Options for solar power abound in Connecticut

Options for solar power abound in ConnecticutAccording to the Connecticut Green Bank, declining installation costs, flexible financing terms and the rising rates of New England fossil-fueled electricity combine to make residential solar energy systems more affordable than ever before. The Bank’s “Go Solar Connecticut” initiative is offering an expanded array of homeowner resources that provide solar technology education, excellent financing terms and introduction to Connecticut’s many highly qualified solar installers. “The reliable, pollution-free technology allow(s) homeowners to take more control of the energy bills (and) manage their expenses over many years,” says Bryan Garcia, president and CEO of the institution.

Calculate the cost, then reduce it

After determining the cost to purchase and install your system, you can reduce that by 30 percent, thanks to the federal government’s “Investment Tax Credit.” The credit is only available until December 31, 2016, when it drops to 10 percent, so act now. Next, you can eliminate the sales and use taxes that are usually applied to purchases. The exemptions cover the costs of both equipment and labor. Depending on the size of the system, you may also qualify for a property tax exemption for the value of the installed system.

There is also a Connecticut-based rebate of $1.75/Watt for the first five kilowatt-hours (kWh) and $1.25 per watt for an additional five kWh, which reduces your purchase price even more.

After-purchase financial benefits

“Net metering” lets you sell your excess solar power back to your utility provider. Each month, you probably will draw on both your utility grid and solar power sources. When the volume of solar electricity consumed exceeds the grid-supplied electricity, a credit will be added to your bill. At the end of the year, your utility company will pay you as much as 19 cents per excess kilowatt-hour that your system generated during the year.

Lease a system or just buy the power

Homeowners who want to access solar electricity without purchasing a system can lease one from RGS Energy. RGS will install and maintain it, and you pay a low monthly leasing fee.

If you’re not interested in leasing the system but still want the PV power, you may qualify for a $0 down Power Purchase Agreement. This arrangement allows RGS to install its equipment on your home, and you pay a low fixed rate per kilowatt for the electricity you consume. The fixed rate per kWh is locked in so the fluctuations will relate only to how much you use, not the kilowatt rate.

RGS Energy has almost 40 years of experience in installing solar energy systems throughout the country, in a wide variety of settings. To find out how you can save money with solar power, visit www.rgsenergy.com.

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