Solar Panel Installation, Hartford, CT
Who near Hartford can install solar panels?
If you live here, you know that Connecticut is small. Like, really small. So if you’re in Connecticut, you’re never more than like 10 minutes from Hartford. Maybe a little further, but you get what I’m saying. So if you’re near Hartford and trying to have solar panels installed, the great news is that you don’t have to limit your search to the greater Hartford area, as many solar installers are more than happy to come to you, sometimes even crossing state lines to get your business. So feel free to widen your search. For the purposes of this article however, we’re going to focus just on the greater Hartford metroplex, if that term is really applicable in this situation. So below, here’s just a handful of the many solar installers available to assist you in the Hartford area:
Company Eco Smart Home Services
Address: 105A Clark Dr, East Berlin, CT 06023
Years in Business: 11
Reviews: 4.5 / 5 Facebook (10 reviews), 1 / 5 BBB (3 reviews)
Business Quote: “Sun on your roof means money in your pockets!”
Company: CTEC Solar
Address: 1 Griffin Rd S Ste 200, Bloomfield, CT 06002
Years in Business: 14
Reviews: 5 / 5 Yelp (3 reviews), 5 / 5 Buildzoom (1 review), 3 / 5 Birdseye (14 reviews), 4 / 5 Facebook (21 reviews)
Company: Last Stop Solar
Address: 71 Raymond Rd, West Hartford, CT 06107
Years in Business: Unclear
Reviews: 5 /5 Facebook (15 reviews),
Company: Premier Improvements Solar
Address: West Hartford, CT
Years in Business: ??
Reviews: 4.5 / 5 Solar Reviews, 5 / 5 Facebook (17 reviews), 5 / 5 Energy Sage (6 Reviews)
Company: Solar City CT
Address: 714 Brook St Ste 150, Rocky Hill, CT 06067
Years in Business: ??
Reviews: 4.3 / 5 Birdseye (8 reviews), 5 / 5 Angi (2 reviews), 4.5 / 5 Facebook (5 reviews), 1.25 / 5 Better Business Bureau (250 reviews)
Company: Earthlight Technologies
Address: 92 West Rd, Ellington, CT 06029
Years in Business: 14
Reviews: 4.2 / 5 SolarReviews (19 reviews), BBB 5 / 5 (2 reviews), 4.5 / 5 SunSolarCompany (79 reviews), 5 / 5 Facebook (20 reviews)
Company: SAVKAT Solar
Address: 36 Triano Dr, Southington, CT 06489
Years in Business: Unclear
Reviews: 4.5 / 5 Facebook (6 reviews), 4.7 / 5 SolarReviews (37 reviews), 5 / 5 Energysage (1 review)
Things to expect #1: How much do solar panels cost in Connecticut?
Don’t get upset, but solar panels are expensive. You might know this already, but just to give you sort of an idea of what you’re looking at, let’s just take a look at how much solar panels cost by themselves. Connecticut actually has some of the cheapest solar panels available in the U.S. at only $2.28 per watt (most solar panels come in 250 watt sizes). An average solar power system is going to be somewhere between 20 and 28 panels, which means your cost for solar panels could be as little as $11,400. That is, of course, just the cost of the panels themselves, not the installation and so forth. So this is going to be expensive, but ultimately worth it as you’ll see further on in this article.
Things to expect #2: What are the benefits of going solar?
The state of Connecticut does not have the most incentives in place for going solar, but it doesn’t have the least either. Let’s check out a few of the little benefits you’ll want to know about before making your decision-
- The Connecticut Green Bank Residential Solar Investment Program (RSIP) allows a homeowner to be compensated up to 42 cents per watt of solar power installed. And yes, I know, big deal, 42 cents. But think about it like this- to be a fully self-sufficient solar panel system, you’re going to need between 20,000 and 28,000 watts of solar power. And what is 20,000 * .42? I’ll let you math majors in the audience work it out, but this one is a major bonus. Basically 42% of your cost is eligible to be rebated to you. See ctgreenbank.com/rsip-resources/ for more info.
- Your home’s value will increase by at least $10,000 to $20,000 with the addition of solar panels. There are a lot of different things that will affect this number, and a realtor can better explain the ins and outs to you. The size of your home, size of your solar energy system, etc will all affect this number, but either way, the value of your home will increase with the addition of solar panels, plus you can expect your home to sell faster if it is put on the market.
- The federal investment tax credit makes every American tax payer eligible to claim 26% of the cost of their solar installation as a credit toward your federal income tax liability, which is a big bonus in and of itself. Again, consider that you’re likely going to end up on the hook for $16,000-$20,000 for this project, and this credit gives you back a quarter of that.
- In the state of Connecticut you have a property tax exemption that prohibits your property value from being reassessed due to the addition of solar panels. In other words, the value of your property will go up, but the taxes you pay on it will not.
- You also have a sales tax exemption in Connecticut, making you exempt from paying any state sales taxes on solar products or installations, potentially saving you hundreds of dollars on the cost of an installation.
- The payback period for solar panels in Connecticut is only 9 years- This means that after only 9 short years, your solar panels will have earned back all the money you spent on them, and from there on out will actually be making you money, in the form of free electricity and energy credits on future electric bills.
Things to Expect #3: Researching your solar company
So I’ve pointed out a lot of solar companies to you up above, and you might have found some more on your own, but how do we know which company to go with? You probably already have some ideas about this, but here’s a few things you might want to pay attention to especially.
1) How many years have they been in the solar industry? By no means should you ignore a company just because they’re new, but older companies very often come with that little bit of extra peace of mind you get from knowing they’ve been around long enough and seen enough that there’s a good chance they can handle anything that might come up during your installation.
2) Types of panels: If you’re like most people, you’re not really worried about what kinds of panels they’re using in your installation. However, some people have strong opinions on what kinds of panels or what brands of panels they want used, and if that describes you, it would be wise to tell your solar installer up front before you go too far with the process, because some installers simply don’t use certain kinds of panels. So if you’re unwilling to bend on your choice of panels, make sure your installer knows this up front.
3) Solar panels cost money. A lot of money. And most installers will want to be paid for them up front. So unless you’re sitting on $20,000 in cash, it wouldn’t hurt you one little bit to plan ahead when dealing with your solar installer. A few companies have payment plans and in-house financing, but a lot of companies don’t. And either way, those panels are going to have to get paid for, so you better make sure you know what you’re going to have to do when the time comes to pay the piper.
4) Yes, every company will claim they offer a warranty, but how good is it really? Is there going to be a service charge every time you call them out? And rest assured, you will call them out. Are they going to work with the manufacturer to replace defective parts or is that going to be left up to you? Suffice it to say, not every warranty is a good one, so make sure you know what you’re buying.
5) Read the reviews. Simply put, probably the most important indicator of how good a job a company really does is what people say about them. There’s always going to be a few sour grapes out there, but for the most part you can assume if the majority of a company’s reviews are good, they probably do a good job. If there’s a whole lot of bad reviews out there, chances are they might be more trouble than they’re worth.
Things to Expect #4: How much solar power does my home need?
This is another good question to go over with your solar installer; By examining your past bills, they can give you an accurate idea of how many solar panels you’re going to need. Generally speaking however, the average home will need 20 to 30 solar panels to be completely self-sufficient. And while it won’t hurt at all to have more solar panels than you need, keep in mind you will have to pay for them whether you need them or not.
Things to Expect #5: How long do solar panels last?
Solar panels generally come from the manufacturer with a 20-25 year warranty, and most every solar installer offers a similar warranty on their work. To this end, it is generally fair to assume your solar panels will last at least that long. The fact is, solar panels usually last 25 or more years, and can function at a diminished capacity for much longer. So your solar panels are a big investment, but they’re going to be with you for a long, long time, much longer than most people keep similarly priced investments, like, say, a car.
Things to Expect #6: How will weather affect my solar panels?
So some may scoff at the idea of solar panels in Connecticut. Afterall, don’t you need a warm and sunny environment for solar panels to work? Well, the thing is, solar panels actually will work as long as they’re getting *any* amount of sunlight, and higher temperature doesn’t always mean better solar production. And the state of Connecticut averages over 200 “sunny” days per year, which is actually quite on par with a number of states further south. Here are a few things to consider when it comes to weather and solar panels:
- Fog & Cloud Cover: Obviously anything that blocks sunlight from reaching your solar panels is bad. But even on very overcast or foggy days, your solar panels are still going to produce electricity, though possibly at a very reduced capacity. On very cloudy days your panels may produce at as low as 30% of their normal capacity.
- Rain: So ignoring the obvious issues with cloud cover, rain is actually good for your solar panels. They will naturally gather dirt and grime and other detritus, and rain will help wash some of that away, keeping your solar panels more efficient than they would be
- Snow: Snow is going to be an area of concern in Connecticut. Any accumulation of snow can block production of electricity by keeping sunlight from getting to your panels. On the upside, if you can get out and remove the snow from your panels, then no harm no foul.
- Temperature: Believe it or not, solar panels actually operate more efficiently at lower temperatures, and that’s one thing Connecticut has in abundance. For every degree the temperature falls below 77 fahrenheit, it is estimated that your solar panels will operate at 1% better efficiency. Conversely, for every degree temperatures rise above 77, it is estimated their efficiency will drop by 1%.
Things to Expect #7: Kinds of panels and inverters
Briefly, it should be noted that there are several different types of solar panels available out there. The two basic types are polycrystalline and monocrystalline, and what you essentially need to know is this: Monocrystalline panels are smaller, more efficient, need less direct sunlight and are more expensive. Polycrystalline panels are bigger, don’t last as long and need more direct sun, but they are cheaper, so you often see them used in home installations. Inverters on the other hand are the pieces of equipment that actually convert captured sunlight into electricity, and while there are several different kinds of inverters out there, the kind you use are more or less going to be dictated by the kinds of panels you use and their location. If you want to know more about panels and inverters,there are a lot of sources out there you can examine, but many solar customers are going to take the word of the experts and leave it up to them.
So in summary, it’s easy to see that Hartford is actually a great place for solar panels, despite what some people may tell you. It can never get cold enough to bother your solar panels, and if you can find a way to remove accumulated snow from your panels you are in great shape come winter time. So you’ve got plenty of solar installers available and quite a few rebates and credits that will help to defray your initial cost tremendously, which means Hartford is well suited for anyone looking to go solar.