Below you’ll find the top solar companies in Connecticut as ranked by us and reviewed by verified solar customers. To learn more about what goes into our “Best Rank” score for each company, visit our How We Rank page. For our full Connecticut Solar Overview, keep reading:
With solar prices in Connecticut falling precipitously over the past few years, solar investment in the state has skyrocketed. As of 2019, the state is in the 60th percentile among reporting states for solar output. A series of solar-friendly policies and a competitively solar company market has made adopting solar energy for Connecticut residents easier than ever.
Read on to learn more about the ins and outs of going solar in Connecticut.
Here's an at-a-glance description of the current benefits and drawbacks of switching to solar in Connecticut:
Depending on solar PV system size, solar panel type, and means of financing, solar panels in Connecticut can cost anywhere from $12,000 to $16,000. On the bright side, that makes for a relatively short payback period, between five and seven years. For larger systems (around 7.5 kilowatts), expect these figures to rise — up to $22,000 and eight years before profitability.
Homeowners currently have four methods of paying for solar energy in Connecticut: direct purchase, solar loans, solar leases, and power purchase agreements (PPA).
For customers who are able to make a sizable upfront investment, cash purchase of a solar system is the fastest way to reap the rewards of solar in the Nutmeg State. Following state rebates, the federal tax credit for solar, and the first year of energy savings, customers could end up paying around 60 percent of their system’s total retail value. And over the course of 25 years, the average solar panel system could produce nearly $50,000 after the payoff period is complete.
Although solar loans often come with a longer payback period than direct purchase, they can still be an effective way to go solar, especially for individuals with good credit and/or home equity who don’t have the substantial funds necessary to pay for the whole system upfront. Plus, through a solar loan, customers can own their solar energy system and therefore take advantage of the 26 percent Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit.
Assuming a 7.5 kW system, customers with good credit or home equity could qualify for a loan or home-equity line of credit (HELOC) of up to $22,000 with a 15-year term limit and 4.5 percent APR. Following the full repayment of the loan, customers could be making nearly $3,000 per year in profits just off their solar energy alone.
Solar leases and PPAs are often grouped together because the two payment methods operate very similarly. Under a solar lease, the customer effectively “rents” the system at a fixed monthly rate. PPAs meanwhile allow customers to pay for the power their system produces at a set kilowatt-hour price, and often at a lower rate than their current utility bill.
Because electricity prices in Connecticut are so high, these two options are incredibly cost-effective, because they demand no money upfront, and require no maintenance or service costs to the system. A PPA, for example, will often come with a price tag of about 14 cents per kilowatt-hour, which, when compared to current utility costs of 21 cents per kWh, could translate to upwards of $50 in monthly savings. After 25 years, that can add up to tens of thousands of dollars.
Compared to most states, Connecticut has some competitive solar incentives designed to reduce solar costs. In addition to the federal tax credit, Connecticut residents will have access to the following:
For solar installations up to 10 kilowatts, Connecticut has some powerful solar rebates, at $460 per kilowatt. Homeowners should note that this figure is based on real-world performance of the solar panels themselves, which is about 90 percent of the advertised wattage rate (for example, a 360-watt solar panel may actually produce closer to 324 watts).
Connecticut also offers incentives for solar installers interested in leasing their systems to residents.
Connecticut has two relevant tax exemptions for solar customers:
Connecticut is one of the few states in the country to offer a low-income solar program meant to provide clean, renewable energy to residents on fixed incomes. Through a state-funded subsidy, Connecticut works with third-party installers to lease solar energy systems to low-income families which results in massive savings on their energy bills.
Connecticut has a few favorable solar policies designed to regulate utility companies and promote solar energy in the state:
A renewable portfolio standard (RPS) is a state mandate that requires renewable energy account for a set percentage of total energy output within a certain number of years, as well as assigns penalties to utility companies in the event that that standard is not met.
For Connecticut, the RPS is 40 percent clean energy by January 1, 2030. That 40 percent includes Class I energy sources like solar, wind, and natural gas, as well as Class II and III sources like waste heat recovery and garbage burning.
Connecticut has a favorable net metering policy requiring utility providers to pay customers back for any excess energy their solar panel systems contribute to the power grid — however, this program is scheduled to end in 2022. Customers who invest in solar energy prior to 2022 will receive net metering benefits through 2039; otherwise, you’ll be paid back through what’s known as a feed-in tariff, a per-kWh credit determined by the utility company (as opposed to the state) which will likely be worth less than the average utility cost.
With more than 780 megawatts of solar energy installed to-date, Connecticut ranks in the top 20 of reporting states in terms of solar output and investment. Though solar energy accounts for less than three percent of the state’s total energy portfolio, the state has more than 47,000 solar installations completed by 135 companies employing more than 2,000 solar workers.
Interested in a solar quote? Check out the top-ranked solar companies in Connecticut and read reviews from verified solar customers.