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Sun Rise New England - Open for Business

 
Type
Town
 
Category
  • Renewable Energy

The Connecticut Green Bank has a been awarded two rounds of funding under the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative to reduce the overall cost of residential solar PV.  This initiative focuses on addressing solar “soft costs,” and removing market barriers associated with permitting, planning and zoning and interconnection. Here you can learn about drivers of soft costs in Connecticut and find resources and tools you can use to address them.

Additional Details

Rooftop Solar PV Installation in Fairfield, Connecticut, one of 12 towns working with the Sun Rise New England team on the Rooftop Solar Challenge. Image Courtesy of Direct Energy Solar.

The goal of the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative is to achieve significant cost reductions for solar photovoltaic (PV) systems that will enable solar electricity to be cost-competitive with other forms of energy without subsidies in the United States by 2020. The SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge contributes to the SunShot goal by providing resources and building networks to standardize processes, improve standards, reduce soft costs and remove market barriers associated with permitting, planning and zoning and interconnection of rooftop solar PV to the grid, as well as addressing affordability by increasing access to financing.

The Connecticut team led a project that analyzed  solar PV soft costs in the state under the SunShot Initiative’s Rooftop Solar Challenge I program.  Since then Connecticut has partnered with four other New England states, under the leadership of the Clean Energy States Challenge II. This second round of funding gives Connecticut further opportunity to refine, pilot and implement tools and recommendations developed in the first round, in collaboration with other New England states.
 
The Connecticut team has compiled results and recommendations from the Rooftop Solar Challenge project into the resources below.  Click on a category to discover recommendations and best practices in that area.  The Round I Final Project Report and the full Connecticut Rooftop Solar PV Permitting Guide Version 2.0 are provided for download under “Project Deliverables.”

For more information and/or to join us in our efforts to make rooftop solar PV installation easier, faster and cheaper, contact us at CGBsunshot@ctgreenbank.com.

Each of Connecticut’s 169 municipalities has its own permitting processes, permit application and fee structure, making widespread solar deployment a challenge. By streamlining the procedures and documents required for a permit, municipalities can encourage more projects, including solar, and bring more business into their community. This section provides recommendations and resources for improving rooftop solar PV permitting developed from research conducted by the Connecticut Rooftop Solar Challenge team. These suggestions are consistent with the work of other teams and leading organizations throughout the nation working to help understand and improve solar PV permitting processes.

Significant improvements can be made by making information more accessible, streamlining permit application submission, implementing online permitting software and waiving or reducing permit fees. Help contractor’s get it right the first time by clarifying what information contractors should provide when they apply for a solar PV permit, reducing everyone’s guesswork and frustration.

Jurisdictions are encouraged to consider the permitting recommendations below to support efficient and safe rooftop solar PV installations in their communities.

Solar PV Permit Application Package:
The Connecticut Green Bank SunShot team is creating custom solar PV permit packages for Connecticut municipalities (see the Town of Seymour as an example!).  The package consists of a 1 page instructions sheet and all required forms to be completed for solar PV projects.  

Contact CGBsunshot@ctgreenbank.com to request a solar PV permit package, or make your own using the resources below!

It is helpful to make requirements and processes as transparent and clear as possible for contractors and for your inspectors. Most rooftop solar PV systems can be evaluated with a single comprehensive inspection. Consider ways your municipality could organize and combine necessary inspections by utilizing an installer/inspector checklist. By providing resources to municipal staff conducting reviews and inspections, it is easier for officials to know what the building code specifically requires for solar PV. 

Make it easier for your municipality to identify what to look for so that solar PV systems are being installed properly and safely in your community. The below toolset offers options for better understanding PV installations, common problem areas, and how to ensure a safe installation.  With these recommendations, you can help make the work of municipal staff easier and less time-consuming.

This document compiles applicable code requirements for solar PV installations. It can be used as a reference by installers, municipal staff, and inspectors to clarify what the codes do and do not require for solar PV.

The resources in this section allow municipalities to access inexpensive training for staff that also counts for continuing education credits. Allowing your staff to access the latest ideas and tools being offered by state initiatives can help your community to grow and prosper. Trained personnel know what to look for, and can help alleviate frustration and excessive work for municipalities, installers and property owners.

Online Training Resources:

Resources for Firefighter Safety:

As solar PV deployment increases, firefighters will be more likely to encounter a home or business with a solar PV system installed. Training and notification that a PV system is located at a home are two great ways to reduce risk to firefighters.  More information about firefighter safety and solar PV is available at the following website.

In Person Training Resources:

Updates on upcoming trainings will be posted here, or you can email CGBsunshot@ctgreenbank.com to find out if there is an upcoming training near you.  

You can also check the CT Office of Education and Data Management (OEDM) website.  OEDM offers periodic trainings on solar PV in their fall and spring course schedules.

Municipal planning and zoning regulations can impact the size, shape and location of residential solar PV systems and may impact a homeowner’s ability to install solar.  The following tools and resources can help municipalities evaluate whether their zoning regulations make sense for solar PV, and provide suggestions for establishing solar-friendly zoning regulations.

Planning and Zoning Recommendations for Municipalities

Solar PV Model Zoning Ordinance
The solar PV Model Zoning Ordinance can be used as a template to establish solar-specific zoning regulations in your municipality

Solar Site Design Worksheet for a Proposed Subdivision
The Solar Site Design Worksheet can be used to prompt developers to consider solar-friendly design elements in their subdivision plans, and prove they are compliant with CGS § 8-25 (b).

Solar PV Model Permitting Ordinance
The Solar PV Model Permitting Ordinance can be used by municipalities to codify and commit to best practices for solar PV permitting.

Template Letter to Municipality Suggesting Use of CT Rooftop Solar PV Permitting Guide
Use this letter template to suggest that your municipality adopt best practices for solar PV!

Project Deliverables:

CT Rooftop Solar PV Permitting Guide Version 2.0
The full Rooftop Solar PV Permitting Guide compiles the solar PV permitting recommendations and resources found on this site into a single resource.

Round 1 Final Project Report
The Round 1 Final Project Report details the Connecticut teams research on the sources of solar “soft costs” in Connecticut, and initial recommendations for addressing these barriers to solar PV deployment in the state.

Connecticut Municipal Solar Scorecards

In 2016 the Yale Data-Driven Environmental Solutions Group developed and released Connecticut Municipal Solar Scorecards.  The solar scorecards evaluate Connecticut municipalities’ efforts to encourage residential solar PV deployment in their communities across five categories: information availability, solar adoption, clean energy engagement, permit process, and permit time & cost.  

The goal of scorecards is to:

  • Provide municipalities data-drive insights into solar power adoption in their jurisdictions
  • Illuminate municipalities’ participation in clean energy initiatives
  • Demonstrate the impact of municipal permit processes on solar PV deployment
  • Inspire communities to make going solar as simple as possible for their residents!

The scorecards provide metrics on how each municipality performs on solar engagement and permitting related activities to help municipalities identify areas where they perform well or can improve. The scorecards provide a baseline for municipalities to measure progress and an opportunity to learn from peers across the state.

Municipalities are encouraged to review their scores at www.ctsolarscoreboard.com 

For assistance addressing barriers to solar PV deployment in your municipal permit process, contact cgbsunshot@ctgreenbank.com.

Material presented on this website is based upon work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge under award number DE-EE0005688 issued to the Sun Rise New England - Open for Business team, led by Connecticut Green Bank and work supported by the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative Rooftop Solar Challenge II under award number DE-FOA-0000788 issued to the New England Cost Reduction Partnership led by the Clean Energy States Alliance.

This material was prepared as an account of work sponsored by an agency of the United States Government. Neither the United States Government nor any agency thereof, nor any of their employees, makes any warranty, express or implied, or assumes any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of any information, apparatus, product, or process disclosed, or represents that its use would not infringe privately owned rights. Reference herein to any specific commercial product, process, or service by trade name, trademark, manufacturer, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by the United States Government or any agency thereof.

The views and opinions of authors expressed in these materials do not necessarily state or reflect those of the United States Government or any agency thereof.

The material provided on this website is not intended to replace or supplant existing state or federal codes or regulations. There are no warranties associated with the use of this information. Some of this material, which is/was believed to be accurate at the time of publication, may no longer be accurate, current, or comply with existing codes and regulations. Neither the authors nor any other organizations or individuals who have contributed to this Guide are accountable for the use or misuse of information obtained herein. The views expressed in this Guide are not necessarily the views of the entire project team, the state of Connecticut nor contributors of information to the project and Guide.

For more information on the SunShot Initiative, visit: http://energy.gov/eere/sunshot/sunshot-initiative.

Energize CT Heating Loan Program

 
Type
Home
 
Category
  • Financing
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Renewable Energy

Financing at a 0.99% interest rate, up to $15,000, is available for qualified homeowners for the purchase and installation of eligible energy-saving heating equipment. Repayment through your utility bill makes the process easy.

Additional Details

If you have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and need to defer your loan payments for this program, please contact your electric utility. Eversource customers should call 1-800-286-2000 and UI customers should call 877-WISE-USE (1-877-947-3873).

If you’re a residential customer of UI, Eversource, CNG, or SCG you could be eligible for low-interest financing for a new energy-efficient heating system. To participate, you must own a single-family home or a multi-family home up to four units, including condos. Vacation homes also qualify.

Heating equipment to be installed must meet specific efficiency criteria for boilers, furnaces and electric heat pumps.

Financing Amounts and Term

  • Financing is available up to $15,000.
  • A minimum down payment of 10% of the cost of the replacement heating furnace or boiler equipment is required. The minimum down payment varies by type and efficiency of equipment selected. 
  • 0.99% interest rate.
  • Financing term between 3 to 10 years based on the time it takes for the replacement heating furnace or boiler equipment to pay for itself from energy savings, plus two years.  For details visit ctheatloan.com.
  • No fees to you or your contractor; no pre-payment penalty.
  • Unsecured, fixed-rate financing.
  • Payments are made along with your monthly electric bill payments. If the property is sold, the balance may be repaid or may be transferred to the new owner. 

 

To Apply and For More Information:

 

Visit ctheatloan.com to apply online now and for more details. Or call our lending partner, Capital For Change, Inc. (formerly CHIF), at 1-800-992-3665. 
 

To learn more about your home’s energy usage and efficiency, sign up for Home Energy Solutions®.  For a nominal fee, or at no cost for those who qualify, an energy efficiency professional will visit your home and discuss opportunities to save money by improving your home’s energy performance.

For more information call 1-800-992-3665.

If you’re a residential customer of UI, Eversource, CNG, or SCG you could be eligible.

  • You must have an Eversource or UI residential electric account at the address where the new equipment is to be installed.
  • You must own the property where the new equipment is to be installed.
  • You must be current with your electric utility bill and have had either:
    • no late payment charges for the most recent six (6) consecutive months or
    • no more than two (2) late payment charges for the last twelve (12) consecutive months
  • Equipment to be installed must meet specific efficiency criteria for boilers, furnaces and electric heat pumps
  • All work must be completed by Capital For Change registered contractors. To participate, contractors must meet program standards, including proper licenses and insurance.

For More Information:

The program is administered by Capital For Change, Inc. (formerly CHIF). Visit ctheatloan.com or call 1-800-992-3665 for more details or to inquire about your eligibility.  

Feel free to call 1-800-992-3665  with any questions.

If you are a Connecticut resident and are not served by one of the utilities listed above, please visit your utility’s website to see what energy efficiency programs are available to you. Please click here for information on how to contact your municipal utility.

Smart-E Loans

 
Type
Home
 
Category
  • Appliances & Electronics
  • Financing
  • Gas Water Heating
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Hot Water
  • Insulation
  • Lighting
  • Renewable Energy

Now you can enjoy a whole home of energy efficiency. Upgrade your home’s efficiency & energy performance with a no money down Smart-E loan with flexible terms. Realize more savings and comfort when bundling multiple home energy improvements. The more you do, the more you save.

Additional Details

The Connecticut Green Bank – in partnership with Energize CT and select local lenders and contractors – offers long-term, low-interest financing to help you upgrade your home’s energy performance with no money down.

  • Unsecured personal loan (no lien is placed on the property)
  • Fixed monthly payments
  • No pre-payment penalty

Great low-rates are available. See all rate information here.

Property requirements:

  • Property must be located in Connecticut
  • Property must be owner-occupied
  • Property must be a 1-4 unit residential building
  • Condominiums must be individually metered

From home performance and efficiency, to heating and cooling, to water heating and renewables, there are more than 40 eligible home energy upgrades that quality for Smart-E loans. Click here for a complete list of eligible improvements and efficiency criteria.

  1. Find a Contractor to discuss your energy improvements.
    If your contractor is not on the approved list, they should contact smarte@ctgreenbank.com for Smart-E training.

    Using multiple contractors? Select one to act as your general contractor. They will help facilitate this process for you.
     
  2. Select your home energy upgrade.
    Your contractor will work with you to be sure the improvements meet our eligibility requirements. 
     
  3. Get pre-approved by a participating lender.
    Apply directly with your selected lender before your contractor begins the project.
     
  4. Close your loan with your lender.
    Your lender will reach out to schedule a loan closing once the project is approved.

Learn how homeowners across Connecticut are improving their homes and lowering energy costs with Smart-E.

Smart-E Loans Myers

“What we’ve seen since we’ve converted is stability. The house is so much more comfortable now.”


– Myers family, natural gas conversion and heating equipment
 

About The Project

Location: Norwich, CT
Building Type: Ranch
Building Size: 1.428 sq ft
Year Built: 1960
Project: Converted to natural gas and upgraded to a high efficiency boiler
Total Project Cost: $8,318.09
Annual Energy Cost Savings: $1,200

 

Smart-E Loans Hemeon

 “Smart-E helps get you where you want to be, and where you want to be is self-sufficient with solar energy."

– Hemeon family, installed solar PV

 

 

About The Project

Location: Pomfret, CT
Building Type: Colonial
Building Size: 2,944 sq ft
Year Built: 1982
Project: 36 Solar Panels
Total Project Cost: $31,125
Estimated Annual Energy Cost Savings: $1,794
Estimated Solar Panel Energy Production:
9,763 kWh/year
Approximate Total Home Energy Usage:
11,835 kWh/year

Smart-E Loans Curran

“Applying for the loan was very easy; the application process was just a few pages; and the closing took no more than half an hour.”

– Curran family, installed solar PV

About The Project

Location: Waterbury, CT
Building Type: Split Ranch
Building Size: 2,600 sq ft
Year Built: 1979
Project: 26 Solar Panels
Total Project Cost: $35,000
Annual Energy Cost Savings: $1,353
Estimated Solar Panel Energy Production:
8,457 kWh/year
Approximate Total Home Energy Usage:
26,781 kWh/year
 

Smart-E Loans Kennedy

 “We are getting the most out of our money and it feels good to know that we are not over spending on energy.  We are excited about the improvements hold for our future.”


– Kennedy family, Conversion to Natural Gas, upgrade to a high efficiency boiler, asbestos remediation

About The Project

Location: Berlin, CT
Building Type: Dutch Colonial
Building Size: 3,698 sq ft
Year Built: 1800
Project: Conversion to Natural Gas, upgrade to a high efficiency boiler, asbestos remediation
Total Project Cost: $12,934.88
Estimated Annual Energy Cost Savings: $1,800

Smart-E Loans Watson

 “We were in the black from day one. As it turns out, the cost of the loan payment is less than what we’re saving in heating costs. Eventually, when the loan is paid off, it will be all profit."

– Jeff and Liliya Watson, switched to natural gas

About The Project

Location: Hamden, CT
Building Type: Ranch
Building Size: 1,589 sq ft
Year Built: 1956
Project: Conversion to Propane/ Natural Gas, upgrade to a high efficiency boiler
Total Project Cost: $11,750
Estimated Annual Energy Cost Savings: $1,200


 

 

 

 

Geothermal Heat Pump Rebates

 
Type
Home
 
Category
 
Rebate
Up to $1,500
  • Heating & Cooling
  • New Construction or Major Renovation
  • Rebates
  • Renewable Energy

Efficient and environmentally friendly, geothermal heat pumps use the stable, even temperature of the earth to heat and cool your home.

Additional Details

A geothermal heat pump takes advantage of the earth’s constant temperature to provide highly efficient heating and cooling. In the winter, fluid circulating in underground pipes carries the earth’s heat to your home, where it is concentrated to provide heating. In the summer, the process is reversed and heat from your home is carried back to the earth through the pipes to provide cooling.

A few feet below the earth’s surface, the ground temperature remains fairly stable through the year, ranging from 45 degrees in the North to 70 degrees in the South. Ground temperatures, like those in a cave, are warmer than the air above in the winter and cooler than the air in the summer. A geothermal heat pump taps these conditions, carrying energy through a series of fluid-filled copper or plastic pipes installed underground. This allows the geothermal heat pump to provide space heating and cooling. Some systems can also heat water.

According to studies, ENERGY STAR®-certified geothermal heat pumps can reduce energy costs by 20 to 70 percent. Approximately 70 percent of the energy used in a geothermal heat pump system is renewable energy from the ground. The systems use a small amount of electricity to operate the heat pump, ground loop pump and distribution fan or pump.

A geothermal heat pump is a reliable, low-maintenance and environmentally friendly heating and cooling choice. It operates safely and quietly, with no combustion, direct emissions or exposed outdoor equipment, such as a fuel tank.   Because it is mechanically simple and all exterior equipment is below ground, protected from the weather, maintenance costs are often lower than other heating and cooling systems.

How We Help

We make it affordable to install a geothermal heat pump system with rebates of $750 per ton for customers who heat with electric or natural gas and up to $1,500 per ton for customers who heat with fuel oil or propane for qualifying systems. Total rebate amount not to exceed $10,000 per home

Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information.

Rebate applications for 2021 rebates are being accepted and processed for payment. Please submit your 2021 rebate within the prescribed timeframe on the rebate form. Please contact Eversource or United Illuminating at 877-WISE-USE with questions.

  • A closed loop circulates fluid through an underground field. The loop is enclosed in vertical and/or horizontal trenches.
  • Single or multiple pumps, fans and compressors provide heating and cooling.
  • A distribution system, typically ductwork, carries air throughout the home to maintain an even temperature.

Step 1 -

To see which geothermal heat pump systems qualify for a rebate, see the "Who is Eligible & System Requirements" section below. Refer to the Geothermal Rebate Application for Existing Homes for additional requirements, terms and conditions.

Rebates: 
$750 per ton - customers who heat with electricity or natural gas 
Up to $1,500 per ton - customers who heat with fuel oil or propane
Total rebate amount not to exceed $15,000 per home

Step 2 -

Choose a geothermal contractor for your installation.

Find a geothermal contractor.

Step 3 -

Have your qualifying unit installed.

Step 4 -

Save time and money – click here to apply for a rebate and submit the required documentation online. 

If you wish, you have the option to mail in the completed application and any documentation instead. See the application for further details.

Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information. 

 

Minimum Efficiency Levels / Rebate Schedule

Eligible Equipment Type
Minimum Efficiency Level for Rebate
Rebate per ton Oil or Propane Heated Homes
(Rebate amount not to exceed $15,000 per customer)
Rebate per ton Electric or Natural Gas Heated Homes
(Rebate amount not to exceed $15,000 per customer)
GLHP - Closed Loop Water to Air 17.1 EER1 / 3.6 COP2 Minimum $1,500 $750
DX - Direct Expansion Refrigerant 16.0 EER / 3.6 COP Minimum $1,500 $750
W to W - Water to Water 16.1 EER / 3.1 COP Minimum $1,500 $750
1 EER - Energy Efficiency Ratio     2 COP - Coefficient of Performance

Eversource and UI residential electric service customers are eligible for incentives for the installation of a geothermal closed loop or direct expansion, packaged or matched coil/split* including water to water-designed types up to six tons per unit.

Geothermal equipment must be a closed loop or direct expansion type and ENERGY STAR® certified in order to be eligible for a rebate.

  • Field testing must be done under appropriate test conditions
  • AHRI/ISO/ASHRAE Standard 13256-1 closed loop systems
  • AHRI/ISO/ASHRAE Standard 870 for DX systems

 

A list of ENERGY STAR certified geothermal equipment can be found on the ENERGY STAR website.

The rebate for qualifying geothermal units is $750 per nominal AHRI-rated cooling ton for successfully commissioned geothermal systems (existing homes heating with electric or natural gas to a maximum rebate amount of $15,000 per home).  Oil & propane homes only - Rebate is paid in ½ ton increments capped at $1,500 per ton, up to $15,000 total rebate.
 

*Multiple sections and fans must be AHRI matched.

If you are a Connecticut resident and are not served by one of the utilities listed above, please visit your municipal utility’s website to see what programs are available to you. 

Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information. 

Energy Conservation Loan Program

 
Type
Home
 
Category
  • Financing
  • Gas Water Heating
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Help for Income Eligible
  • Hot Water
  • Insulation
  • New Construction or Major Renovation
  • Renewable Energy

This program for income-qualified consumers offers below market interest rate terms for the purchase and installation of cost-saving energy efficient improvements for single or multi-family homes.

Additional Details

**Effective 12/28/2017, the ECL loan program is limited to emergency situations only (non-working heating systems and leaking roofs). Applicants must be ineligible for other programs in order to qualify for an emergency loan**

Energy Conservation Loans finance energy conservation improvements for low- and moderate-income single-family (1-4 units) home owners. This program is funded by the Connecticut Department of Housing (DOH) and is administered by Capital for Change, Inc (C4C). This loan may be used to finance energy efficient home improvements up to $25,000 at below-market interest rates. Zero-percent interest rate loans are available for higher-efficiency boilers and furnaces.

Income Limit

This is an income-restricted program. Please Capital for Change, Inc. for the current income limits by town and household size.

Loan Amount and Term

Single family (1-4 units) homeowners may borrow between $400 - $25,000 for a period of 10 years for eligible improvements. 

Eligible Improvements

The following are the emergency improvements eligible under the ECL program as of 12/28/2017:

  • Replacement of non-operational heating system
    • 0% interest for furnaces/boilers that meet efficiency minimum of ENERGY STAR® rating for natural gas or > 84% efficiency rating for oil/propane
    • Applicant must not be eligible for alternate heating loan products (Smart-E loan and EnergizeCT  Heating Loan)
  • Replacement of leaking roof

The emergency status of the project must be verified by the contractor who will install the replacement, and all work must be completed by a C4C Participating Contractor.

Apply for a Loan

Heating system applicants must apply for a Smart-E loan or an EnergizeCT Heating loan before they will be considered for an emergency ECL loan.

Roofing applicants must contact C4C directly by phone to apply for emergency consideration. Please call 860-233-5165, extension 2002 for more information. Our office hours are Monday - Friday, 9am-5pm. 

**Effective 12/28/2017, the ECL loan program is limited to emergency situations only (non-working heating systems and leaking roofs). Applicants must be ineligible for other programs in order to qualify for an emergency loan**

 

Eligible Improvements

The following are the emergency improvements eligible under the ECL program as of 12/28/2017:

  • Replacement of non-operational heating system
    • 0% interest for furnaces/boilers that meet efficiency minimum of ENERGY STAR® rating for natural gas or  84% efficiency rating for oil/propane
    • Applicant must not be eligible for alternate heating loan products (Smart-E loan and EnergizeCT  Heating Loan)
  • Replacement of leaking roof

The emergency status of the project must be verified by the contractor who will install the replacement, and all work must be completed by a C4C Participating Contractor.

 

Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information. 

 

Tax Credits

 
Type
Home
 
Category
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Insulation
  • New Construction or Major Renovation
  • Renewable Energy

Solar Energy Systems may qualify for tax credits that can reduce your tax liability.

Additional Details

Did you know you might be able to take advantage of federal income tax incentives for Solar Energy Systems? Congress first passed the incentives in 2005 as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 and has amended them several times since then.

Current incentives* expire December 31, 2021. Find out more at ENERGY STAR®.

You should contact a tax professional with questions specific to your situation.

*All other ENERGY STAR federal tax credits expired at the end of 2016.

Residential Solar Investment Program

 
Type
Home
 
Category
 
Incentive
See details below
  • Renewable Energy

Generate clean, renewable energy from the sun shining on your home. It’s easier than ever to install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system and reduce electricity costs. This program can help you purchase a solar system or lease one with little to no upfront cost.

Additional Details

Sunlight into Savings Solar PVInstall a solar photovoltaic (PV) system and reduce your electricity costs with a proven, reliable, pollution-free technology. It’s now an affordable smart energy choice for Connecticut homeowners. The Connecticut Green Bank provides incentives to offset the cost of your investment.

Buying a solar PV system is an investment in the future.  Although buying a PV system may require an upfront payment, it can deliver significant energy cost savings for years to come. A lease option, which requires little or no money down, can be an attractive alternative that could provide immediate savings on your electric bill.

A number of factors determine what a system will cost and how much you can save over time, including the future price of electricity and how long your system operates. Connecticut residents pay an average of 18 cents per kilowatt hour for electricity from utilities. By combining Connecticut incentives, utility net metering credits for the power you generate, federal tax incentives and low-interest financing, you could realize long-term cost savings over the life of your PV system. The more electricity prices climb, the faster you’ll see savings. Consult a tax advisor regarding potential tax savings.

Steps to Take Smart Energy Action

Step 1 -

Before installing your solar PV system, it's important to make your home as energy efficient as possible. Schedule an energy efficiency assessment for your home through the Home Energy Solutions program. Alternatively, you can work with an independent contractor certified by the Building Performance Institute, Inc., a certified energy manager, a certified energy auditor or a professional engineer. Your assessment will identify cost-effective ways to save energy.

Step 2 -

Find an Eligible Contractor. The contractor will review your project with you, provide information about solar systems and assist you with your incentives application. Connecticut Green Bank will pay the incentive directly to the Eligible Contractor, who passes the savings on to you by reducing the total system cost. As with any significant purchase, shop around when considering purchasing a solar system. Gather as much information as possible, check contractor references and obtain multiple quotes.

Need financing? See the section below for more information.

Step 3 -

Install your system! Connecticut Green Bank will pay the incentive directly to the installer Eligible Contractor, who passes the savings on to you by reducing the total system cost.

Please email us at smallsolar@ctcleanenergy.com to learn more.

Residential Solar Incentives

Connecticut Green Bank offers two incentive models to help you go solar:

1. Purchase a solar system for your home

The Expected Performance Based-Buydown (EPBB) incentive provides you with an upfront cost reduction based on major design characteristics of your system, such as panel type, installation tilt, shading, orientation and solar insolation (a measure of solar radiation energy on a given area). The incentive is paid directly to your Eligible Contractor, on behalf of the homeowner.

Incentives are tiered, with the first tier at up to 10 kilowatts (kW) for utility consumption equaling the last 12 months of electricity usage determined from utility bills. The second tier starts from the previous 12-month utility consumption up to 20 kW. Connecticut Green Bank does not provide incentives for any portion of a system that exceeds 20 kW.
 

Your incentive is calculated with the following maximum rates per watt:

  • Up to 10 kW (depending on previous 12 month utility electricity consumption): $0.426/watt
  • Greater than previous 12 month utility electricity consumption up to 20 kW: $0.328/watt, click here for a sample calculation.

Systems with a calculated “design factor” greater than or equal to 80% will receive the full incentive amount. Systems with a calculated “design factor” less than 80% will receive an incentive discounted according to calculated design factor. Please contact an Eligible Contractor for more information regarding design factor calculations. Qualify for a five percent bonus if your system includes major components principally manufactured in Connecticut, with an additional bonus if they are principally manufactured in a Connecticut distressed municipality.
 

2. Lease a system with little or no upfront costs

The Performance-Based Incentive (PBI) is designed to allow homeowners to benefit from solar PV systems for little to no upfront cost. Under this model, an Eligible Third-Party PV System Owner owns the system and enters into a contract with the homeowner. The PBI is paid to the System Owner based on actual performance over the course of 6 years, and is used to reduce the homeowner’s monthly cost. The PBI model also provides an additional bonus for projects that use major system components principally manufactured in Connecticut. Incentives are tiered, with the first tier at up to 10 kilowatts (kW) for utility consumption equaling the last 12 months of electricity usage determined from utility bills. The second tier starts from the previous 12-month utility consumption up to 20 kW. Connecticut Green Bank does not provide incentives for any portion of a system that exceeds 20 kW.

Your incentive is calculated with the following maximum rates based on performance:

Contact an Eligible Contractor for more information regarding design factor calculations. Qualify for a five percent bonus if your system includes major components principally manufactured in Connecticut, with an additional bonus if they are principally manufactured in a Connecticut distressed municipality.

Residential Solar Investment Program Inspections

As a requirement to receive an incentive through the Residential Solar Investment Program (RSIP), Connecticut Green Bank maintains the right to send out a third party inspector on behalf of Connecticut Green Bank to assess whether your solar PV system has been installed in accordance with relevant codes and specifications.  Although the inspector is not responsible for remedying issues with your system, the inspector will report any findings back to Connecticut Green Bank and your solar PV installer.

If your system is selected for inspection, you will be copied on an email sent by Connecticut Green Bank staff to the inspector chosen to review your system.  The inspector will contact you by email and/or phone to arrange for a date and time for the inspection.  Please go to the following link for inspector pictures and bios: http://www.ctgreenbank.com/inspections
 

Your Connecticut Neighbors Are Going Solar

Visit gosolarct.com to learn about the process of going solar.

To access an Excel spreadsheet of residential solar installations in Connecticut for information on system costs, sizes, contractors installing systems and other details, please visit GoSolarCT https://www.gosolarct.com/get-into-solar/connecticut-solar-market-data/.

Who Is Eligible?

If your home is a 1-4 family owner-occupied residential property in the Eversource or UI service territories, and offers a good location for a solar system, you can qualify for residential solar incentives. Mobile homes are not eligible.

What Makes a Good Location for a Solar System?

  • A roof facing south, southeast or southwest – Although a roof is the best location, a system can also be installed on the ground if a roof cannot be used.
     
  • A 35 to 50 degree roof tilt –This allows for optimal year-round energy production. A solar system can also be placed on a flat roof using a racking system.
     
  • Clear access to the sun for most of the day – The location should be unobstructed by trees, roof-gables, chimneys, buildings and other features of your home or surrounding landscape.
     
  • Adequate space on your roof or property.
     
  • A roof in good condition –If your roof needs to be replaced in the very near future, you may want to replace it before the solar system is installed to avoid the cost of removing and reinstalling your system.
     
  • Manufactured homes where the customer owns the land (deed in place).

If you are a Connecticut resident and are not served by one of the utilities listed above, please visit your utility’s website to see what programs are available to you. Please click here for information on how to contact your municipal utility

Financing Options

  SMART-E LOAN

Smart-E Loans Curran
   The Currans will reduce their electricity bill by $1353 this year!
  • No money down
  • 5 to 12-year terms available
  • Use a local lender
     

With the Smart-E Loan, the Currans could afford to have solar panels installed on their home, helping them save for their family’s future.

 

Certain installers offer independent options to purchase or lease a solar PV system.
Ask your installer to learn more.

HES Payment Plan (Micro) Loan Financing Program

 
Type
Home
 
Category
 
Financing
0% Interest
  • Financing
  • Gas Water Heating
  • Heating & Cooling
  • Help for Income Eligible
  • Hot Water
  • Insulation
  • Renewable Energy

With up to 3 years to repay these 0.0% loans from $1,000 to $3,000, and the ability to make loan payments through your utility bill, financing energy-saving improvements to your home couldn’t be easier.

Additional Details

If you have been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis and need to defer your loan payments for this program, please contact your electric utility. Eversource customers should call 1-800-286-2000 and UI customers should call 877-WISE-USE (1-877-947-3873).

It’s never been easier to pay for energy-saving home improvements. Zero-interest loans let you upgrade your home and enjoy lower energy costs right away.

Loans may be for $1,000 to $3,000 and funding will be used for conducting qualified improvements/ equipment replacements. Non-listed work directly related and necessary to the installation of the listed qualifying measures may be financed along with the qualifying measure at the applicable interest rate - (capped at 20% of the total loan amount).

Loan Terms:

  • $1,000 to $3,000 loan amount*
  • 0% interest rate**
  • 3 year (36 months) repayment term

Who is Eligible?

  • Eversource and UI electric customers
  • Applicants must own a single or 2-4 family home (includes condos, mobile homes, and vacation homes) in the State of Connecticut
  • Applicants must participate in the Home Energy Solutions ℠ Program  (Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) to arrange a Home Energy Solutions assessment for your home) 
  • Projects that are underway or completed will not qualify for financing. Please do not schedule your project until after you have received your loan documents

Participating Contractors

Visit Capital for Change, Inc (formally called Connecticut Housing Investment Fund) for a list of participating contractors.

How to Apply

Apply online at Capital for Change, Inc for a 0% HES loan

Type 1 Improvements

The 0% loan is limited to the measures listed below. 

  • High Efficiency Insulation - Must conform to current Home Energy Solutions rebate requirements. 
  • ENERGY STAR® Ductless Heat Pumps - Must meet the EnergizeCT Ductless Heat Pump rebate criteria.
  • ENERGY STAR Electric Heat Pump Water Heaters - Energy Factor (EF) 2.4 or greater
  • ENERGY STAR Tankless Natural Gas Hot Water Heaters - 0.94 Energy Factor (EF) or greater.
  • Indirect/Combination Water Heaters attached to a natural gas ENERGY STAR® boiler - 90% (AFUE) or greater.
  • ENERGY STAR Natural Gas Condensing Storage Tank - 95% Thermal Efficiency or greater.
  • Visit Capital for Change, Inc  for a detailed listing of Eligible Improvement Measures

To learn more about the financing program and how to apply, visit the Capital for Change, Inc website. 

* Subject to credit approval by Capital for Change, Inc.

**Interest rate of loan is based on the qualifying measure being financed.

Call 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information. 

If you’re a Connecticut resident and a residential customer of UI or Eversource you could be eligible. To participate, you must own and occupy a single-family home or a multifamily home up to four units, including condos. Vacation homes also qualify.

To qualify for financing, your home improvements must be recommended through the Home Energy Solutions program and be installed by an approved contractor.

To learn more about the financing program and how to apply, visit the Capital for Change, Inc  website. 

If you are a Connecticut resident and are not served by one of the utilities listed above, please visit your municipal utility's website to see what energy efficiency programs are available to you.

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