Connecticut has the second-highest electricity rates in the US, following Hawaii. That’s a result of location and energy market laws in the state. While Connecticut may not receive as much sunlight as states like Arizona, solar energy is still a great way for you to save money and use a renewable energy source if you live there.
Residential solar prices have decreased by over 50% in the last decade, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association. Meanwhile electricity rates in Connecticut increased by 11.8% from November 2021 to 2022. Connecticut residents pay an average monthly electricity bill of $215.61, according to CNET’s sister publication, SaveOnEnergy. Installing solar panels at home may reduce your energy costs while also helping the environment.
Best solar panel companies in Connecticut
Nearly 160 solar companies operate in Connecticut, making choosing an installer tough. We’ve researched and compiled a list of a few top solar panel companies in Connecticut to consider. The list includes top national solar brands and local options.
Connecticut solar panel incentives and rebates
You can buy solar panels in Connecticut with an upfront cash payment or finance them over time with a solar loan. While paying for a system with cash or a loan will save you the most over time and give you access to tax rebates and incentives, solar leases and power purchase agreements are also available in Connecticut and offer lower upfront costs.
Federal and state incentives and rebates help make solar panels more affordable. The residential clean energy credit is a federal solar tax credit offering 30% towards the purchase of a solar system as a credit on your federal tax return.
Connecticut solar incentives
|Energy Conservation Loan Program
|Receive a loan for up to $25,000 towards emergency energy efficiency home improvements, including renewable energy.
|Property Tax Exemption
|Renewable energy systems, including solar systems, are exempt from property taxes.
|Residential Clean Energy Credit
|Apply through the IRS for a 30% federal tax credit for solar systems installed from the beginning of 2022 through 2032. The credit decreases to 26% in 2033 and 22% in 2034 and, unless renewed, expires in 2035.
|Residential Renewable Energy Solutions Program
|Solar owners can select from two incentive rate structures to receive credits toward electricity bills and sell renewable energy certificates. This program replaced the state’s net metering program.
|Sales Tax Exemption
|Solar panel systems are exempt from sales tax in Connecticut.
Connecticut solar panel costs
The total cost of solar panel systems in Connecticut varies based on the number of panels, permit fees, installation costs and additional equipment such as solar batteries. Based on data from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Connecticut’s average solar panel system size is 10.79 kilowatts, which is larger than the US average. Incentives and rebates are available to help lower solar costs.
Here’s a breakdown of the average cost of solar in Connecticut compared to the nationwide average, according to data from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the energy consulting firm, Wood Mackenzie.
Connecticut solar costs vs. the US
|System size (kW)
|Price per watt
How to determine which solar company in Connecticut is best for me
The best solar installer for your home is an installer that has experience with the type of solar project that you’re interested in. You’ll want to make sure your installer has experience working with the type of roof that you have, and the type of system you want installed, like grid-tied or off-grid.
“What a homeowner who’s interested in solar should look for in an installer is somebody who has experience working on the kinds of projects they are looking to have installed so that they work with the kind of roof the homeowner has,” said Ben Delman, a communications director with Solar United Neighbors, a clean energy nonprofit, told CNET.
You should look for installers that are certified by the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners and have the proper licensing and bonding for their work. Reading online reviews can also help you get a better understanding of an installer’s reputation. A few places to look for solar company reviews are Google, Yelp and Angie’s List. Delman recommends looking for installers that have at least 20 to 30 reviews. If you know someone who has solar panels on their home, you can ask them for installer recommendations too.
Aside from certifications and reviews, there are a few other things to look for in a solar company. A good installer, Delman said, will be able to:
- Provide good word-of-mouth references
- Clearly explain the project and working deadlines
- Define technical terms in an easy-to-understand manner
- Be transparent about pricing and how system financing works
- Understand the local permit requirements and the process for system interconnection with the local power company
- Understand homeowners association restrictions and help you navigate and explain that process
A reputable installer should be able to answer any questions you may have, no matter how difficult those questions might be. Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification on any project and pricing details. To get the best price possible, make sure to shop around and gather multiple quotes. Delman recommends comparing at least three quotes before settling on an installer.
Installation factors to consider
When determining if installing a solar system is right for you, keep in mind the following five things to consider.
Neighborhood and home owners associations: Connecticut doesn’t have laws prohibiting homeowners’ associations from banning solar panels. Before installation, review your HOA or other neighborhood association rules regarding solar panel systems and their placement.
Access to sunlight: Solar panels will generate less energy if your roof is shaded by trees or other elements most of the day. Solar panels start to make financial sense when they get direct sunlight for at least 4 hours a day.
Home insurance: Communicate with your homeowner’s insurance agency to ensure solar panels are included in your policy.
Do you rent?: Renters have less decision-making power than homeowners when making property changes. Community solar programs are a great option for renters as a subscription-style service from companies like Arcadia.
Roof condition: A certified installer should inspect your roof before finalizing your system placement and installation. The installer will recommend any needed maintenance and repairs before your system is installed.
How to pay for solar panels in Connecticut
If you’re serious about going solar, take some time to weigh all your options and find the best buying method for your situation. Here are a few common ways to pay for your solar panels.
Cash: If you’ve got room in your budget, paying for your solar panels with cash is your best option. There won’t be any high financing fees or interest rates to worry about, and you’ll always be elegible for tax incentives and rebates. If you have plans to go solar in the future, consider saving up in a high-yield savings account, which will help you generate more money over time.
Solar loan: Solar providers usually offer financing options for solar panels, often called a solar loan. These loans are typically overseen by a third party, so carefully inspect any associated fees and interest rates.
Other loans: If cash isn’t an option, you have other financing options. You could take out a personal loan with your bank or open a home equity line of credit. However, if you do choose to go with a HELOC, be aware of the risks. If you can’t pay back what you owe, your home could face foreclosure.
Lease or power purchase agreement: If you aren’t interested in solar panel ownership, you can sign a solar lease or enter a power purchase agreement. A solar lease means you pay for the use of a company-owned system. Entering a power purchase agreement means you’ll pay for the electricity generated by a company-owned system at a fixed rate. This rate is usually lower than the retail rate provided by the local utility company. Ask your solar provider which options are available for you.
How we found the best solar companies
Doing a hands-on review of a solar company is tricky, and accounting for all the differences between projects is impossible. Instead, we focused on what we can measure and meaningfully evaluate among solar companies.
When evaluating solar companies, we focus on three categories of criteria: equipment, warranties and service.
In the equipment category, solar companies receive scores for the panels, batteries and inverters they install. The warranty category includes the guarantees on the panels, workmanship and weatherization against leaks. Companies will earn points in the service category if they offer a price match, a decent level of price transparency and a well-rated app for monitoring solar production. Solar companies lose points if there are major issues concerning customer service (lawsuits, investigations or reputations for shoddy service). These service issues will always be detailed in the review.
As far as pricing goes, we don’t consider the average price of a solar company’s installations in their score. Accurate pricing information is difficult to find and hard to compare across service areas (and even project to project). Companies are often slow to disclose it as well. We also leave out easy-to-find (but not useful information), such as how many states a company operates in.