Connecticut Solar Panel Buyers Guide [Installation & Efficiency 2023]

In this in-depth guide to the average cost of solar panels in Connecticut, you’ll learn:

  • How much does it cost to install solar panels in Connecticut?
  • Is Connecticut a good state to install solar equipment?
  • What incentives are available to help lower the cost of solar panels in Connecticut?
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How to Get Solar Panels in Connecticut

When you’re ready to install solar panels on your home in Connecticut, your first step is to find and hire a reputable installer. You can request free quotes from installers in your area, and then compare those quotes based on your budget and the proposed installation timeline. Once you choose a company and approve a quote, your installer will get to work on permitting and sourcing equipment.

After the proper permits are approved, your solar company will install your panels and other solar equipment. The system will be activated, and then your provider will schedule final inspections with your local building department to close out the permits. Once the system is activated, you’ll begin enjoying energy savings.

Connecticut residents see 194 sunny days on average each year, just under the national average of 205 days, making solar a viable option in the area.1

Plus, like most residents in New England, Connecticuters pay more than 1.5x the national average in energy prices, so the benefits you’ll see from solar conversation are far greater in Connecticut than in most other states.2

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Green Power Energy

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  • Educational, no-pressure sales approach
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Multitude of products and services

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  • Relatively young company
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Sunlight Solar Energy

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  • Many years of experience
  • Offers products from leading manufacturers
  • Excellent reputation

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  • No leases or PPAs
  • Limited warranty coverage
  • Expensive
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Momentum Solar

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  • Great warranty coverage
  • Concierge service ensures steady communication
  • Representatives are experts on local policies

Cons

  • Slightly limited service offerings
  • Only available in 11 states

What is the Price of Solar Panel Installation in Connecticut?

The average cost of solar panel systems in Connecticut is around $14,700 after the federal tax credit or approximately $21,000 before any incentives are applied. The federal credit, which equals 30% of your system’s total value, can effectively bring down your costs by an average of $6,300 in Connecticut.

These system totals are based on the average price per watt in the area of $2.80 and assume you’ll need the average-sized system for Connecticut, which is around 7.5 kilowatts (kW). This size is based on an average home square footage and a typical monthly electricity consumption of 713 kilowatt-hours (kWh), which is average in Connecticut.

Converting to solar power can be expensive, but the long-term savings you’ll see by adopting solar energy make the investment well worth it for most Connecticut residents. Your panels are expected to pay for themselves in energy savings in just eight years — well below the national average of 12 years.

After that, you can expect to save an additional $42,705 over the lifetime of your panels compared to sticking with fossil fuels like natural gas and crude oil.

For more information on how to estimate the cost of your solar energy system, you can check out our solar power system pricing guide for Connecticut homeowners.

The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in Connecticut

As mentioned above, Connecticut residents see slightly below-average amounts of sunlight each year but typically don’t need to invest in the highest-efficiency panels to offset their energy bills. In most cases, monocrystalline panels with an energy efficiency rating of around 20% should be sufficient to save money on electricity in the area.

However, some Connecticut property owners still opt for high-efficiency panels. In some cases, these panels can help keep system sizes — and corresponding costs — down. Plus, maximizing energy production is helpful in places like Connecticut, where energy costs are so high.

Below are some of the most popular solar panel brands available in Connecticut and relative pricing to help you determine which options are likely to fit into your budget.

Solar Panel Brand Average Cost Per Watt ($-$$$$$)
Canadian Solar $$$
JA Solar $$
Mission Solar $$
Panasonic $$
Q Cells $$
REC $$$
Silfab $$$
SunPower $$$$$
Tesla $$
Trina Solar $$$

There are many other options to consider in Connecticut, so be sure to ask your installer which panel brands they carry, their efficiency ratings, cost and included warranty coverage. You might find that a different panel brand works best for your budget and energy needs.

You can also ask your solar panel installation company about other equipment if you’re interested. For example, you might consider solar batteries, as Connecticut is prone to extreme weather that can lead to blackouts. Batteries will allow you to maintain electricity even through power outages.

Is Connecticut a Good State for Solar Panels?

Connecticut is an outstanding place to convert to solar for a few reasons, which we’ll list below.

  • Lower system size requirements: The average cost per watt in Connecticut — $2.80 — is above the U.S. average of $2.66. But the state’s relatively low energy needs allow homeowners to opt for overall smaller systems, which means the all-in cost to convert to solar is cheaper than in most states.
  • Plenty of sunshine: Connecticut sees around 194 days of sun each year. This is just slightly below the national average and means there is plenty of sunlight available for most customers to offset their electric bills using solar energy.
  • High electricity rates: Connecticut residents pay an average of 21.91 cents per kWh for electricity, which is more than 150% of the national average of 13.66 cents. That means every kWh your system offsets provides more value than it would in most other states.
  • Accelerated panel payback timeline: The perks above mean you’ll see energy savings that pay off your system more quickly than in most other states. You’ll also see above-average long-term savings from your panels. Over the life of your photovoltaic (PV) equipment, you should save around $42,705 in Connecticut, which is far more than the national average of $22,379.

In addition to the financial benefits of going solar in Connecticut, the state also has some great solar benefit programs to sweeten the pot. Net energy metering is mandated throughout the state, and you can take advantage of some other perks, including:

  • The federal solar tax credit
  • A sales tax exemption on all solar equipment
  • A tax exemption that prevents solar from increasing your property taxes
  • Local perks and financing programs, like Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, Energy Conservation loans from EnergizeCT and more

How Much Energy Can I Get From Solar Panels in Connecticut?

The exact amount of energy your panels can produce will vary based on many different factors. As such, it’s nearly impossible to say for sure what your production values will be without assessing your property. Below is a list of the most crucial factors your solar company will consider when sizing your system.

  • The direction your roof faces: In North America, southern-facing roofs are angled most directly toward the path of the sun in the sky, so they will receive the most intense sunlight. More intense sun means a higher level of energy production when all other factors remain the same. East- and west-facing roofs can also be viable options for solar, but their rate of solar generation will be much lower.
  • The efficiency of your panels: All of the panel brands and models available in Connecticut have varying levels of efficiency. The efficiency rating of a panel determines what percentage of the sunlight hitting its surface can be absorbed and used to produce electricity. The more efficient your panels are, the more energy they will generate for your home.
  • The size of your home solar energy system: The average size solar array required to offset electricity bills in Connecticut is around 7.5 kW. That size is expected to offset the typical 711 kWh of energy most homes use per month. Larger systems have more capacity for solar production, and smaller systems have less. As such, the size of your system plays a major role in your total energy production rate.
  • How much sun hits your rooftop solar panels: Any obstruction to the sunlight that reaches your panels and gets converted into energy can cause your production to drop. The most common obstructions include trees, nearby buildings and electrical wires that cast shade onto your roof. Any shade on your panels will bring down your production significantly, especially during peak sunlight hours.
  • The weather: Local weather conditions will play a role in how much sun your system gets and how much electricity it generates. Sunny days will always yield greater levels of production than cloudy days if all other factors are the same. Your solar installer in Connecticut should take typical conditions into account when sizing a system for your home.

Everyone’s home is different, so there is no one-size-fits-all system size in Connecticut. You can use our solar calculator to determine roughly what size system you need and how much electricity your system is expected to generate for your home.

Solar Panel Policy History in Connecticut

Connecticut has a long history of pro-solar policies that date back to 1998, which is a little more than a decade after many other states began incentivizing solar system installations.

That year, Connecticut set its first Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal to generate at least 40% of its power via clean sources by 2030. The state’s RPS is a bit more complicated than many others, as it uses three classes of clean energy, but it still pushes solar as one of the primary sources.

The RPS goal took effect in 2000, which, not coincidentally, turned out to be the biggest year for pro-solar legislation in Connecticut.

That same year, the state’s net metering policy was put into place. Net energy metering is a billing policy that guarantees you receive some kind of credit — either immediate or deferred use — for any excess energy your system generates. Net metering provides numerous benefits for solar customers.

At the time, Connecticut’s net metering program was one of the best in the country. The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) mandated the policy for all public utilities and set the credit amount to the full retail rate for energy, which is the best-case scenario.

The PURA also mandated that any excess energy that wasn’t used by the end of the year would be paid for by the utility companies at the full retail rate.

Three other pro-solar programs were started in 2000 in response to Connecticut’s RPS goal:

  • The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund
  • The Energy Conservation Loan Program
  • The Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems

The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund 

The Clean Energy Fund (CEF) issued a small surcharge to all customers in the state via their utility bills. The fund has been used, in general, to push solar energy forward in Connecticut, and several resulting initiatives have been wildly successful.

In 2006, the CEF was used to fund Smart E-Loans. These loans required no money down and maintained low-interest rates to make solar and other renewable energy solutions more accessible to Connecticut residents. 

In 2011, the CEF was renamed to the Connecticut Green Bank and was used to fund the Residential Solar Investment Program a year later. This was a solar rebate program that provided up to $0.463 per watt in cash-back incentives for residential PV equipment up to 10 kW, which included most systems. The program provided a total average rebate of $4,398.

The Solar Investment Program’s goal was to incentivize 30 megawatts (MW) of new solar system installations by 2022, which it reached eight years early. The program then set a new goal in 2015 to reach 300 MW of new installations by 2022, but it ended in 2022 and has yet to be renewed.

The last perk provided by the CEF was Commercial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing. This program provided a convenient solar loan option for commercial customers that offered low-interest rates, payments via tax bills and reduced energy bills.

Additional Incentives 

In 2000, Connecticut began offering two additional perks: the Energy Conservation Loan program and the Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems.

The Energy Conservation Loan program offered affordable solar financing options for low- and moderate-income households. These loans were great alternatives to less appealing solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs).

The exemption for property tax ensured that property taxes would not go up because of solar PV system installation. Under normal circumstances, a home improvement project like solar installation would increase your property value by causing a bump in taxes. This tax exemption, however, reduces the financial barrier to solar conversion by waiving property tax increases. 

While 2000 brought numerous incentives and perks for solar customers, the state’s pro-solar history didn’t end there. In 2019, the CEF was improved with greater funding and is still working to push the local solar industry further.

Unfortunately, the net metering program that was once so beneficial in Connecticut became less appealing in 2022. During that year, the PURA stopped mandating a credit value at the full retail rate for energy.

Now, utility companies can choose their own credit rate, which means many offer a less beneficial avoided-cost rate. Net metering is still beneficial but not as good as it used to be. However, customers of Eversource can still get the full retail rate for excess power.

What Are the Solar Panel Incentives in Connecticut?

Connecticut homeowners currently have access to quite a few solar incentives. We’ll include a brief description of each perk below.

  • Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC): The federal credit is offered by the federal government and provides a tax break for solar customers. The credit is for 30% of your system value — an average of $6,300 in Connecticut — and gets applied to your tax liability for the year you install your equipment. Any remaining credit you don’t claim can be rolled over for up to five years.
  • Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Solar Panel Systems: In an effort to reduce the upfront cost of going solar, the state of Connecticut waives all sales tax on solar PV equipment. This includes panels, inverters, battery storage solutions and labor for the installation.
  • Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems: This incentive guarantees that the increased property value from your system won’t cause your property taxes to go up as a result.
  • Solar Loan Programs: The state offers a variety of financing options for customers to keep interest rates and down payment requirements as low as possible. These options include Smart-E Loans, Home Energy Solutions Loans, Energy Conservation Loans and PACE financing for commercial solar customers.
  • Net Metering: Net energy metering lets you overproduce power with your system and earn energy credits for every additional kWh you send back to the electric grid. Those credits can then be used to pay down future electric bills for times when your system underproduces, like in cloudy conditions or at night. Net energy metering helps offset utility bills, maximize long-term savings and increase the value of your system overall.

For more information on these perks, you can check out our in-depth guide to Connecticut solar incentives.

Find a Local Installer in Connecticut

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), there are around 54 solar installers available to choose from in Connecticut.3 The provider you choose will play a fairly significant role in your system total and the overall quality and durability of your system.

We’ll include some links below to our favorite solar installers in some of the major cities in Connecticut.

Aerial view of Downtown Bridgeport
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Bridgeport

View of Main Street in Bristol, CT
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Bristol

Historical Society located in Cheshire
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Cheshire

Street view of Main St in Danbury
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Danbury

Skyline of Hartford from the water
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Hartford

Enfield Square Mall in Enfield
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Enfield

Aerial view of Fairfield, CT
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Fairfield

Iconic First Church of Christ in Glastonbury
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Glastonbury

City skyline of Stamford
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Stamford

Aerial view of Norwalk and surrounding cities
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Norwalk

For more general company recommendations or for the best installers that operate outside of these cities, you can check out our general guide to choosing a solar company in Connecticut.

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Article author
Dan Simms is an experienced writer with a passion for renewable energy. As a solar and EV advocate, much of his work has focused on the potential of solar power and deregulated energy, but he also writes on related topics, like real estate and economics. In his free time — when he's not checking his own home's solar production — he enjoys outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, skiing and rock climbing.
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Expert reviewer
Tori is an editor, writer, rock climber and travel enthusiast. A native New Yorker, she graduated from the College of Saint Rose with a degree in communications and journalism. Before joining EcoWatch, Tori helped to oversee communication strategies for the City of Philadelphia. Her experience also includes communications work in the nonprofit and academic sectors. A journalist by trade, she started her career covering political, environmental and social issues in New York's Hudson Valley. In her spare time, Tori can be found in the mountains climbing boulders, traveling to new cities or at one of Philadelphia's many music venues.

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Comparing authorized solar energy partners

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    • Educational, no-pressure sales approach
    • Outstanding customer service
    • Multitude of products and services
    • Relatively young company