Top 7 Best Solar Companies in Connecticut (2023 Reviews)
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In this Connecticut solar incentives guide, we’ll answer:
The average cost of going solar in Connecticut is $2.80 per watt, $0.14 cheaper than the national average. Considering the average household’s energy consumption in the state, a solar panel system in CT comes out to around $21,000 before any incentives or credits are applied. Making going solar in Connecticut absolutely worth it!
However, all Connecticut residents are eligible for the federal tax credit, worth 30% of the total cost of their solar panel system. This is in addition to other solar incentives available to homeowners in the state like sales and property tax exemptions, solar loan programs and the Residential Renewable Energy Systems Program.
These incentives make going solar more affordable in Connecticut. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), Connecticut is relatively solar-friendly and promotes solar conversion more effectively than most states.1
We’ll go into more detail about each of the solar incentives available in Connecticut below.
|Solar Incentives in Connecticut||Incentive Type||Description||Occurrence||Estimated Dollar Amount You Can Receive|
|Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)||Federal||All U.S. homeowners are eligible to get 30% of the total cost of their solar panel system back on their federal tax returns.||Applies to your federal tax returns, and will roll over for up to 5 years||On average, $6,300 in Connecticut|
|Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Solar and Geothermal Systems||State||Anyone in Connecticut who is purchasing solar equipment can qualify for a sales tax exemption.||At the time of purchase for solar equipment and services||On average, $1,334 for a solar panel system in CT|
|Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems||State||Connecticut’s property tax exemption ensures that your property taxes will not go up after you install solar panels.||Automatically applies to your taxes annually after you submit your application||Potentially thousands of dollars over the lifespan of your solar panels|
|Solar Loan Programs||State||There are several state-funded solar loan programs that make solar more accessible through low-interest rates and no-money-down options.||Over the lifespan of your solar loan||Depends on the value of the loan and your interest rate|
|Residential Renewable Energy Solutions (Replaced Connecticut’s net metering program)||State||The Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program replaced CT’s net metering program. It utilizes tariffs to compensate homeowners for excess solar energy their system generates. Customers opt-in to one of two tariff structures.||Monthly||Netting tariff: The retail rate of the excess energy generated by your solar panels, plus $.0318 per kWh generated by your panels for RECs (for Eversource customers) |
Buy all tariff: $0.2943 per kWh your solar panels generate 2
|Local incentives||Local||Some local governments offer solar incentives in addition to state incentive programs.||Varies||Varies|
The most attractive incentive available to Connecticut residents is the federal solar investment tax credit, commonly abbreviated as “ITC.” This credit is for 30% of your system cost and gets deducted from your federal income taxes owed — or paid via check if you get money back. In Connecticut, where the average system cost is $21,000, that’s a typical rebate of $6,300.
U.S. homeowners are eligible for the 30% tax credit through 2032. The credit will decrease to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034 before it’s phased out in 2035.
You’ll claim the Solar Tax Credit on your federal tax return. If you’re doing your own taxes, here’s how you claim your credit:
For a complete guide on how to apply for the federal solar tax credit, go to the IRS.gov website. It’s best to consult with a tax expert and your solar panel installer when applying for the ITC.
Worth 30% of the total solar system cost, The Federal ITC is the largest solar incentive available to Connecticut residents.
That being said, you will only recognize the full benefit of the solar tax credit if you expect to pay several thousand dollars in federal taxes within the five years following your solar panel installation. After five years, the tax credit will no longer roll over on your federal tax return.
Additionally, if you have a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA), you will not qualify for the Federal ITC.
Connecticut’s Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Solar and Geothermal Systems prevents you from having to pay sales tax on renewable energy equipment. Normally, the standard tax rate of 6.35% would apply to solar panels, battery storage options, inverters, mounting equipment, installation services and any other part of your solar power system.3
The sales tax exemption prevents you from having to pay that tax, saving homeowners an average of $1,334 in upfront costs.
To claim the sales and use tax exemption for renewable energy equipment and services in Connecticut, you must:
Connecticut’s sales tax exemption on renewable energy systems is an easy way to save money upfront on the cost of going solar.
Solar saves most homeowners money on their energy bills in the long run, and tax credits and other incentives also offer a monetary return. However, tax exemptions are great because they allow you to save money right away, at the time you purchase your solar equipment.
For an average-sized solar panel system in Connecticut, homeowners would save $1,334 in sales tax with this exemption.
Connecticut also offers a property tax exemption for renewable energy systems, including solar panels. Installing solar panels can cause your home’s value to increase, which would typically lead to an increase in your property taxes as well. However, Connecticut’s exemption ensures that your property taxes won’t go up after you install solar panels.
The state of Connecticut requires that all “passive or active solar heating systems or geothermal energy resources” be exempt from property taxes. However, whether or not “active solar cooling systems” are exempt from property taxes is up to the discretion of each locality.4
Overall, homeowners could save thousands of dollars in property taxes over the lifespan of their solar panels with the property tax exemption.
Although the state of Connecticut mandates property tax exemptions for renewable energy systems statewide, you will file your claim locally. Therefore, the application process will look slightly different depending on what town you live in.
You must file your exemption claim with your tax assessor or board of assessors in the town where your renewable energy system is located. You must file your claim before November 1 of the assessment year for the exemption to be applied to your taxes in time.
You do not have to reapply each year for this program. You would only reapply if you make major alterations to your solar (or other renewable energy) system.
To get started, contact your local tax assessor. You can find the tax assessor officers in your town here.
A property tax exemption on your solar panels can save you thousands of dollars in taxes over the lifespan of your system. Most residential photovoltaic systems are eligible for this exemption.
However, some exemptions are left up to the discretion of each locality in Connecticut, and exemption claims are handled locally.5 Therefore, you’ll want to make sure to discuss your individual situation with a local tax assessor to make sure your claim is filed correctly.
One of the most effective ways Connecticut makes this renewable energy source so accessible is through state-funded solar loan programs. These often supply homeowners with no-money-down options and low interest rates to minimize the long-term energy costs of solar PV systems.
Here are some of the top solar loan programs available in Connecticut:
The application process for solar loans in Connecticut will vary depending on which loan program you hope to qualify for. For more information and instructions on how to apply to each of the loan programs listed above, visit the program’s respective website:
Low-interest solar loans can make solar accessible to homeowners that otherwise would not be able to afford to install solar. Before committing to a loan, we strongly recommend comparing the qualities of different loan options, including the interest rate, down payment and the loan term (how long you’ll be paying the loan for).
As of January 1, 2022, Connecticut’s Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) replaced the state’s net metering policy and residential solar incentive program with the Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program.10
This program allows homeowners to earn money from the excess electricity their solar panels generate under one of two incentive tariff structures:
Those living in low-income households will receive an additional $0.025 per kWh their solar panels generate. Those living in “distressed municipalities” will receive an additional $0.0125 per kWh.12
Homeowners who installed solar before December 31, 2021, will still be eligible for net metering until 2039.13
Eversource Energy and United Illuminating (UI), the main energy providers in the state, administrate the Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program.
The Connecticut Net Metering Program no longer accepts new applications. Instead, you should apply to the Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program. This program offers similar benefits through a tariff system.
Your solar installer should apply for this program for you through an interconnection application with your electricity provider.
To get started with the interconnection process with Eversource, click here. To get started with UI, click here.
Although Connecticut’s statewide net metering program was phased out in favor of the Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program, the new program is similar to net metering in many ways, and offers a similar level of incentives.
How much you earn from the Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program can vary depending on your energy provider, household income level, and the type of tariff structure you choose.
Therefore, you should speak with your solar provider about your individual needs when applying for the Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program.
Check with your town’s local government to see if there are any additional solar incentives available where you live.
There are also additional incentives available for low- and middle-income households in CT. For instance, Connecticut’s Solar for All program helps underserved communities go solar and be more energy efficient. As a result, 4,400 families in the state have saved an average of $700 in the first year.14 Learn more about this
Under Connecticut’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), electricity providers must offset some of the energy they generate with clean energy systems. One way that they do this is by selling renewable energy credits (RECs) that home solar panels generate.
Oddly enough, Connecticut does not actually have a REC market. Instead, you’ll earn money for the RECs that your panels generate through your utility provider. You will earn money for your RECs through the netting tariff under the Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program. The REC rate for Eversource customers is $0.0318 per kWh generated by their solar panels.15
Yes, SRECs are taxable on both a federal and state level. Speak with a CPA or tax expert to decide how to go about paying taxes on SRECs in Connecticut.
Generally, if you make more than $600 of income in a year from RECs, you’ll include this on Form 1099-MISC of your tax return. Otherwise, if you do not have a 1099-MISC form, include your SREC earnings in Miscellaneous, 1099-A, 1099-C under the Wages & Income section of your federal taxes.
For more detailed instructions from TurboTax, click here.
Unfortunately, there are currently no new solar incentives set to be put in place in the near future. However, Connecticut residents will continue to be eligible for the federal solar tax credit, sales and property tax exemptions, solar loan programs and the Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program for the foreseeable future.
There were also many changes to solar incentive policies in Connecticut in 2022 that encouraged the growth of the solar industry. For instance, the state’s net metering program was replaced with the Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program which offers more flexible options for homeowners to earn money from the energy their solar panels generate.
Additionally, Connecticut’s PURA introduced an Energy Storage Solutions program in 2022 designed to incentivize energy storage installations, including solar batteries. This will make installing a solar battery with your rooftop system far cheaper.16
The Inflation Reduction Act passed under the Biden Administration in August 2022 also extended and expanded the federal solar tax credit. The credit is now worth 30% through the end of 2032.
Read More About Going Solar in Connecticut
At EcoWatch, we frequently get questions from Connecticut homeowners about the solar incentives available in the state and how they can save money on solar conversions. Below are some of the questions we see most often. If you have specific questions that aren’t answered here, reach out to our team of solar experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although Connecticut is not proposing to increase incentives for rooftop solar in the next 24 months, residents of the state can still benefit from the federal solar tax credit, solar loan programs, tax exemptions and the Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program.
The Inflation Reduction Act passed in August 2022 expanded and extended the federal solar tax credit. U.S. residents are now eligible for a 30% tax credit on the total cost of their solar panel system through 2032.
No, Connecticut is not reducing incentives for rooftop solar in the next 24 months.
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