Affordable solar-generated electricity can power your Vermont home

Affordable solar-generated electricity can power your Vermont homeLike the rest of New England, Vermont is embracing solar photovoltaic (PV) energy as a significant resource for electricity generation.

Vermont is ranked 22nd in the nation with 87 megawatts of solar capacity already installed, which is powering more than 13,200 homes. The solar industry employs more than 1,000 people, so it is a strong contributor to the state’s economy.

For Vermont homeowners considering purchasing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system, there’s never been a better time to buy. Prices for purchasing home and business-based solar photovoltaic (PV) systems have dropped 30 percent in the past year. Flexibility in funding options makes the investment more affordable than ever.

Owning your own PV system offers exceptional long-term value and a great return on investment.

Tax reductions

The Federal Incentive Tax Credit provides a credit again taxes due for 30 percent of the cost of your PV system. In addition, Vermont exempts 100 percent of the property taxes for increased valuations caused by PV system installations, and 100 percent of the sales taxes imposed on purchasing the system equipment.

Flexible financing

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE): This innovative financing option ties the loan to the PV system, not the person who buys it. To encourage both the installation and retention of PV systems, the loan for the purchase of the system remains on the system. When the home is sold, title to the PV system transfers at the same time as the house title to the new homeowner.

When determining financing options, the PACE loan calculates as income the value of the proposed energy savings in the estimated cash flow analysis, creating more flexible financing options for the borrower.

Net metering: Ongoing electricity costs are reduced through net metering. The PV system owner’s electric meter flows forward when taking in electricity from the grid, but will flow backward when the system is producing more energy than is being used. This allows the meter to accurately monitor both the power usage and generation.

If the PV system owner uses more grid power than PV power, the PV system owner only pays for the difference between the two costs. When the PV system generates more electricity than the PV system owner uses, then the PV system owner receives a credit toward the next month’s utility bill.

Vermont clearly intends to pursue more investment in solar PV-generated electricity. In 2014, more than $76 million was invested in PV systems across the state, a 63 percent increase over 2013. In doing so, the state is reducing its “carbon footprint” and decreasing its reliance on fossil fuels for energy generation.

Vermont is among the states where RGS Energy provides solar energy system installation. To find out how solar energy could power your home, visit

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