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2019 Policy Grade


Avg. Yearly Savings


Congratulations! You've found the ultimate guide to going solar in Connecticut

2019 Policy Grade


Avg. Savings/year


Your 2019 guide to getting solar panels for your home in Connecticut

This page is a complete guide to the complicated and sometimes confusing process of installing solar panels on your Connecticut home. Since there's a lot to consider, we've separated the page into sections to help you find what you are looking for. If you find this page useful, please share it with someone who might also find it interesting!

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** What's new for 2019 **

Big, important news:

You may notice above that Connecticut currently enjoys a State Solar Policy Grade of "A". As of early 2019, that grade is correct, but state legislators are engaged in re-writing the rules that govern solar power in Connecticut, and it doesn't look good. If the current proposals take effect—as they likely will by October, 2019—that grade would change instantly from an A to a C, with payback time for the average home solar installation would increase from 8 years (currently) to as many as 20 years.

Moreover, the home solar industry in the Connecticut could be nearly dead by the end of 2019, and thousands of solar workers out of a job, unless legislators act now to stop what is sure to be a disastrous plan to end net metering and replace it with a new ultra low feed-in tariff. If you live in Connecticut, call your legislators today and ask them to extend net metering before the end of 2019!

Until this year, Connecticut has ranked in the top ten states for solar policy, and also in solar installations per year for the past few years. With net metering offered for 20 years for people who install solar in 2019, the financials look great for those who install now. People who wait will miss out.

If you live in any of the below areas, click to learn more about our strategy for getting home solar that pays you back quickly and makes big profits over time:

Otherwise, read on to find out the best way to go solar in Connecticut, and get personalized recommendations for next steps!

Questions? Our network of solar experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page. You can get discounted on-grid pricing as low as $4,000/kW! This is paired with the Connecticut solar incentives you see below.

The Solar Strategy section is focused on the 3 ways of paying for solar in Connecticut, so you can decide which is best for you. We've created a tool that asks you a few questions and recommends whether you should pursue a solar lease, loan, or outright purchase. Then, we provide detailed analysis of how each works.

The Policy Information section contains all our latest research on the rules set by lawmakers and the Public Utilities Commission, which determine how easy it is to go solar in Connecticut. These policies and rules govern everything from renewable energy mandates to interconnection, and have a huge effect on the viability of solar.

Finally, the Solar Incentives section includes information about money-back rebates and grants, tax credits, and tax exemptions for going solar in Connecticut.

Click any of the boxes below to go to that section of the page, or scroll down to read the page in order.

Your Solar Strategy in Connecticut

Figuring out the best way to go solar in Connecticut can be a little daunting. From loans and leases to power-purchase agreements, there are a lot of options out there. To help you pick the one that might be best, we've created the handy decision tool below.

We'll ask you a few simple questions about you and your home. Once you're done, we'll recommend a good option. Further down this page, we provide cost estimates and example return-on-investment calculations for all the various options:

How should you pay for solar?

Use our decision tool to find out!

How to pay for solar panels in Connecticut

The chart above shows the 25-year returns for an investment in solar whether you choose to purchase a system with cash or pay over time with a loan or power-purchase agreement. The average home in Connecticut needs a 7.5-kW solar system made up of twenty-three 325-watt panels, which can produce about 8,750 kilowatt-hours (kWh) and save the you, the homeowner over $1,800 in electricity the first year.

Paying with cash for solar leads to the highest dollar-amount returns over time, and the savings are HUGE in CT. But paying up front requires a big cash investment. If you don't have the cash, you can take a solar loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). Your payments over 15 years will be only a little more than your savings, and you'll still come out tens of thousands ahead in the end. A third option for going solar in Connecticut is called a Power-Purchase Agreement, or PPA, which means what it says; A solar company installs a home solar system on your roof at no cost to you, and you agree to buy all the energy made by the system, at a lower price per-kWh than you were paying to the utility! It's a win-win, but it results in smaller savings than if you own the system yourself, because in a PPA, the solar company earns all the state and federl incentives.

If you're ready to learn more about how to pay for solar in Connecticut, read on to find out more about each option.

How much can you save with solar?

Find out

Option 1: Paying cash for solar

An outright purchase used to be the only way to get solar, and it's still the option that provides the best dollar-for-dollar returns. The reason it's so great is that you own the system from day one and reap all the benefits. The Federal and State tax credit and electricity savings bring your first-year costs way down.

In our example, you put down just over $22,000 up front, but by the end of year 1, incentives and energy savings will erase a bunch of it. Over 25 years, your system will have produced over $49,000 in income. The reason this works so well is that electricity in Connecticut is EXPENSIVE. Solar offsets enough of it to save you nearly $1,850 in year 1, and it just goes up from there. As the electric company raises rates, you save more and more, and more.

Now, even though those savings sound huge, you should look into the look into the solar loan option too, because taking a loan to buy an income-generating asset means you'll be saving more money than your loan payments. It's like being able to start a business that is sure to succeed, just by having a roof.

Here’s how the numbers pencil out when you pay up front for a 7.5-kW rooftop solar system in Connecticut:

  • Installing a typical 7.5kW solar system should start at about $22,000 after the state's generous rebate. That's cheaper than solar has ever been, but it still might seem like a big investment. Don’t worry, because after tax breaks and energy savings, your first-year costs will be considerably less than that.
  • The Feds calculate their incentive based on actual out of pocket costs, so take 30% of $22,000, for a tax credit of $6,600. Your total investment is now down to just $15,400.
  • After the tax credit we subtract your first year’s energy savings, which we estimate to be $1,850. That reduces your cost after the first year to only $13,550.
  • Your system will pay for itself in just 8 years, and over its 25-year life, you'll see a total net profit of $49,700. The internal rate of return for this investment is a stupendous 15.8%!
  • And don't forget... your home's value just increased by almost $15,000, too (your cost after the rebate and tax credit)!
  • In addition to all that cash (and home value), you’ve created some green for the earth as well by not using electricity from fossil fuels. It's like planting 146 trees a year, every year your solar power system is humming.
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Connecticut. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar panel system, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Option 2: Using a loan to pay for solar

Don't have $20,000 sitting around to pay for solar? No sweat! As long as you have good credit or equity in your home, you can still own solar panels and reap all the benefits. Heck, even if you do have the cash, getting a loan to pay for solar is by far the best option when it comes to percentage return on investment.

That’s because, in Connecticut, using a loan to pay for solar is like investing in a business that's sure to succeed, and also earns you a tax break. Your energy bill savings will be greater than your loan payments from day 1, meaning you'll never have to spend a cent on solar, and at the end of year 1, you'll get 30% of the installed cost back from the Federal governement as a tax credit.

Once the loan is paid off, you'll be making almost $2,800/year in profits, netting tens of thousands over the 25-year life of your system.

A solar purchase like this will make sense for you if the following is true about you and your current situation:

  • You can qualify for a solar loan or home-equity line of credit (HELOC) for $22,000, with a fixed rate of 4.5% or lower and a 15-year repayment period.
  • You love making money without much risk

Here’s how the numbers pencil out for a Connecticut solar purchase with a solar loan:

  • Installing a typical 7.5-kW solar system should start at about $22,000, after Connecticut's excellent solar rebate. That's how big your loan will need to be to cover it.
  • The electricity you'll save in the first year of operation would have cost $1,800, but your annual loan payments will be just $2,000, meaning you'll end up spending a net of about $200 this year on loan payments.
  • But wait—add on another $6,600 when that tax credit comes in! You'll come out $6,400 ahead in year 1, which should help ease the burden of loan payments for a few years, at least.
  • The benefits of taking the loan are so great that after the loan is paid off, your profits stack up just like if you bought the system outright. You'll end up with more than $41,000 in profits over our 25-year example—all without putting a single penny into it. That's HUGE.
  • On top of the green that will stay in your pocket, your system will mean green for the environment, too. 146 trees-worth, every year!
Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Connecticut. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar loan, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

Option 3: Buying the electricity, not the panels with a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA)

Connecticut residents have long enjoyed the ability to get solar from a third-party company and pay monthly, and a Power-Purchase Agreement (PPA) is still a great way to go. The state legislature and public utilities commissions are really into solar, so there isn't much reason to worry that utility companies will start trying to impose monthly fees on solar homeowners like they have in other states.

For now, a signing up for a PPA on a 7.5-kW solar system can save you about $50 per month, which is some of the biggest savings in the country. You can put $0 down and start saving right away. Those small monthly savings add up to huge money over the 20-year term, too, and renewaing that term up to 25 years is possible to maximize your savings without hassle.

How a PPA works

Essentially, signing up for a PPA is like adding a second utility company with better prices. In Connecticut, our estimate for the starting price of a PPA is $.14/kWh. Compared to the Connecticut average utility price of $.21/kWh (U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2018), that's a huge savings! It works because your solar company can take advantage of bulk pricing and federal incentives programs to reduce their overall cost, and charge you pennies on the dollar for solar electricity to recoup their up-front investment.

Of course, PPAs still mean signing up to do business long-term with a solar company, so choose wisely and make sure you read the contract from start to finish. PPAs usually include an "escalator clause" that raises the price you pay for every kWh by a set percentage every year. The increase is usually 2%, and assumes a utility company increase of 2.5% or more, depending on your utility's historical price increases. Make sure you're comfortable and aware of this clause before signing up.

Keep in mind, the numbers above are based on an average home in Connecticut. If you're ready for a custom quote for a solar PPA, our network of experts are on call to assist you. Simply sign up for personalized assistance on our special solar deals page.

How much can you save with solar?

Find out

Connecticut Solar Policy Information

Ever wonder why solar seems to be everywhere in some states, but not in others? We did too.

State legislatures and public utilities commissions can enact rules to make solar power accessible for everyone. Favorable rules explain why some of the cloudiest states—New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut, are doing so well with solar, and yet some of those with the most natural solar resources—like Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia—are doing so poorly.

Below is important information about the public policy, rules, and economic reasons that affect your ability to go solar here in Connecticut:

Connecticut's Renewable Portfolio Standard

40% by 2030

Grade: A

Connecticut's Renewable Portfolio Standard grade

A Renewables Portfolio Standard (“RPS”) requires utilities in the state to eventually source at least a certain percentage of their electricity from clean, renewable sources like solar panels.

Connecticut has an aggressive yet complicated RPS law, which puts the state among the best for renewable energy. The short version is that Connecticut utilities (both of them) must supply 40% of their power with clean, renewable energy by January 1, 2030. The longer version is how they classify renewable energy. They break it down into Class I, Class II, and Class III renewable energy sources.

  • Class I contains our friend residential solar; mixed in with 10 other sources like wind, fuel cells, methane gas, and all kinds of ocean power. 40% of the states energy must come from Class I sources by 2030, and again that includes solar.
  • Class II and III, which include garbage burning, waste heat recovery, combined heat and power systems, and ebergy efficiency—must make up 4% each of the total energy portfolio.

Connecticut's RPS may be complicated, but what you need to know about it is it means the government's got your back. They're telling the utility companies that renewable energy is a priority, and the RPS law is set up to levy high fines against the companies unless they get with the program.

The RPS also works hand-in-hand with the Connecticut Green Bank’s Residential Solar Investment program, which offers incentives to homeowners who install solar panels. Those incentives are paid for by the utility companies, and will be through 2022. Thanks, CT lawmakers!

Learn more about Renewable Portfolio Standards

Connecticut's RPS solar carve out


Grade: F

Connecticut's Solar Carve-out grade

While the state’s RPS has no official solar carve out (i.e., a specific amount of electricity that must come from solar), Connecticut is serious about clean energy, and has squirreled away some dough over the years into the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. Starting June of 2011, the Clean Energy Finance Authority (CEFIA) has a mandate to create 30 new megawatts of residential solar by the end of 2022.

Learn more about Solar Carve-outs

Connecticut Electricity Prices


Grade: A

Connecticut's Electricity cost grade

Connecticut may be a relatively small state, but the electricity prices sure aren't. The average retail price for electricity is 21 cents per kWh, compared to a national average about 13.6 cents/kWh.

And those 21-cent prices aren’t going down anytime soon, folks. It looks like a rate of about 3.5% increases will be constant going forward, and that’s without unforeseen spikes in price caused by regulation, instability, and more. With solar panels on your home, you are protected from rises in prices; in fact, when the prices go up, you get paid more for the electricity your system generates!

We would expect some savvy customers might be thinking about jumping ship and going solar! Fortunately, there is a photovoltaic life raft for you to swim out to - one Connecticut has created for itself in the last decade.

Find out why electricity prices matter

Connecticut Net Metering

Statewide (for now)

Grade: A

Connecticut's Net Metering grade

With net metering if you generate more power than you need, you’ll get a credit on your next bill. In Connecticut, they call each kWh your system generates above your usage a NEG (Net Excess Generation). Those NEGs keep rolling over into the next month until the customer uses them all. The utility must pay the customer annually for every NEG that makes its way to the end of the year.

At least, that's how it works for now. Under a 2018 law, Connecticut will cease offering net metering for residential customers when its residential solar investment program expires in 2022. If you install solar panels on your home before then, you'll receive net metering compensation through December 31, 2039.

If, however you miss the boat on Connecticut net metering, you'll be subject to whatever "feed-in tariff" (FIT) your utility company manages to push through the state's Public Utilities Commission. A FIT is the price you get paid for a kWh of solar energy, and the FITs in Connecticut are sure to be less than the price you'll be paying for electricity from the utility company.

If you want our advice, get multiple quotes for solar now, and get on net metering before it's too late. We haven't knocked CT's grade for net metering down to a "B" so far, but we can't promise it won't end up there soon.

Learn more about net metering

Connecticut Interconnection Rules


Grade: B

Connecticut's Interconnection Standards grade

Interconnection rules basically lay out requirements for how an energy-generating system is tied to the utility’s power grid. Connecticut has an opportunity to improve in this area by removing requirements for redundant external disconnect switches and liability insurance, but otherwise things are looking good.

Learn more about solar interconnection rules

Solar Incentives in Connecticut

Next to high electricity prices and net metering, solar incentives have traditionally been the most important factor for whether home solar power makes financial sense in a state. In the past, some states with otherwise lousy policy had tremendous incentives that drove down the up-front cost of going solar so much that homeowners could save oodles of money even without net metering or a good RPS.

These days, the big incentive most people can get is the Federal Solar Tax Credit that earns you 30% of your total system costs back after just 1 year. State incentives play less of a role than in the past, but some really good ones are still out there, ready to help homeowners go solar and save money before you know it.

Let's see how Connecticut measures up:

The availability of state solar incentives for residential solar systems was sourced from the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency, utility company websites, and the state public utility commission.

Connecticut Solar Power Rebates

$400-487 per kW, up to $8,870

Grade: A

Connecticut's Solar Rebates grade

Connecticut has generous solar power rebates for all the PV equipment you could ever need or want, up to a 20-kilowatt installation. If you use enough energy to justify a 10-kW system, the state offers $463 back per kW, and $400/kW for a system sized larger than your usage, up to 20kW, meaning the max you can get from the program is $8,630.

Keep in mind that Connecticut calculates the solar rebate amount based on kW PTC, which basically means "real-world performance," and not the panel rating, expressed as watts of DC power. STC tends to be around 10% less than panel rating, so a panel rated for 250 watts has a PTC of about 225 watts.

That 225 watts is multiplied by 46.3 cents to equal about $104 per panel, and a typical 20-panel system (rated for 5 kW) would earn a rebate of about $2,083.

The current round of funding for the rebate program has $10 million available, with a total of $40 million for the program. Be sure to follow the steps to have your Connecticut solar installation certified, and you can count on a really nice rebate.

The state also offers incentives for third-party companies who install and maintain solar panels on homes and lease the systems to homeowners, which makes Connecticut one of the best places in the country for solar leasing!

Learn more about solar rebates

Connecticut Solar Tax Credits


Grade: F

Connecticut's Solar Tax Credits grade

Connecticut doesn’t offer a tax credit for installing solar panels on your home, but don’t worry! The US government offers a 30% federal tax credit for homeowners who go solar. And Connecticut is helping to finance solar and other energy improvements for all homeowners through their local governments. There are several programs available based on whether you want to get a loan or just lease a solar system.

Learn more about state solar tax credits

Connecticut Solar Performance Payments

Payments for ZRECs

Grade: C

Connecticut's Solar Performance Payments grade

To meet their RPS goals, power companies can either pay you for the zero-emission renewable energy credits (ZRECs) you generate with your solar panels, or they have the option of making “Alternative Compliance Payments” to the state. The real bummer is you cannot accept both the payments for your ZRECs and the rebates available for your system.

As of 2016, the Alternative Compliance Payments are too low to justify a switch from receiving Connecticut's solar rebate to getting payments for your ZRECs. The state’s two investor owned utilities, Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) and United Illuminating Company (UI) will simply continue to keep paying those lower fees instead of lining your wallet.

Stay tuned for any changes in the cost of those Alternative Compliance Payments. Until then, Performance Payments (though they exist) are kind of a moot point for Connecticut homeowners.

Learn more about SRECs

Property Tax Exemption


Grade: A

Connecticut's Solar Property Tax Exemptions grade

When solar panels are installed on your home, its value increases. We’re talking many thousands of dollars of instant property value goodness. But wait, that isn’t even the best news! Connecticut has provided residents a way out of paying more property taxes for putting solar panels on their roofs since 1977, thanks to the property tax exemption. As long as you file a claim with the board of assessors before the first day of November in the applicable assessment year, you will not have to pay a single penny more in property taxes for that shiny new PV system. Brilliant, Connecticut!

Sales Tax Exemption


Grade: A

Connecticut's Solar Sales Tax Exemption grade

A solar installation in Connecticut is also 100% exempt from sales taxes, saving you 6.35% right out of the gate!

Learn more about tax exemptions for solar

Other Important Solar News and Programs Available in Connecticut

Connecticut has a low-income solar program! Called the Solar For All Program, it's helped nearly 2,000 low-income Connecticut homeowners get solar panels installed on their roof and save money on their electric bill.

Unlike other states, Connecticut doesn't promote solar ownership, but instead engages in a public/private partnership to install solar systems under a kind of third-party ownership called a power purchase agreement, or PPA for short.

A PPA makes the solar installation company essentially your second electricity provider—you pay for all the energy the solar panels generate, at a lower rate than you had been paying the electric company. In the case of the Solar for All program, the cost of a PPA is considerarbly less than retail energy, because Connecticut subsidizes the systems and the savings are passed on to the low-income homeowner.

Learn more about affordable solar for Connecticut residents here.

The consensus on Connecticut solar power rebates and incentives

Connecticut has made the right size commitment to create a solar power market. Having the funding for solar energy was no accident. Connecticut set up the CCEF in 2000 for that aim, and started putting money away (out of everyone’s utility bill) to make that possible today. Strong utility rebates and the possibility for great financing deals are great ways to get more Connecticut homeowners into the solar game.

Although Connecticut’s legislation around solar is nearly unassailable, there is still some room for improvement. The incentives they provide residential solar customers overlap somewhat with utility-scale renewable energy applications, leaving the code more complex for homeowners than it needs to be.

When it comes to performance payments, Connecticut could make them more attractive by increasing the price of a ZREC. If utilities didn’t have sweet Alternative Payments to turn to, they would be looking to buy them from solar powered home owners every time.

Well, that’s about it for Connecticut. It’s a great state for homeowners looking to go solar, albeit with some complexities to navigate. The good news is that you can contact one of our trusted installers to help walk you through the process, complete with as many free quotes as the savvy shopper in your heart desires.

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Rod FergusonEarth And MainBob DortenzioRod FergusonJustin Recent comment authors
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Bob Dortenzio
Bob Dortenzio

At Sun-Wind Solutions, we want to make sure that you get all of the right information to help you make a qualified decision. We’ll help you understand the available incentives and financing options and when you’re ready to move forward with your project, we’ll do all the paperwork for you!

Rod Ferguson
Rod Ferguson

This is just great. If home owners understand, they will want to go green ASAP.


I’m not sure if maybe you just got a bad apple with your appraiser, but solar systems absolutely do add value to homes and the research has been done plenty to support it. We’re now a good 6-7 years into this tremendous solar boom which is time for PLENTY of homes to be sold. They will add 0 value if leased/rended, and roughly 3$/watt if owned, depreciating yearly of course. It’s been proven to be the same as homes that are converted to more efficient fossil fuels even it’s not really a complex concept. Utility savings = value added, simple… Read more »


As a solar panel owner of the past 4 years, I have recently discovered that Solar Systems do not add any book value to your home. Much to my ignorance, I had assumed it would. However, it turns out (logically so), that there are little-to-no sales records of homes with Solar systems, that would be utilized to approximate home values. In addition, appraisers do not account for Solar Systems as a part of their home value estimations and have no plans on it either. I happen to have purchased my system, and feel even worse about those that lease/loan/rent their… Read more »


I’m working with one of the large solar companies and they keep saying that Connecticut has a strict 100% offset cap, meaning I can’t install a system larger than my last year’s usage. I can’t find any confirmation of this other than that the incentives are reduced from $540/kW to $400/kW. Is it really true that CT won’t allow me to put up a system that provides 104% of my previous year’s usage? Thanks in advance for any advice.

Rod Ferguson

I have sold Connecticut solar systems over 100% cap. A perfect example is when the homeowner is buying an electric car or two. The disadvantage is when the utility settles with the homeowner when there is a credit balance at the end of March. The utility will only pay the wholesale rate which is usually less than a quarter of the net metering full retail rate. Thus, we try to size a system
that will offset as close to 100% without going over.


Be careful when trying to calculate a future value of your home after solar has been installed. Solar panels have a useful life. I guess that after 15 to 20 years the panels will need to be replaced. So if I was a potential buyer and the house had solar panels 20 years old the replacement cost of the panels would need to be adjusted from your hopeful sale price. Thereby netting no additional value.

Ben Zientara

Thanks for that, John! In fact, most panels come with a 25-year warranty that covers any loss of efficiency below 80%, so a solar installation that’s 10-15 years old should still add a considerable amount of value to the home, as long as the homeowner can provide evidence of the warranty. And yes, if you’re buying a home that has 20-year old panels, you’re likely to keep getting plenty of use from them, but you have to factor the end of the warranty into your value calculations.

Earth And Main

Just to add on to this thread even so many years later. I’ve read articles where solar panels installed back in the 70’s and 80’s still function perfectly well, albeit at a reduced efficiency. SO there’s no reason not to get many many years worth of energy from your PV installation. Panel manufacturers would be crazy to offer warranty’s longer than 25 years, opens them up to way too much liability.


We are currently in the process of purchasing a solar system for our home. In doing our due diligence, one cost we never read or was informed about is if your solar system is very large (our proposed system is 14.4 kW), your utility company can charge you the customer for all expenses to upgrade their electrical infrastructure to handle your interconnection. That is what United Illuminating informed us. They say we are required to pay for all infrastructure costs needed to install a dedicated transformer that can handle our load since the existing transformer cannot handle it given the… Read more »


I’ve been approached by a firm who wants to lease my land to install a solar farm. What do they usually pay per acre? What is the maga watt per acre?


I recently signed up for a homeowner owned system. Cost per watt, $ 3.50 and the town canceled the $ 200 inspection fee. So our cost for a 9.88 kWSTC system installed: $ 38,930 – $ 200 = $ 38,730. State of Connecticut CEFIA HOPBI payment authorized (and I have this of course in writing) $ 9,207.00 making the cost of the system $ 29,523 before the Federal Tax Credit of $ 8,857 for a bottom line cost of $ 20,666. Considering Connecticut currently has among the highest electric utility costs in the nation, this is a good deal indeed.


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