How do I know if my home is suitable for solar?
The most suitable home is one whose south-facing roof receives unobstructed sunlight for most or all of the day. Any shading on the system can significantly reduce energy output so it is important to assess the locations of current trees and buildings around your home as well as whatever obstructions may exist around your home in the future. Climate is not so much a concern as the solar panels are relatively unaffected by severe weather.
Will the system produce electricity on cloudy days?
Yes, just not as much. Under a slightly overcast sky, panels may produce as much as half of what they produce on a clear, sunny day.
How long will the installation process take?
The physical installation of the solar system on your roof typically takes anywhere from two to five days. However, ordering the equipment and scheduling the installation can take several months. Because the installation is occurring outside of your home, there should be very little disturbance to you.
What sort of maintenance is required?
You do not have to be concerned about snow on your solar panels, however, they do operate best when they are clear of any debris and dust. During pollen season an occasional hosing off or spraying down of the panels can be helpful.
What size system should I install?
To get the full retail value for the energy your solar system produces, it is best to size the system to closely match your electric usage during on-peak times. On-peak times are periods of the day when you use the most amount of electricity. The size of your roof and the amount of money you are willing to spend on the system are two crucial factors you will want to consider when finalizing on a size for your system.
How much will I save by installing a solar system?
The answer depends on the size of the system you choose and your on-peak usage. Ask your solar system provider how much electricity your new system will produce on an annual basis and then compare that number to how much electricity your household uses on an annual basis to get an idea of how much you could save.
How will solar affect my home’s value?
It will add to it. This is because unlike electricity rates, solar rates will forever remain constant. A solar system insulates you from the rising electricity rates. Once the system has paid for itself, the electricity it generates is absolutely free!
What are the rebates and incentives?
Residential solar PV systems in Connecticut are exempt from all property and sales taxes. However, exemption requires the property owner to file a claim with their local assessor. In addition, the Connecticut Housing Investment Fund provides loans of up to $25,000 for solar PV systems to families that meet a specific set of income requirements. Interest on the loans can range from 1-6% depending on income. The life of the loan can be up to 10 years. Federally, there is a 30% tax credit for going solar.
Do I need to file a tax exemption with my town?
Property tax exemption for Connecticut Class I renewable energy systems generating electricity for private residential use is available for systems installed on or after October 1, 2007, serving 1 to 4 family owner-occupied homes and farms. Additionally, any passive or active solar water or space heating system or geothermal energy resource is exempt from property taxes, regardless of the type of facility the system serves.
Exemption claims must be filed with the assessor or board of assessors in the town in which the property is placed in service on or before November 1st in the applicable assessment year. Applications are not required each year as long as no major alterations are made to the renewable energy system.
Make sure to contact your local tax assessor’s office for more information.