As a Vermont homeowner, you can join Vermont’s renewable energy movement by purchasing your own home-installed solar photovoltaic (PV) system. Incentives reduce initial purchase prices, financing options keep payments low, and eventually 90 to 100 percent of your electricity will be completely free.
An Incentive Tax Credit is offered until December 31, 2016, by the federal government. It reduces the initial cost of a PV system purchase and installation by 30 percent. It is uncertain if the government will extend the credit after that date, so buyers should move fast to take advantage of this incentive.
Cash: Always welcome, a cash purchase gives you total ownership of the PV system. Your purchase will include the design process, so your system is tailored exactly to your unique geographical location. It will also include installation on your site, either on your roof or ground-mounted, depending on the best solar exposure. Finally, it includes connecting your site to the utility grid. Connection is necessary because, while PV-powered electricity is available most of the time, there are occasions when reliance on the utility grid is necessary. To offset this, however, credits are generated when PV-powered kilowatts hours (kWh) exceed grid-powered, which reduces your cost of grid-powered electricity.
Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE): This loan opportunity allows system owners to tie their PV system loan to their property and pay it off through their property taxes. Because the debt lies with the system, title to the system transfers when the home is sold, and the new homeowner continues as the borrower. A recent California study indicated that homes with installed PV systems sell for higher prices than homes without them. Many of Vermont’s towns have adopted, or are adopting, the program and offer low financing rates to their residents who elect to finance their PV systems through this unique process.
No matter how you purchase your PV system, you will receive added financial bonuses for the life of the system. Net metering is the tracking of the source of electricity, PV or grid. When grid electricity is being used, your meter will run forward. When PV power is being used, your meter will run backward. When you generate more PV electricity than you use, the excess is fed back (through the meter) into the grid system. You get credit for that value, which is applied to your next utility bill. Your use of PV electricity will reduce your reliance on, and the cost of, your grid-powered electricity.
Also, Vermont’s “Solar Adder” adds an extra financial credit on top of that offered by net metering, up to a total of 20 cents per kWh. The Adder credit opportunity extends for 10 years after installation of the system.
Vermont’s residents can be proud of their state’s commitment to clean energy. You can join the movement by adding a solar powered electricity generation station to your home.
RGS Energy has almost 40 years of experience in installing solar energy systems throughout the country. To find out how solar energy could power your Vermont home, visit www.sandbox.rgsenergy.com.