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SOLAR ENERGY FAQ'S FOR VERMONTERS

Do solar systems really work in Vermont?

 

Yes, absolutely! People have been making renewable electricity with solar energy systems in their homes and businesses in Vermont for over 40 years.  A grid-tied, net-metered solar electric system ("PV" for "PhotoVoltaic") can be sized to produce enough electricity to power 100% of your electrical needs!

 

How much is the upfront investment for a solar power system?

 

Solar systems are custom designed to meet the needs of each individual household or business.  We have installed systems from $15,000 to $50,000, depending on the size and type of the system.  And, don't forget -- you'll get 30% of the installation cost back in the form of a federal income tax credit!  Solar Pro will be happy to provide Vermonters in our region with NO-COST, NO-OBLIGATION SITE EVALUATIONS!

 

Each site has unique installation design requirements.  A typical solar power installation will pay for itself in full in about ten years and continue to produce free electricity for many decades to come!

 

Photovoltaic systems are priced according to the size of the system and the type of installation (tracker, rooftop, or fixed ground mounted).  Generally, rooftop systems are less expensive than ground mounted systems.  AllSun Tracker systems are usually more cost-effective than fixed ground-mounts because the tracking feature provides a much greater solar electric output (35-45% more than fixed systems!).  AND!  The highly innovative AllSun Tracker system is designed and manufactured in Williston, Vermont!

 

What incentives are available for solar power in Vermont?

 

The federal government provides a 30% federal income tax credit for solar systems for residential AND commercial projects!   For more information, see the database of renewable energy incentives.

 

Vermont's statutory agreement with Green Mountain Power provides an excellent incentive for solar power customers for residences and businesses.  In addition to the standard net-metering program that currently offsets your regular kWh consumption with 14.7-cents for every kWH of solar electricity, GMP will compenstate solar system owners an additional 5.3-cent INCENTIVE for every kWh of solar power generated.  

 

Vermont provides an additional financial incentive for commercial solar power investors in the form of a state investment tax credit in the amount of 7.2%, based on the cost of the solar installation.  This state tax credit is available to "pass-through" entities only, such as LLC's and sole proprietors (not available to U.S. "C" Corporations).

 

Businesses may also take a depreciation deduction for solar equipment.  

TAX CREDIT DEADLINE:  The federal and state income tax credits expire on December 31, 2016!  Make your move to Go Solar SOON!

How does Net-Metering work?

 

Compensation from GMP is paid to solar customers in the form of credits that appear on utility bills (not cash).  A net-metering customer may build up a "bank" of credits during sunny summer months that may be used to offset electric bills during snowy, short winter days.  Excess net-metering credits may be utilized for twelve consecutive months.  If a customer's net-meter bank of credits is unused by the customer in the 13th month, the credit disappears from the solar credit bank.  (If you don't use it, you lose it!)  It is important that your solar power system is sized properly, based on your ANNUAL electric consumption.

 

What is Group Net-Metering?

 

Solar-generated utility credits may be allocated to any Green Mountain Power billing customer from Brattleboro to Bennington to Burlington, which means that solar power may be shared with your Vermont friends and family members.  It also means that you may sell your GMP solar credits to any other GMP customer.  Group net-metering allows the creation of solar cooperatives for people who do not own their homes or who live in condominiums.  

 

The experts at Solar Pro can help you think outside the box and help you to utilize the sun as a renewable financial asset!  Call us to arrange for a personal, indepth discussion about creative ways of investing in the power of the sun.

 

How long do solar systems last?

 

Solar power systems are still working that were installed more than 25 years ago!  They require very litte maintenance and will continue to produce power for many decades.  The updated technology and high quality equipment that Solar Pro installs is designed to last much longer than solar systems that were installed in the '70's and '80's.  We expect the new systems to last as long as 50 years or more!  Most of the PV panels that we install have manufacturers' performance guarantees up to 80% of their original output for 25 years.

 

Will my solar system work in the winter?

 

Yes, just as soon as the sun comes out after a snow event, your solar panels will start to produce power.  Even on cloudy days, solar systems generate electricity in dim light.  It’s true that solar systems work most efficiently during summer months, but they will continue working to provide solar energy for your home all year long.

 

I live on the side of a mountain and my house is shaded part of the day. How much sunshine do I need to make solar work at my location?

 

Almost every home in Vermont is a good candidate for solar power. To be most effective, the sun should shine on your solar panels from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. If the sun sets behind your mountain as early as 4 p.m., you’re probably OK for solar!  And, don't forget -- your solar system does NOT have to be on your site for you to receive renewable energy net-metering benefits.

 

I don’t have a south-facing roof, am I solar-challenged?

 

No way! A south-facing roof is an ideal location for solar installation, but is not required!  Vermont's own AllSunTrackers produce 35%-45% more power than a fixed installation and are an excellent choice for many sites.

 

 

 

 

 

Solar Pro • Arlington, VT • (802) 375-6462