We're here to help you determine whether a solar power system is worth it in Washington, Vermont. We'll also answer your questions about how it works and which solar providers and installers are available. See the topics below:
Cost of Solar Panels in Washington, VT
The figures below show the total cost of solar power in Washington and the estimated payback or break-even period. The numbers below assumes you want to buy the system outright. You can also get a loan, lease the system, or set up a “power purchase agreement” (PPA). Learn more about payment options.
Residential 5 kW system
Estimated system cost: $20,950
(-) Federal tax credit: 30% with no maximum
Final cost after tax credits: $14,665
Est. energy savings per year: $1,196
Time to recover costs: 12 years 3 months
30-year savings: $21,215
Commercial 50 kW system
Estimated system cost: $193,500
(-) Federal tax credit: 30% with no maximum
Final cost after tax credits: $135,450
Est. energy savings per year: $11,956
Time to recover costs: 11 years 4 months
30-year savings: $223,218
- Federal tax credits: Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
- System pricing based on $/watt from the most recent NREL quarterly report.
State discounts are not calculated due to complex pricing, frequent change, and individual variations such as the property taxes on your home or business. Overall, financial incentives in most of Vermont are decent, so expect to pay less vs. the above. All partner solar power companies will help you determine which incentives you qualify for. You may either request a quote by clicking above or try checking for state solar incentives on DSIRE.org's site here.
Solar Power Companies in Washington, VT
The following companies do solar power installation and financing in Vermont.
Description: SolarCity is currently the largest solar provider in the nation. The company was started by two brothers, and is proud of its grassroots beginnings. Features:
- $0 down plans available.
- The Give Power foundation gives a solar system and battery to schools without electricity for every megawatt generated.
- Option to lock-in power rates to avoid rising utility costs.
Description: Sungevity does business in 14 states, but they'd best be classified as an enthusiastic underdog. They've shown some differentiation through technology and power generation monitoring. Features:
- 20-year system performance guarantee
- Partnerships to share profits with environmental non-profits
- Representatives on-hand at your local Lowe's
While you can install your own solar panels, it's definitely not easy. We strongly recommend working with a professional solar power installer. If you have professional construction and roofing experience feel free to read more about DIY systems.
Should You Get Solar in Washington?
Obviously only you can decide, but we've collected the following pros and cons for getting solar at a Washington home or business:
- 30% federal incentive extended to 2019
- High grid electricity costs ($0.17 per kilowatt-hour) make solar payback times shorter
- Rising electricity costs (+6% in the last 5 years)
- Decent state financial incentives (#17 out of 50)
- Excellent policy scores: interconnection (B) | net metering (A)
- Below-average electrity usage (558 kWh per month) means fewer opportunities for savings
- Below-average sunshine (11.1% below average)
Is solar worth it in Washington, VT? Considering all of the above, we think so for most people. Solar is 17.2% more cost effective than the rest of the nation and will pay itself back in around 12 years 3 months for a home buyer. We like to see return times (without state incentives) under 20 years.
- Electricity costs, rates of change, and usage from EIA.gov
- Subsidies analyzed by DecisionData from state websites
- State policy scores come from freeingthegrid.org
- Sun data assumes equal zip code weight based on NREL data
Solar Power Savings by Month in Washington
A 5kW system will save someone in Washington up to $99.77 on an average month. That's significant given the average Vermont power bill of $95.33 per month. Here’s a monthly breakdown:
|Month||Available kW / m2 / day||Max savings / month|
Data based on 1 zip in Washington, VT. Data reliability is rated excellent.
We estimate savings with a system that is very efficient at 19% of energy captured with a standard 5% total system loss. System loss comes from both the unavoidable (system age, electrical dissipation in wiring and connections, etc.) and the avoidable (shade from trees, dust, etc.) Do note that the system will b e slightly less efficient as it ages, too.
For example, August is the highest-sun month in Washington with an average of 5.30 kW per meter per day. An efficient 5 kW system will cover about 25 square meters depending on the roof. So, the following is the savings calculation for August in Washington:
5.30 kW/m2 * 25m2 = 132.60 kW/day available
132.60 * 19% efficiency = 25.19 kW/day captured
25.19 kW * 95% system retention = 23.93 kW/day usable
23.93 kW * Vermont average of $0.17 per kW * 30 days = up to $126.13 in savings in an average August.
These assumptions are very good for the average home in Washington, but nothing beats the accuracy of getting your own quote.
Solar panel costs and savings: More info on how much solar costs and the factors that can influence your price.
Kilowatts and kilowatt hours: What are kilowatts and how do electric companies charge you?