vt guide no borderSince 2016, Vermonters interested in installing a residential solar photovoltaic (PV) system have relied on "A Vermonter's Guide to Residential Solar," a free guidebook produced by the Clean Energy States Alliance and the Vermont Public Service Department. The guide was updated in the fall of 2018 to reflect changes in Vermont's net metering rules.

“Vermont’s net metering program changed in important ways in 2017,” said Public Service Department Commissioner June Tierney, “and affected stakeholders need to be aware of these changes.  To make sure word gets out, the Department is doing its part to provide information that will help Vermonters navigate the rules, financing options, and other considerations as they consider installing or participating in a net-metering project.”

There are many ways to build and finance a solar PV system. “A Vermonter’s Guide to Residential Solar” can help residents decide whether it makes sense for them to go solar and if so, how. The guide includes relevant information needed at different points during the decision making and installation process:

  • Reasons Vermonters are choosing solar
  • The physical components of a PV system
  • Consumer needs, opportunities, and system design considerations
  • Ways to finance a solar system
  • Solar savings and incentives, including the federal tax credit, net metering, and Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs)
  • Choosing a solar contractor and reviewing a solar contract
  • Solar system permitting
  • After a system is installed

Appendices cover questions to ask a solar contractor, a project checklist, a glossary, and other resources.

“It’s important for Vermonters to be informed about what their choices are when they consider installing a solar PV system at their home,” said Nate Hausman, a project director for the Clean Energy States Alliance. “This guide will help homeowners in their decision-making process.”

“As it becomes more mainstream, there are many different ways to ‘go solar,’ and a variety of contract options and solar regulations that Vermonters should consider,” said Andrew Perchlik, director of the Department’s Clean Energy Development Fund. “This guide provides clear information that any Vermonter considering solar should read.”

“A Vermonter’s Guide to Residential Solar” is available as a pdf at https://publicservice.vermont.gov/sites/dps/files/documents/Renewable_Energy/Resources/Solar/consumerguidesolar_2018.pdf.

The original version of this guide, first published in 2016, was funded through the U.S. Department of Energy.

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About the Vermont Public Service Department Clean Energy Development Fund (CEDF)
The CEDF, at the Vermont Public Service Department (PSD) works to accelerate the development, commercialization, and production of clean energy in Vermont through grants, rebates, contracts for specific products or services, as well as other offerings and programs. Since its inception, the CEDF has awarded over $64 million in federal and state resources for renewable energy and energy efficiency in Vermont, leveraging total investments of more than $258 million in the state’s clean energy infrastructure. Learn more at http://publicservice.vermont.gov/renewable_energy/cedf.

About the Clean Energy States Alliance
The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) is a national, nonprofit coalition of public agencies and organizations working together to advance clean energy. CESA members—mostly state agencies— include many of the most innovative, successful, and influential public funders of clean energy initiatives in the country. CESA works with state leaders, federal agencies, industry representatives, and other stakeholders to develop and promote clean energy technologies and markets. It supports effective state and local policies, programs, and innovation in the clean energy sector, with an emphasis on renewable energy, power generation, financing strategies, and economic development. CESA facilitates information sharing, provides technical assistance, coordinates multi-state collaborative projects, and communicates the views and achievements of its members. Learn more at www.cesa.org