Going Solar in Vermont

Sign Up NowA lot of Vermonters have wanted to go solar, but until now it’s been hard for the typical homeowner to figure it all out on their own. And the price of solar was beyond the reach of most of us. SunCommon’s mission is to dramatically increase the amount of solar power in Vermont — by making it easy for folks and bringing the cost way down with a no-money-down solar loan.  That’s right. Going solar with no upfront cost. Save Money.  Go Solar.

SunCommon Community Solar Array

How solar works

The sun’s rays strike the silicon atoms in the solar modules, exciting the electrons and creating electrical current. A typical solar panel contains 96 of these modules and a typical roof-mounted system has 20 of these panels.

They’re wired together and send the electricity as Direct Current (DC) down a cable to an inverter which converts the DC power to Alternating Current (AC) which is what powers our houses. That AC current runs past your utility meter, actually running it backwards!


A really big battery

The electrical grid serves as your really big battery. The electricity you make and don’t use gets fed into the grid and your utility sells it to your neighbors, giving you a credit for all that power. At night when your solar panels aren’t making electricity, you draw down that credit with the utility. The goal is to create as much power as you use over the course of a year, net out at zero and pay your utility nothing for electricity – letting your panels do the work. It’s called Net Metering, and Vermont state law requires our utilities to make this available to everyone. Net metering allows us to offer solar to all Vermonters, even if your roof or property isn’t suited for it. Our Community Solar Array program offers memberships at no upfront cost and a low monthly payment.

Wait a minute, the utilities pay us for solar electricity?

Vermont state law requires our utilities to pay a solar premium on all the electricity your panels produce.  It’s around $30 a month for a typical Vermont family, money on the table that drives further down the cost of solar.  And it’s a good deal for our utilities, since your panels create electricity at just the time the utilities need it most. On hot summer days when New England’s power grid is straining under the demand of all air conditioners in Connecticut and Massachusetts, Vermont’s utilities are getting clean power from your panels and selling it to your neighbors, at a fraction of the spot price on the grid. Everyone wins!

How we make solar easy

After you fill out this little form to share some basic information with us about you, your home and your utility – we’ll look at an aerial photograph of your home to assess its solar potential and let you know right away if solar can’t work. For those who can go solar, one of our Designers will design your solar system. Then you’ll be assigned to one of our Solar Advisors who will visit your home and personally guide you through the whole process, answering all of your questions. If it makes sense to you, one of our Solar Guides will coordinate the financing, permitting, installation – and celebration as you watch your meter run backwards.