New Hampshire Solar Panel Buyers Guide [Installation & Efficiency 2022]

Here’s what we’ll cover in this guide to New Hampshire solar panels:

  • How to go about converting your home to solar power
  • What you can expect to pay to go solar in New Hampshire
  • How much electricity your panels will produce in NH
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How to Get Solar Panels in New Hampshire

When you’re ready to begin the process of going solar in NH, your first step will be to speak with a local installer. The company should send a representative to your home to take measurements, assess shading on your roof and look at recent utility bills to determine your energy needs.

This information will then be used to design a system that meets your needs and fits your home. Once the design is approved, you’ll need to choose an available financing option: cash, solar loan, solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA). Then, the company will pull permits and install and commission your system.

Solar investments are considered quite lucrative for New Hampshire residents. Systems in the Granite State typically pay for themselves and then save homeowners an additional $28,000 or more on electricity bills.

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New England Clean Energy

Outstanding Regional Installer

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Many financing options
  • Competitive pricing
  • Great warranty coverage

Cons

  • Limited brands of solar equipment available
  • Slightly limited service offerings
Badge icon

Venture Solar

Outstanding Regional Installer

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Many financing options
  • Speedy and efficient installations
  • Outstanding customer service
  • Advanced in-home monitoring system

Cons

  • Limited brands of solar equipment available
  • Slightly limited service offerings
Badge icon

ReVision Energy

Outstanding Social Impact

Regional Service

EcoWatch rating

Average cost

Pros

  • Comprehensive service offerings
  • Certified B Corp
  • Many years of experience

Cons

  • Relatively short workmanship warranty
  • No leases or PPAs

What Is the Price of Solar Panel Installation in New Hampshire?

Solar energy systems are usually priced based on how many watts (or kilowatts) you install. The average per-watt price in NH is around $2.91, putting equipment at a higher price than the rest of the U.S.

However, since NH property owners need such small systems due to low energy demand, the typical total installation cost is around $13,241 after the federal investment tax credit (ITC) is accounted for.

Using energy savings from the solar panel system, residents typically pay back their solar arrays in just nine years much shorter than the 12-year national average.

You can check out our guide to the cost of going solar in New Hampshire for more information on pricing and what factors you should consider.

The Best Solar Panel Brands Available in New Hampshire

Solar adoption in NH has been relatively slow, but the local solar industry is still expanding. Most of the major panel manufacturers provide equipment throughout the state, so you should have lots of panel brand options available to you.

Since there’s plenty of sunlight in NH year-round for panels to generate energy, it’s not usually necessary to install the highest-efficiency brands. Instead, you can opt for panels that come with a suitable warranty and meet your home’s energy consumption needs and roof size.

Below are some of the more popular brands we see being installed throughout NH:

  • SunPower
  • Panasonic
  • Tesla
  • Qcells
  • REC
  • Trina Solar
  • Canadian Solar
  • LG (this brand’s solar panels will soon be discontinued)

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Is New Hampshire a Good State for Solar Panels?

Despite the slow integration of photovoltaic (PV) equipment in NH, it’s still considered an above-average place to install solar energy systems. There are a few things the state has going for it that make solar a great option, including:

  • Plenty of sunshine: PV systems only generate electricity when the sun is shining, so the number of sunny days per year is a decent metric to start assessing an area for solar viability. NH residents enjoy just under 200 sunny days per year, which is right around the average in the U.S.1 Most property owners receive plenty of sun to produce energy to offset utility bills.
  • Low energy needs: New Hampshirites use an average of 630 kilowatt-hours (kWh) of electricity each month, which is the ninth lowest consumption rate in the country.2 Low electricity usage means smaller solar systems and lower up-front costs. Solar arrays — including panels, inverters and solar batteries — in NH cost much less than the national average overall.
  • High electricity rates: Energy prices in New England are some of the highest in the U.S., and NH is no exception. With an average of over 19 cents per kWh — about 150% of the national average — NH energy costs give panels in NH more to recoup.3 This improves the value of solar equipment.
  • Outstanding New Hampshire solar incentives: NH has long been considered a green state, and to that end, it offers residents plenty of appealing perks for solar conversion. We’ll discuss these in greater depth in a later section.

How Much Energy Can I Get From Solar Panels in New Hampshire?

Solar electricity generation rates can fluctuate wildly from system to system and across hours, days and months. The reason for the variance is a wide range of factors that have an impact on production, including:

  • The direction your roof faces: Since the sun appears in the southern portion of the sky in North America, south-facing roofs will naturally collect the most intense sunlight. Your production rate will be much higher if your roof faces south than if it faces east or west, according to the U.S. Department of Energy4
  • Shading on your property: Since your panels will only generate electricity for your home when they’re hit by sunlight, any sources of shade on your roof throughout the day can lead to lower amounts of energy produced. NH has an astounding 89% tree coverage, and shading from trees can contribute to production loss.5 Shading from other buildings and even utility poles can have an impact on production as well.
  • System size: Larger solar systems will always generate more electricity than smaller ones, provided the other factors mentioned here are equal. The number of panels you have on your home is one of the primary determining factors for how much electricity you generate. You can see estimates based on system size in the chart below.
  • The specific panels you choose: Different solar equipment brands have different efficiency ratings. Those ratings are a measure of how much of the sunlight that hits the panel can be converted to usable electricity. The differences between high-efficiency panels and low-efficiency panels can be quite sizable.
  • The local weather conditions: Finally, weather conditions affect production levels. Cloudy days will naturally lead to less energy generation, while bright, sunny days will be the best for production.

Although all of these factors should be taken into consideration to get an accurate production estimate, the chart below provides some rough numbers for different system sizes in NH.

Solar Power System Size (in kilowatts) Expected Daily Energy Generation Expected Monthly Energy Generation Expected Annual Energy Generation
4 kW 13.3 kWh 400 kWh 4,800 kWh
5 kW 16.6 kWh 500 kWh 6,000 kWh
6 kW 20 kWh 600 kWh 7,200 kWh
7 kW 23.3 kWh 700 kWh 8,400 kWh
8 kW 26.6 kWh 800 kWh 9,600 kWh
9 kW 30 kWh 900 kWh 10,800 kWh
10 kW 33.3 kWh 1,000 kWh 12,000 kWh

 

You can also use our solar calculator for a more accurate estimate. It uses calculations that take your exact location into account to see how much energy panels on your specific roof can produce.

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Solar Panel Policy History in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is considered one of the greenest states in the country, and this is evidenced by the solar policies that began way back in 1976. That year, the state put into effect the solar property tax exemption, which prevents property taxes from increasing due to the added property value from solar equipment.

A decade later, the state passed solar rights and easement laws. These policies made it so that all residents — even those living in strict homeowners associations (HOAs) or municipalities — would have guaranteed access to solar.

In 1998, NH set up its stellar net metering program. This policy allows residents to generate more electricity than they use and “bank” the excess energy with their utility company. Those credits can be put toward future utility bills, which makes offsetting energy costs in all seasons a possibility.

As of the policy update in 2018, net metering is mandated for virtually all home solar systems — everything under five megawatts, which is far larger than any residential system.

The next update to NH’s solar policy came in 2007 with the implementation of the state’s first Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) goal. The goal was to generate at least 25.2% of the state’s electricity from renewable energy sources, including solar, by 2025. 

The following year, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) in NH created the Residential Small Renewable Energy Rebate Program for residential solar systems under 10 kW — which includes most in NH. This program offered a solar rebate of $0.20 per watt up to $1,000 for solar equipment.

Unfortunately, this state rebate program was put on hold in 2017 due to the high demand.

Finally, NH legalized virtual net metering in 2013. This policy is great for customers looking to take advantage of community solar. According to data from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), this didn’t cause a significant bump in community solar installations.6

solar panels new hampshire
Solar farms like the one pictured here power community solar farms in New Hampshire. Credit: WikiMedia

What Are the Solar Panel Incentives in New Hampshire?

Solar helps reduce your dependence on fossil fuels and your carbon footprint. However, there are also plenty of financial incentives to adopting solar. We’ll include a brief list of the benefits available to NH residents below:

  • Federal solar tax credit: This is one of the most appealing benefits available in NH, and it comes from the federal government. It’s a credit to your income taxes owed for the year your solar PV system is commissioned, and its maximum value is 30% of your entire system cost. In NH, this averages out to over $5,500.
  • Net metering: This policy lets you generate more energy than you need and bank the excess for later use. It’s one of the most crucial incentives offered by any state as it makes solar modules far more valuable.
  • Residential Small Renewable Energy Rebate Program: This is a statewide rebate for all home solar systems under five megawatts, a size far larger than you’d ever see on a residential system. This is worth $200 per kW installed up to $1,000 or 30% of your total costs, whichever is lower.
  • Property tax exemption: Even though your solar system is expected to improve your property value, the State of New Hampshire exempts that added value from taxation.7
  • Eversource Connected Solutions Energy Storage Rebate: Customers of Eversource, one of the larger electricity providers in NH, can get compensation for sharing stored energy with the company if they have a solar energy storage solution.
NH solar panels
Solar batteries earn NH residents special rebates. Credit: National Renewable Energy Lab / Flickr

You can check out our complete guide to solar incentives in NH for more information on how these perks can benefit you.

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Find a Local Installer in New Hampshire

Choosing an installer to handle your solar project is a big deal. Ultimately, the company you pick will determine your overall experience, play a role in your system price and efficiency and determine what kind of warranty coverage you get with your system.

Below, we’ll include links to lists of the top solar installers in some of the major cities in NH to help you decide on the best one for your needs.

Street view in Concord, NH’s capital
Credit: Ken Lund / Flickr

Best Solar Providers in Concord

City Hall in Dover, NH
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Dover

Location of Londonderry, NH
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Londonderry

Street view of Merrimack, NH
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Merrimack

Town Hall in Rochester, NH
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Rochester

Downtown view of Derry, NH
Credit: BEV Norton / Flickr

Best Solar Providers in Derry

Sunset over beautiful Hudson, NH
Credit: Tracy Lee Carroll / Flickr

Best Solar Providers in Hudson

Downtown area in Manchester
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Manchester

Street view of Nashua
Credit: WikiMedia / WikiMedia

Best Solar Providers in Nashua

Canobie Lake in Salem, NH
Credit: Thomas Hawk / Flickr

Best Solar Providers in Salem

Rather than choosing small, local companies, you can also opt for larger regional or national companies that serve all of NH. If you think that appeals more to you, or if you live outside of one of these cities, you can check out our article on the top solar installation companies in New Hampshire as a whole.

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Dan Simms, Home Improvement Expert
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.