaded ‘em in the truck and drove them home (gotta do it carefully though!). Nice guys too. peace, Carl
Caarl Arlac
Via Trustpilot
Oct 2, 2022
I did business with A1 about half a year ago (it’s september 22 atm) when I needed panels for my home in Phoenix. I took Panasonic, if anyone’s wondering. The system’s doing great, and I think I got really lucky with my installer and the shop as well. If I recall correctly, my order was indeed processed in 24h as promised, delivery took a bit longer than expected but it wasn’t a big deal, these were busy days for fedex. panels were in good shape. I myself checked them thoroughly.
Ryden R
Via Trustpilot
Sep 25, 2022
I like this company. Good service 👍
Daiga Ellaby
Via Google
Sep 19, 2022
i read too much about the broken panels and decided to go with the pickup option. Loved the experience overall. One of their centers was nearby, so I ordered some q cells for myself and drove there. They explained in detail how to drive the package home safely so I was really careful and yeah, now they are in my garage, waiting to be installed. Can’t really complain about anything, panels are fine, the service was cool, and the delivery was on me lol
loken
Via Trustpilot
Sep 19, 2022
So I did order a system, and everything arrived on time, and yes, one panel was broken. But you know what? I’m still going to give them 5 stars. Because 1) they warned me about the possibility of this happening and told me what to do in this case; 2) when I contacted them about it, they handled the situation professionally. I sent them all that they asked for and got a replacement relatively quickly. If it’s anyone’s fault that panels break, then it is the carrier's one. My impression: good service, great prices, commendable customer support.
Will Ghost
Via Trustpilot
Sep 14, 2022
I needed just a couple of panels for the boat, but the staff treated me like I was buying the whole warehouse. I decided to pick the order up myself, their center was within reach. Getting my panels and a Magnum inverter was easier than going for groceries. There is a lot of hard work behind this simplicity. This I know from experience
Filip Scot
Via Trustpilot
Sep 11, 2022

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

Save 26% of your PV system cost with Federal Solar Tax Credit

The main solar incentive that works across all United States is the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC) program. By applying to this program, all Americans can deduct 26% of the total cost of their installation from the income tax. The PV system cost doesn’t amount to only how much you’ve spent on your solar panels, but includes the shipping and installation as well. To claim the ITC, complete all the necessary forms and submit them when filing your taxes. It makes sense to hurry up: in 2023 the Tax credit decreases to 22% and after that it’s 10% for commercial systems only.

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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