Solar Dollars and Sense

How should I pay for my solar power system?

We recommend that you either pay for your system outright or finance it with the ultra-low rates of the Connecticut Green Bank’s Smart-E loans.

  • If you finance your installation, your monthly payments may be similar to what you currently pay, but the great news is that you’ll enjoy free solar electricity for many years after you pay off the loan.
  • If you buy your system outright, it will typically pay for itself in 8-12 years. That’s equivalent to a return on investment of 10 to 18% — and it’s tax free!

Why should I purchase a solar system rather than lease one?

  • Buying your system outright or with a loan will save you far more money than leasing one:
  • You will receive all federal tax benefits and local incentives.
  • Once you pay off your loan, all of the electricity produced by your system is free. That’s 15-20 years of free electricity!
  • Loans charge a flat rate, but most leases contain an escalator clause that increases your payments 3% per year. If you pay 12 cents per kilowatt-hour in year one, a 3% escalator drives the price up to 18.2 cents in year 15!
  • It’s hard to find home buyers who are willing to assume your lease, so you’ll likely have to pay off the lease or pay to have the system removed.
  • Rule of thumb: If the lease charges an amount higher than 9 cents per kilowatt hour and has a 3% escalator, you will save more by purchasing the system.

Will I still need to be connected to the grid?

Yes. The solar power system will become your primary source of electricity, supplemented by utility-supplied electricity to meet your needs at night, on stormy and very cloudy days, on high-demand days, and similar.

Does solar power make financial sense in Connecticut?

Yes! Solar electricity is significantly less expensive than electricity provided by Connecticut’s primary utility companies and other suppliers. Because of that, a solar system in cloudy Connecticut has a higher financial benefit than the same size array in a sunny Southwest state where hyrdroelectricity is cheap.

P.S. Connecticut is surprisingly sunny: Hartford gets about 2,600 hours of sunshine each year, which is about the same as Houston and more than Rome! We also have many more sunny days than the world’s largest producer of solar electricity, Germany.

What is net metering?

When your solar power system is installed, your utility company will install a meter that measures how much electricity you draw from the grid and how much excess solar electricity you send out to the grid. Each month, you will be billed for the net amount of electricity you draw from the grid. If you send more electricity to the grid than you use during a billing cycle, you earn credit towards your next bill!

Is rooftop solar expensive?

We recommend solar power for homes only when we are certain it will save you money. The price of systems varies widely based on the number of panels, the components you choose, and other factors. But no matter the initial price, it will be dramatically reduced by federal and utility incentives!

Are special incentives available in Connecticut?

Yes. The Connecticut Green Bank calculates an incentive based on your system’s production. Please contact us for details on how it is calculated and paid.

What is the federal solar tax credit?

The federal solar tax credit allows homeowners to claim a tax credit equal to 30% of the total cost of installing your solar system. That rate will fall to 22% for systems installed in 2021 and zero for systems installed in 2022 and beyond. This tax credit significantly boosts the ROI of your solar investment. If you don’t have enough taxable income in one year to use your whole credit, you can apply it for up to five years after installing your system.

What guarantees and warranties do you provide?

Enjoy peace of mind with our warranty and care program, which includes:

  • Solar panels: 25-year warranty
  • Microinverters: 25-year warranty
  • Workmanship: 25-year warranty
  • Monitoring: We are automatically alerted to production problems
  • Repair/Replace: Should any part of your system fail while under warranty, we will repair or replace it at no charge

What happens if any of my solar panels stop working?

We install extremely durable solar panels and inverters that have 25-year warranties. Should anything fail under warranty, we will replace it at no charge to you.

I’m going to finance my purchase. What happens if I sell my house?

Whether you finance your system or purchase it outright, you own the system and can easily transfer ownership to the buyer. If they do not want the system for any reason, please call us to remove it for a minimal fee.

If you move within Connecticut and would like to keep your system, we can move it to your new home. Contact us for a free evaluation of your new home’s solar power potential. If it makes sense to move it, we will quote you the cost of removing your system, storing it for up to 75 days, and installing it on your new home.

Should I add my systems to my homeowners insurance policy?

Yes. The panels are warrantied against failure, but you need to insure them against damage caused by falling tree limbs, fire, or acts of nature.

Do you have a customer referral program?

Yes, we do! We are a family-run business that sincerely appreciates referrals provided by our customers. Just have them mention your name when they contact us or select “Friends and Family” on the request-a-quote form. If they sign a solar contract with us, you will receive $250.