Cost of Solar Panels in Vermont: Local Solar Installation Prices (2022)
Here’s a quick look at the estimated cost of solar in Vermont:
- Average Cost Per Watt: $2.87
- Cost of Average System: $12,743*
- Cost of Energy Without Solar: $43,688
- Payback Period: 9 Years**
- Lifetime Savings of Going Solar: $26,468
*Average system size is calculated using data from the Energy Information Administration. This price is after tax credit.
**Payback period is calculated assuming the system is purchased in cash.
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Cost of Solar Panels in Vermont
Most solar panel systems in Vermont cost around $2.87 per watt, which is more expensive than the national per-watt average of $2.66. That means that the typical 6-kW system required to offset electricity costs in the area would cost approximately $17,220 before claiming the federal tax credit, and $12,743 after. This total is well below the national average given the smaller system size needed in Vermont versus in most other states.
Vermont residents don’t use much energy when compared to other areas, but the electricity rates throughout the state are quite high — 19.54 cents per kilowatt-hour versus the national average of 13.15 per kWh. As such, solar equipment has a higher value in Vermont than in many other states.
Solar Panel System Installation Cost in Vermont
When you’re estimating the price of going solar for your home in Vermont, the most critical factor to consider is the size of the system you’ll need. You’d need a 6-kW system to offset the average $110.79 monthly energy bill, but every additional kW you need will add nearly $3,000 to your total. The table below provides some typical system sizes in VT, along with pricing before and after the federal tax credit.
|Size of Solar Panel System||Vermont Solar Panel Cost||Cost After Federal Tax Credit|
Want to see our review of the best solar companies in Vermont that offer high-quality systems at affordable prices? Just click below.
What Determines the Cost of Solar Panels in Vermont?
System size, which is determined primarily by your monthly energy consumption, is the single most significant cost factor when it comes to pricing your solar panel system. However, there are some other things to consider in Vermont, which we’ll discuss below.
The solar equipment you choose will have some bearing on your cost of going solar in Vermont. There are many solar manufacturers to choose from, each offering different equipment durability, energy efficiency and pricing.
If you’re looking for the most efficient solar panels, you’ll very likely pay more upfront for your solar equipment. However, in an area like Vermont, where electricity costs are high, opting for a high-efficiency brand like Maxeon panels from SunPower can often save you more in the long run. As such, a higher upfront cost might be worth it to maximize savings on utility bills. Those looking to minimize upfront costs can do so by choosing a cheaper solar panel brand.
In addition to the brand, the type of equipment you want to add to your solar project can affect your total costs quite a bit. Panels and inverters are a given, but you’ll also be able to add on extras like electric vehicle chargers or solar batteries to maintain electrical power through outages and at night. These additional pieces of equipment can increase your cost, but investing in something like a solar battery will help reduce electric costs over time.
Most homeowners in Vermont don’t pay the average cost of $17,220 to go solar via a cash purchase. Instead, they opt for a solar loan, which significantly reduces or eliminates your upfront payment at the expense of paying interest over the loan term.
Solar financing is a popular option because it makes renewable energy sources more accessible, but it’s best to work the expected interest and any associated fees into your all-in payment when switching to clean energy.
For homeowners looking to reduce total costs, a larger down payment will always reduce the amount of interest you pay over time, and it might drop your interest rate or APR as well.
Solar Installation Company
Finally, the solar installer you hire to complete your solar conversion will have some impact on the final cost of going solar. There are many solar panel installation companies to choose from in Vermont, and each has varying prices based on availability, labor costs, warranties included and the equipment provided.
Your total will naturally be higher if you choose a solar installer that only works with high-quality brands, like SunPower panels or Tesla Powerwall batteries. The added cost could be worth it over time if the high-efficiency equipment helps you reduce energy costs throughout the year.
You can start your assessment of a solar installer by looking at the size of the company. Some larger national companies will have lower pricing because they buy panels and inverters in bulk. However, smaller local companies have less overhead and often provide deals to compete with national installers, and they usually provide better customer service and customization options for your system. Don’t forget to assess the company you’re considering based on the value of the equipment and not just the cost!
Vermont Solar Incentives
Vermont is considered a solar-friendly state, and residents have access to many incentives and rebates that ultimately reduce the costs of going solar and make it a more worthwhile investment. Below are the incentives available to homeowners in Vermont.
Federal Solar Tax Credit For Vermont Homeowners
The federal solar investment tax credit — commonly abbreviated as the “ITC” — is one of the most significant rebates available in Vermont. The rebate is for 26% of the total system cost, which in Vermont averages out to $4,477. This amount is credited toward the federal income taxes you owe.
The federal tax credit is available to all homeowners in Vermont, but it’s scheduled to drop to 22% of the total system costs in 2023. Unless Congress renews the bill, this tax incentive will no longer be available for residential systems in 2024 and beyond.
Net Metering Policies in Vermont
Net metering is a policy that allows you to reduce your total electricity costs using any excess energy your system produces. In most cases, when you go solar, your home will still be connected to the local power grid so you can pull energy to use at night or any other time your panels fail to produce enough power for your home. When the reverse is true, and your panels produce more power than you use, you can send excess energy to the grid in exchange for credits from your utility company.
Vermont has an excellent net metering policy, which mandates that all excess energy be purchased back by the power company at the retail rate. That means that you’ll get compensated for energy at the same price per kilowatt that you pay when you need electricity. So, if your bill is $30 but your system has overproduced $20 worth of electricity, you’ll only pay $10 to your utility company that month.
All utility companies offer the same net metering option in Vermont, with the exception of Green Mountain Power. GMP provides above-average rebates and incentives for solar, making it the best electric company in Vermont for net metering.
Local Solar Rebates in Vermont
As a solar-friendly locale, Vermont provides additional rebates and solar incentive programs to residents at the state level.
One of the most significant local incentives is the Uniform Capacity Tax and Exemption for Solar, which is essentially a property tax exemption. All home improvements that increase your property value — including the installation of a solar electric system — usually also bump up your property taxes. However, the property tax exemption means your property taxes won’t increase from installing solar. That could mean thousands of dollars saved for many homeowners in Vermont.
Vermont also offers a sales tax exemption, so you won’t pay sales tax on photovoltaic equipment. With a typical system cost of $17,220 and an average state sales tax rate of 6%, that’s an average savings of around $1,033.
Finally, Vermont has solar rights laws in place, which guarantee access to solar energy for all homeowners. These laws mean your neighbor or other buildings in the area will never cause shading of your panels during peak production times, and you’ll be able to install solar equipment even if you live in a community with an HOA that doesn’t allow exterior renovations.
You might be entitled to additional benefits and rebates based on your municipality within Vermont or your electric company. You can check the DSIRE database for other incentives.
Vermont Installed Solar System Costs in 2022 By Panels
The EcoWatch team has assessed numerous solar equipment brands to determine the best solar panels available to Vermont homeowners. The table below provides a list of the top brands, as well as relative pricing information to help you determine which brand is most likely to fit into your budget.
|Solar Panel Brand||Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)|
People Also Ask
EcoWatch FAQ: Solar Panel Cost Vermont
At EcoWatch, we get lots of questions from Vermont homeowners about the costs and process of going solar. Below are some of the questions we see most often, along with our responses.
An average-sized home that uses the average amount of energy in Vermont needs a system that is around 6 kilowatts. With a typical cost of $2.87 per watt in VT, that comes out to an average price of $17,220 before the federal tax credit or $12,743 after the credit is accounted for.
However, your total could be well below or above this average. Your system size — and cost — will be based on many factors, including home size, the energy efficiency of your house, property shading, your monthly energy needs, and more. The best way to get an accurate estimate is to contact a reputable solar installer to customize a system for your needs.
Yes, solar panels will increase the value of your home in Vermont as long as you buy them or finance them. Unfortunately, your property value will not increase if you enter into a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA).
Provided you buy or finance your panels, estimates from Zillow suggest that your property value will increase by about 4.1%. With an average home value of $330,982 in Vermont at the time of publication, based on this estimate, the typical homeowner will enjoy a value bump of around $13,369!
In most cases, buying or financing your solar panel system is a better option in Vermont.
Solar leases are appealing to some people because they require little — if any — money down. While cash purchases and solar financing options will usually come with higher upfront costs, they also save far more money in the long run. Solar leases also won’t let you take advantage of the federal tax credit or local incentives, nor will they increase your home value. Buying or financing your panels will come with higher costs now, but these options tend to save tens of thousands of dollars over leasing in the long run.
Yes, absolutely! Vermont is one of the easiest states to eliminate energy bills with solar power systems because of the great net metering policy and naturally low electricity usage across the state. Most VT residents will need a 6-kW system to entirely offset their electric bills, but a solar installer will be able to determine what size you need to reduce your electric costs to $0 per month.
Cost is always essential to consider, but in an area like Vermont where the value of solar panels is so high, high-efficiency equipment is usually worth more, so efficiency is more crucial for most homeowners in VT. Cheap solar panels and services are less expensive for a reason, and higher upfront costs very often lead to more significant savings over time.
This question is impossible to answer without knowing several details about your home, including your monthly energy usage, home size, general energy efficiency, shading on your property, and more. The only way to get an accurate price to take your home solar is to have a reputable solar company assess your property and provide a customized estimate.
With that being said, most homeowners in Vermont need a 6-kW system to eliminate the average electric bill.