Vermont solar panels: local pricing and data

Over 1,100 homeowners in Vermont have used EnergySage to receive & compare solar panel installation quotes!

Updated 6/8/2019

Solar Data Explorer:

Out-of-pocket cost  
Net 20-year savings  
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Solar installation costs do not include the 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit or local incentives.

Save money by installing solar panels in VT.

As a result of high electricity rates and strong solar incentives, it's easy for property owners in the Green Mountain State to see the benefits of solar.

Solar in Vermont

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The Green Mountain State has plenty of natural beauty to protect, so it should come as no surprise then that Vermont is a national and regional leader in clean, renewable, solar energy. Vermont continues to incentivize people to go solar with an ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standards, a strong net metering program and significant tax breaks for solar investment.

How much do solar panels cost in Vermont?

From Vermont data, it is shown that the average cost of a solar panel installation ranges from $13,642 to $18,458. On a cost per watt ($/W) basis, a solar panel installation in Vermont ranges in price from $2.73 to $3.69.

How long does it take to earn back your initial investment in solar panels? A solar payback period is the amount of time it takes for property owners who install solar panels to recover their initial investment through electricity savings. In Vermont, the average solar payback period is 9.86 years.

Regardless of the exact cost of installation, there are many affordable financing options for solar panel systems. Cash purchases are one common method to pay for solar and often lead to the most long-term value for your money. If an upfront purchase isn’t right for you, solar loans and solar lease/PPAs are available to help finance a solar energy system.

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$13,642 – $18,458

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What solar panels should I install in Vermont?

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For property owners, you now can customize your solar panels, inverters, racking systems, and batteries, as well as the general aesthetic of the installation. This customizability has made it important for solar consumers to understand these various factors. For example, the best solar panels available may have premium efficiencies and warranties, but will typically be more costly. However, depending on the size of the installation, you’ll need to determine whether high-efficiency solar panels that can produce more electricity are worthwhile. Also, your appetite for risk can help determine which solar warranties best fit your needs. These are just a few of the many factors to consider when selecting solar panel equipment.

How much energy can I get from solar in Vermont?

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Aside from the power output of the solar equipment you choose to install, the amount of energy you generate with solar panels in Vermont is directly related to the amount of sunlight that hits your panels. While sunlight is not always plentiful in the Northeast, Vermont residents should feel fortunate that the state offers strong financial incentives for going solar.

There are additional factors that determine how much solar electricity you can produce. These include shading, panel orientation, and panel angle, which are all used to calculate your total production estimate. a prediction of how much energy your solar installation will produce over time. This evaluation offers a clear estimate of how much energy your solar installation will produce. You can see how much solar panels can save you based on factors like geographic location and shading by using the EnergySage Solar Calculator.

Vermont solar incentives

Vermont is becoming known for its great solar incentives and programs, which are considered some of the best in the country. Learn more about why solar panels are such a great investment in Vermont.

Learn about solar incentives in VT

What rebates and incentives are there in Vermont for solar?

The federal Investment Tax Credit has been one of the most reliable and impactful incentives for solar across the U.S. This solar incentive allows you to deduct 30 percent of the total system cost from your federal taxes. For example, a solar energy system installation that costs $15,000 out of pocket will qualify for a tax deduction of $4,500. This advantageous incentive lasts until the end of 2019 - the tax credit amount steps down to 26 percent for 2020 before falling to 22 percent for 2021. The federal ITC is eliminated for residential solar installations after 2021, but commercial solar energy system owners can still deduct 10 percent of a commercial solar system cost from their taxes in 2022 and beyond.

Besides the federal ITC, Vermont has additional incentives for going solar that are dependent on your area and utility company. Of note are community shared solar, net metering availability, and generous tax breaks. To learn more about Vermont’s best financial incentives for solar, check out our complete overview of the state’s best solar incentives.

Solar panel installations in Vermont

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True Cost of Solar Guide™ for Vermont

Download EnergySage’s DIY worksheet to better understand what solar should cost in your state

Don’t get sold on the hype! Find out what solar should actually cost before you talk to your first sales rep. This PDF worksheet will walk you through the simple calculations you can make to determine what size solar PV system you need, and approximately how much it should cost.

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History of solar policy in Vermont

Against all odds, Vermont holds its own against the rest of the country’s solar markets: as of the end of 2018, Vermont has installed nearly 300 megawatts (MW) of solar energy capacity, ranking the state 25th on SEIA’s national rankings. Even more impressive has been the steady growth of solar over the last decade alone, led in large part by robust in-state solar policy.

Vermont’s first solar policy, the Local Property Tax Exemption, passed in 1975 to exempt homeowners of the additional property taxes that come with a solar installation, if permitted by their city or town. In 2013, the Uniform Capacity Tax and Exemption for Solar revised the original legislation to fully exempt the property taxes for all solar systems up to and including 10 kilowatts (kW). Another tax break for solar residents followed in 1999, with a Renewable Energy Systems Sales Tax Exemption. With a state sales rate tax of 6 percent, this policy plays a significant role in reducing solar costs.

In 1998, Vermont introduced net metering, which has been crucial for the solar energy industry nationwide by allowing residents to send surplus net energy to the electric grid and receive compensation for it on their energy bill. Net metering in the Green Mountain State has been revised several times, including most recently in 2017. Previously, utilities provided compensation for excess solar generation at the retail rate, rather than the wholesale or avoided-cost rate used in other state net metering programs. Today, Vermont offers a blended residential retail rate, which is typically in the range of the retail rate for electricity.

Additionally, Vermont currently compensates solar owners for the Renewable Energy Credits (REC) representative of the energy produced from a solar energy system. Following the 2017 revision to net metering, utilities compensate homeowners an additional $0.01kWh for 10 years for solar generation.

The last notable change emerging from the 2017 net metering amendment is group net metering, which allows residents to participate in an off-site shared solar installation and still earn credits to reduce their electricity bill. This policy is paramount for the growth of community solar in the state.

Net metering and REC compensation are not the only policies and incentives that have supported the solar industry in Vermont. For instance, in 2003 policymakers enacted the small-scale renewable energy incentive program (SSREIP), which provided substantial rebates to residents for going solar. However, funding for this program officially expired in 2013.

Additionally, Vermont adopted Renewable Energy Rights in 2009: although the policy doesn’t focus on financial incentives, it recognizes solar energy usage as a property right and ensures that proper sunlight is made available to those who operate solar-energy systems.

Aside from the aforementioned policies, the most important policy for the renewable industry in Vermont is the state’s mandatory renewable portfolio standard (RPS), introduced in 2015. Similar to net metering, state energy requirements have been instrumental in the development of clean energy across the nation, as has been the case in Vermont. At first, the Green Mountain state passed the Sustainably Priced Energy Enterprise Development (SPEED) program in 2007, which set a voluntary goal for utilities to supply 20 percent of electricity from renewables by 2017. However, as the SPEED program was set to expire, state legislators penned and passed a mandatory RPS program that now calls for 75 percent from renewables by 2032, easily one of the strongest such policies in the country. While Vermont already generates 11 percent of its electricity from solar energy, solar energy in-state should continue to increase as Vermont works to meet its ambitious renewable target.