Connecticut Solar Incentives Guide: Cut Solar Panel Cost (CT) Rebates

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Solar Panels | March 18, 2024

A Woman sitting on a solar panel collects cash from the state of Connecticut solar incentives which reduce the cost of solar panels in CT after learning how to use solar tax credits and rebates for residential solar panel installation.

If you’re looking for the most efficient solar panels, the state of Connecticut solar incentives can reduce the cost of solar panels in CT thanks to federal tax credits, state rebates and many financing options.

This complete guide explains what expenses can be claimed by residential and commercial owners who want to install clean electricity options that reduce their emissions and lower their costs.

With the possibility of being totally independent or just reducing the size of your utility bill, there are several programs designed to help you to cut the cord from the energy grid, or at the very least loosen the grip it has on your finances.

Learn all about the options available from the Connecticut solar incentives offered so that you can determine if this effective solution is for you.

Residential Solar Panel in Connecticut (Solar Panel Cost Calculator Connecticut)

The lure of renewable solar energy is enticing residents in Connecticut looking for long-term, sustainable ways to save on electricity rates that are near the top of the most-expensive list in the United States.

A two-story residential house showing solar panels mounted on a roof with the clear blue sky on the background.

(Image: Raze Solar12)

You would be within the average range if your monthly electricity bill hovers around the $250 level, but for sure some months it far exceeds that paltry sum if your household soaks up electricity like a sponge does water.

In comparison between states, the kWh cost is $30.24 cents in Connecticut while in 15 other states, the costs fluctuate significantly as shown below.

State Price
Massachusetts $31.71 cents
Hawaii $44.96 cents
Washington $10.7 cents
Nebraska $10.25 cents
Arizona $12.62 cents
California $26.45 cents
Florida $15.01 cents
New York $23.57 cents
Texas $14.18 cents
North Dakota $9.91 cents
Wyoming $10.28 cents
Maine $24.12 cents
Nebraska $9.35 cents
Oregon $12.04 cents
Montana $10.73 cents

With only a few other states that have higher rates, it is incumbent upon the government in Connecticut to invest in programs to alleviate the financial strain on their inhabitants.

A large majority of the electricity in the state is derived from nuclear and natural gas,1 with just 5% from renewable resources.

Pie chart showing Connecticut renewable energy consumption including Connecticut wind energy, biomass energy, geothermal energy, hydroelectric energy, and solar energy in the state of Connecticut for 2022.

If the percentages were reversed, with sustainable energy production sources supplying 95% of the electricity, then your utility bills would be greatly scaled down.

But the first obstacle to tackle, to overcome, is the cost of solar panels in Connecticut.

Basic prices can start for as little as $13,000 and ascend from there to $20,000 plus. Battery storage prices would be on top which would increase the price beyond the reach of many residents.

A solution had to be found to afford anyone with the possibility of having a solar system installed in their home at a price that was within their means.

Solar rebates, incentives, and tax exemptions can help address the power imbalance between nuclear, natural gas, and solar energy to cut back on the pressure placed on the utility grid by the state’s inhabitants, and also save them money.

But first, why are solar panels so expensive?

How Much Are Solar Panels in Connecticut? (Solar Panel Cost Connecticut)

If you’re one of the thousands of residents in Connecticut debating whether solar power is worth the investment, then you have to look no further than the sums.

It’s true that the average cost of solar panels in Connecticut is not cheap at about $16,000, but maybe if you broke down the cost of the entire system it may explain why it is so expensive, and maybe reveal areas where savings can be made.

If you were to pop down to your local solar panel supplier and buy just one solar, it would cost between $200-$350 or more depending on the watts and the type.

Let’s presume that you would like a high-quality solar panel and opt for the panel that costs $350.

After calculating the energy demands of your property, the consultant in the store recommends 20 panels for a cost of $7,000. But then lists the other items you’ll need one by one to arrive at the final price.

Solar Components Prices
Panel Costs $7,000
Inverter System2 $1,500
Charge Controller $500
Racking $1,000
Junction Box $150
Battery Storage System $4,000
Installation $5,000
Permits and Inspections $500
Total Solar System Cost $19,650

The costs of changing over to solar power do not only include the hardware that is bolted into the root. There are unseen fees that will influence the final price that you will have to pay that are classed as soft costs.

These will include any permits required, marketing expenses, overheads, and even the profit that the company wants to make.

The prices can vary with panel size differences, the mounting types and placement of the racking on your roof, the watts required, the square footage of your property, and even what the company charges for installation which can vary from $0.50c a watt to $1.00 a watt.

All these will be reflected in the final price you will have to pay. It has been calculated that the actual cost of solar panels only accounts for about 25% of the overall price you will have to pay.

It is important to note that other factors, such as solar panel racking, could easily double or half the price, as perhaps some of your neighbors have discovered.

Self-install is an option to cut costs, but one of the most effective methods is to take advantage of one of the numerous Connecticut solar incentives programs and the solar rebates from the government that are there for the taking.

One of them could save on the cost of a battery system.

How Many Peak Hours of Sunshine Is There for Solar Panels Connecticut?

One of the driving forces behind the reason why an increasing number of homeowners in Connecticut are installing solar panels is the high price of electricity.

Map of the state of Connecticut with each county colored to show the daily peak sun hours in each Connecticut county ranging from 4.02 to 4.12 daily hours of sunlight.

The state has one of the highest rates in the U.S. at $0.28c per kWh which is assuredly making a dent in your monthly wage packet.

Short-term strategies without long-term vision have held legislators back from previously investing in renewable energy resources, too accustomed to relying on fossil fuels to power the state.

But the squeeze of other living expenses is starting to shake them from their adherence to natural gas, away from fossil fuel towards sustainable sources of solar energy.3

Compared to other states that are blessed with 6 hours of daily peak sunshine, the average in Connecticut is 3.84 hours, but there are ways to adjust to that discrepancy and maximize what potential there is to capture those precious rays.

In conjunction with one of the Connecticut solar incentives available, an additional piece of equipment can be included in a solar array configuration that will improve the amount of sunlight that can be absorbed.

With a solar panel sun tracker, a piece of equipment that can be included in some of the incentive programs to reduce the price, your solar panel will automatically tilt and angle the face of the solar panels towards the sun as it travels across the sky.

Absorbing the most amount of sunlight a day is the purpose of having rooftop solar installations, and this tool is one way to achieve that with the minimum of effort.

The extra cost would be worthwhile from the additional electricity produced, and the installation company could advise which one would be right for your property to get you the best results possible.

If you consult a solar panel size chart you can determine how many panels would be needed for your home to have an idea of whether a tracking system would then still be within your budget.

CT Solar Incentives (Federal Solar Tax Credit and Connecticut Solar Incentives Guide)

Sometimes you just want to find everything in one place, to know what’s what at a glance.

Well, here are virtually all the grants, programs, incentives, and rebates that you can apply for to get the cost of solar panels in Connecticut down and placed in your home.

Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC): Connecticut Solar Tax Credit

As an assistance program to help homeowners in America with the cost of solar panels, this federal energy credits offer is invaluable.

A solar panel technician holding a polycrystalline solar panel to be installed on a solar panel system with trees in the background.

(Image: GlacierNPS13)

It will enable you to save 30% from the overall price, which for the average homeowner in your state means a saving of $6,000 on a $20,000 quote.

There is a criteria that needs to be met before you can be considered for this tax credit but it’s easily worth checking off a few boxes to benefit from this incentive.

  1. First, your system needs to be set up on a property that you own and live in for the majority of the year. Single-family residences, mobile and prefabricated homes, and cooperative apartments are all included, as long as you are the owner of it and not renting.
    If you are renting a property you are ineligible for this program. But it can also be claimed on a different property that you own even if you rent it out as long as a considerable portion of the year is spent there.
  2. To qualify for the 30% the PV system must have been installed after 2017 or will be before 2034.
  3. Owning the PV system is a prerequisite for participation. If the system is leased or rented, then you will not be afforded the opportunity to claim the 30% tax credit.4
    However, if you are purchasing the system through a financing option you will still be eligible.

The takeaway has to be to do whatever is necessary to receive this tax break.

If the only thing holding you back from integrating solar energy into your life are finances, then the ITC can ease that pressure considerably. Don’t miss out on it.

Connecticut Solar Rebate Program

The Connecticut Green Bank’s Residential Solar Investment initiative is unique to residents in Connecticut and has been available since 2012.

Basically, it lowers the cost of purchasing a solar array by giving you a rebate of $0.463 per watt for the first 10kW of your system.

This may not sound like a lot, but it can benefit you to the tune of over $3,000 if you bought an 8kW system. If in doubt, always apply.

Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Solar Systems

Everything has a sales tax on it, but if you’re buying a solar system in Connecticut that is being waived.

A row of solar panels mounted on a solar panel racking situated alongside a highway.

(Image: MassDOT14)

You will be able to claim tax exemption which can save you at least $1,000, but once all your information has been submitted it could be considerably more.

Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems

If you’re concerned that an improvement to your property will also increase the property tax you will have to pay due to the improved value of your house, you can rest easy.

This Connecticut solar incentives scheme will exempt the taxes from going up on your property, and this is applied year after year, not just a one-off tax relief. Over the lifespan of your solar system, you will end up saving thousands of dollars.

 Residential Renewable Energy Solutions

This program has replaced the net metering program but works in a similar fashion.5 It will utilize excess tariffs to reimburse you in the form of credits or a buy-all tariff that your system produces.

You can choose between these two different tariff systems, to either get cash back or a rolling credit. If you fall into either the low-income or distressed municipality categories, an additional $0.025 per kWh or $0.0125 per kWh can be received.

Connecticut Energy Conservation Loan Program

If you want to save your hard-earned cash for another day or simply don’t want to spend it all in one place, there are options in regard to loan programs that are available at very appealing rates. With this program, loans of up to $25,000 are available to you with rates from 0-6%.

Solar for All Program (Connecticut Solar Assistance)

In an effort to include all inhabitants in the state to participate in the drive to go solar, the program encourages disadvantaged homeowners by making available leasing options.

Sponsored by the Connecticut Green Bank, it was launched in 2015 when they collaborated with a local solar company to create a program aimed at LMIs (Low-Moderate Income Homeowners).

A building rooftop showing a solar panel system installation using polycrystalline solar panels with water reservoir in the background.

(Image: U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Cory J. Mendenhall15)

This program is similar to another rebate program it runs but better. It gives incentives and cash rebates to both solar power owners and those who are leasing.

This is an unusual difference as most states only do so for those who buy a system outright rather than lease only. If you are an owner you will be eligible for a cost reduction of $0.426 per installed watt, depending on the size of your system.

If you are leasing and are interested in taking part, you can receive $0.30 per kWh produced as payment. Although a lesser amount, in other states if you were leasing your system there would be nothing, zero, so a $0.30 per kWh rebate isn’t bad at all.

Combined with other programs and the Connecticut solar incentives that are available, the cost of solar panels in Connecticut has been mitigated so PV systems can be offered to a wider consumer base.

Since its inception, over 3,000 households have participated, with more constantly joining up. If you are interested in solar energy, apply regardless of your credit score or even income level.

National Grid Connected Solutions Battery Program and HEAT Loans

What this program offers you is a recurring rebate every summer. As a customer of National Grid that has installed a battery solar storage kit,6 you could be eligible for saving hundreds of dollars on your utility bills.

Signing up is easy and will cost you nothing.

The benefit for National Grid is that when demand is at its highest during daily peak hours they will be able to relieve the stress on the grid by utilizing your stored energy.

The peak energy demand is between 2-7 pm on summer days when the system is always in danger of being overloaded. For no more than 3 hours within this timeframe, they will control your inverter and divert the stored energy in your batter system to support the grid.

This will be barely noticeable within your household and can pay dividends, with compensation possibly accruing a healthy profit of over $1,500 a year just for being involved in the project, based on the kWh leaked back to the grid.

If you have a large battery configuration that stores greater amounts of unused electricity, the windfall could easily surpass $2,000.

C-PACE Financing Program

Through the C-PACE financing program, it’s possible for you to gain access to financing for not only your solar power system but also other energy-saving renovations. Through this initiative, you will be able to finance the purchase of the equipment and repay the debt by voluntarily assessing your property taxes.

On the face of it, the cost of your solar system may not be reduced by any sort of deductions but it can be financed 100% on this program with a payback period of 10-20 years as long as it does not exceed the lifespan of the product.

This finance structure is targeted at commercial property owners and is a fantastic source of long-term funding. The payments are based and calculated on property taxes with quite low repayment options.

Distributed Generation Program: Buy-All, Sell-All

This is an interesting program where every single drop of energy that your solar array generates is fed back into the grid – and you get paid for it above market kWh rates.

It is a novel idea and if you are tempted to participate first do a bit of sums to verify if it will help to knock down the price of your utility bills, or just serve to help out the grid.

At no point will you be benefiting directly from the photovoltaic kit installed on your rooftop, like you would under a net metering system?

With net metering, the excess electricity that is not consumed is sent back to the grid and you would be credited on your utility bills. This happens automatically with a smart meter installed on your property that records the level of electricity being exported.7

Buy-all, sell-all, works in a similar manner, but two unidirectional meters will be integrated, one recording exported electricity, the other energy that is consumed.

As it is purchased at a higher rate than the electricity you are being charged, the buy all, sell all should easily balance the books and between the two, and leave an amount that can become a regular passive income source over the 20 years of the contract.

How To Cut Solar Panel Cost (CT), Rebates, Leasing, and PPAs

The Connecticut Green Bank offers both a lease and a Power Purchase Agreement contract on their programs. They both look the same printed on a piece of paper but will have a different impact when the time arrives for the installation of your PV system and how you pay for it.

Under either agreement, there are no deposit requirements just a regular monthly payment once the PV system is installed so you won’t be out of pocket, or under pressure to find any upfront expenses.

A residential house showing a homeowner installing solar panels on the roof.

(Image: Raze Solar16)

The eligibility of each application will depend on their individual situation which will include their energy requirements, assets, and financial status.

In a sense, this is a way how to get solar panels for free, but it also means you will not be the owner of the installation, nor will you be eligible for the federal tax credit.

So how does it all work?

A 20 or 25-year contract is the standard length of time for a leasing contract whereas a Power Purchase Agreement can be for a shorter duration,8 possibly between 10 to 25 years.

In either event, your monthly payments will be calculated based on the kWh displayed on your utility bills. This is important because the monthly payment will have to be less than the amount you are currently spending on your bills to make the program worthwhile to you.

The leasing option has a fixed payment schedule that will increase yearly generally by about 3 or 5%, but this is agreed upon within the contract.

A PPA contract payment will be based on kWh usage that you are accustomed to, but slightly cheaper. It will fluctuate on the quantity of electricity consumed monthly, but it will still be cheaper than what you are currently paying.

In either scenario, you, as the homeowner, will be benefiting from cheaper utility bills, with the added bonus that all maintenance, repairs, and cleaning will be the sole responsibility of the solar company or third party.

And there is extra flexibility where in the eventuality that you may wish to change premises, the contract can be signed over to the new owner, or you can pay a small fee to break it.

If free solar panels Connecticut isn’t possible, but this is as close as it gets.

Grants for Solar Panels: Cut Solar Panel Cost (CT) Rebates

As a business in Connecticut, you may be interested in taking advantage of some of the incentive programs available, only to find that many of them are not sufficient for your commercial requirements.

Or maybe you are considering erecting a large commercial enterprise that will benefit the state but are unsure where to start. There are some grants that will help businesses with between $4,000 to $10,000 but may not be nearly enough to launch a large-scale project.

Fortunately, there are at least two grants that are available for you to apply for with different levels of funding.

  • CT Clean Energy Fund

This grant is open for applications for photovoltaic projects such as solar farm, commercial and industrial businesses, nonprofit organizations, and educational enterprises that are not only interested in solar energy but also other forms of renewable resources.

The amounts were available to fund your clean energy project starts from $850,000.9

  • The United Illuminating Company

Aimed at the construction industry, whether for commercial or residential purposes, it applies to any building that will have solar panels either installed on the rooftops or somewhere on the property.

With grants available of up to $300,000, if your company or even your cooperative is constructing a clean energy, self-reliant, electricity-independent building, then get your application in as soon as possible.

Shared Clean Energy Facilities (SCEF)

The impetus behind this program is for those residents who are interested in solar energy but do not have the space to accommodate the panels. If you are in this situation, all is not lost.

Map showing locations of solar plants in Connecticut using yellow markers and Connecticut solar panels with a US cut out showing the location of the state of Connecticut.

Subscribing to what’s known as a shared clean energy program will enable you, for a monthly fee, to participate in an offsite solar installation which will be attributed to your dwelling to offset your utility bills.

It is not as good as having your very own solar array, but it will reduce your bills and relieve you of the burden of paying out a lump sum of money at the start.

Connecticut Solar Incentives Guide for Recycling of Solar Panels (CT)

The progression of the solar industry is about to come full circle, and if you were one of the first residents in the state to install solar panels decades ago, then it may be time for an upgrade.

It’s not that the panels are not functioning at all, just that they would have degraded to the degree where the level of electricity produced may no longer be sufficient for your household needs.

Fortunately, the cost of solar panels in Connecticut over the last few years has fallen dramatically, and with the slew of Connecticut solar incentives available, a new solar array should be within your financial reach.

If you select the right company to do the changeover, it’s possible they may even offer a further discount on your old system.

However, if you are a climate enthusiast and want to help reduce carbon emissions, the last thing you would want is to have your old system to be taking up space in a landfill with hundreds of others.

But an old solar panels be recycled? Originally, the disassembling of solar panels was never considered at the point of manufacture, and for that reason harvesting any reusable parts and components is not very cost-effective.

It is a labor-intensive process that involves removing the glass components manually and then heating the remaining materials in a thermal machine to temperatures of up to 500°C.

It is a very carbon-generating process that’s needed to loosen the bonded elements of the cells and to evaporate the plastic covering them, leaving them free to undergo the next separation technique.

An acid and smelting treatment method is then used on the wafer-thin cells so the silicon can be extracted and reused.

All in all, solar panel recycling is expensive and time-consuming,10 but the alternative is storing them in landfills and having lead and other harsh materials leach into the soil. An eventuality that no one wants.

In other types of solar panels, such as thin film, a shredder has to be used to break down the components then a liquid dewatering and metal separation step to enable the semiconduction materials to be recyclable.

Newer solar panels are being manufactured with future recycling in mind, and disassembling them into valuable components proving to be a lot easier.

More and more solar manufacturing and installation companies in Connecticut will be jumping on this new bandwagon as they come to realize that there is a lot of money to be made in the new sector that could easily become the new gold rush.

It is estimated that in the years to come, the sector of the solar industry could be worth billions.

Who knew that there could be so much money to be made by not throwing away something onto the scrap heap?

Connecticut Solar Incentives Guide and Solar Fast Facts

If you are still hesitating before deciding to invest your future electricity supply in solar, here are a few facts that may help you to decide that going green is the only way to go – and solar energy is leading the way.

  • Out of all the states, Connecticut is ranked 20th in regard to the quantity of solar energy installed.
  • There is enough solar energy being produced in the state to power over 169,000 homes.
  • Over $2.8 billion has been invested in this sector so far.
  • Only about 3.2% of the state’s electricity is solar, but that is increasing every year.
  • 159 companies, including manufacturers, and installers, currently operate within the state’s boundaries.
  • On a never-ending basis, 173,000 terawatts of solar energy are available to be harnessed. That amount of energy is capable of powering every home, commercial business, and every single device on the entire planet 10,000 times over.
  • The United States is the 2nd largest market in the world for solar energy, in part due to programs like the Connecticut solar incentives and the Inflation Reduction Act.
  • The largest market in the world is China, obliterating America’s 135.7 GW consumption by more than double at an incredible 392 GW.

The Benefits of the Government Solar Program and Connecticut Solar Tax Credits

Connecticut is not at the forefront of the solar revolution in fact, with some environmental advocacy groups saying that the state is 10 years behind the frontrunners.

Close up of solar panels installed on the roof.

(Image: USDA Photos by Lance Cheung17)

Even so, it is playing catch up at a phenomenal rate thanks in part to the programs from the government, and a slew of Connecticut solar incentives.

The wake-up call occurred in 2015 when the winter rolling blackouts were not just a possibility but a certainty. Due to this looming problem, alternative forms of energizing the state had to be investigated and then adopted, just as the Colorado solar tax credit programs have helped that state for the past 20 years.

Convincing the inhabitants of the importance of solar panels was the easy part as climate change was a growing concern,11 so then it was just a matter of making them affordable.

Solar power is well on the way to being the primary energy source in the state due to the tireless promotion of the Connecticut solar incentives, making it easy for residents to cut solar panel cost (CT) using rebates and various state funded programs.

Frequently Asked Questions About Connecticut Solar Incentives

Free Solar Panels CT?

Free isn’t exactly possible, but either a lease agreement or a PPA can come pretty close if installed under one of the Connecticut solar incentives programs.

Does Solar Increase Home Value in Connecticut?

Homes with solar arrays installed have a tendency to sell for about 4% more than houses without as they are considered a beneficial upgrade; and this answers the question, “Does solar increase home value in Connecticut?”

Is There a Carbon Footprint Solar Panels?

Surprisingly, even though it is hailed as a clean energy source, solar energy does have a carbon footprint. This is created from the point of manufacture and material procurement, but after a few years of being in use, the carbon footprint solar panels produce is quickly offset and they become carbon neutral.

What Is the Buy-All Tariff in Connecticut?

To offset the cost of solar panels in Connecticut and to make it profitable to sell all the energy back to the grid, the rate has been set above the retail rate of $0.28c kWh at $0.2943c kWh.

What Is the Carbon Footprint of an American City?

The carbon footprint of an average American city varies from as high as 114 tons in Wyoming to as low as 8.8 tons in New York.


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