Vermonters: $2,500 is onthe line!

vermont incentive for solar is stepping down

Vermont Incentives are Stepping Down

Vermont’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) has issued a 1-cent decrease to the solar adder, which will go into effect on September 1, 2022.

The solar adder is the amount that utilities are required to reimburse Vermonters for electricity produced by their solar system. An average solar system will produce hundreds of thousands of kilowatt hours of electricity over its lifetime, so for the average home solar customer, this change in the adder value equals more than $2,500* in lost savings. The average business could lose $250,000 in solar savings over the life of their system. In order to lock in today’s solar adder rate, all new residential SunCommon solar agreements must be signed by August 29, and commercial agreements must be signed by August 1.

Don’t miss the window!

We checked in with one of our expert Solar Advisors to learn about the most common questions they hear from folks about the solar adder:

Q: “Why is the solar adder being reduced?”
A: The value of the solar adder is decided by Vermont’s Public Utility Commission (PUC) and is unfortunately out of our hands. The PUC reviews the value of the solar adder periodically, and for the last several years, they have chosen to reduce the value. There is a public comment period each year, during which we rally support for keeping the value of the solar adder high, but ultimately the decision is made by the PUC. This year they once again decided to lower the adder value by 1 cent, a decision we don’t agree with, since we believe we need to do all we can to make going solar more affordable and accessible.

Q: “Is the solar adder an ‘incentive?’ How is it different from the ITC (federal tax credit)?”
A: Sometimes the adder is referred to as Vermont’s state solar incentive, but a more accurate description is that it’s the amount Vermont utilities are required to credit solar homeowners for the energy their solar systems produce. So this is different from the Federal ITC, which is a tax credit worth 30% of the total cost of your solar system.

Q: “Does the adder really make a difference if it’s only changing by 1 cent per kilowatt-hour?”
A: Yes! A solar system produces hundreds of thousands of kilowatt-hours of electricity over its lifetime, so it really adds up over time. For the average residential solar customer, this change in the adder rate will result in more than $2,500 in lost value over the lifetime of the solar system.

Q: “When is the solar adder value dropping? Is it too late for me?”
A: We’ve heard from a lot of folks who are worried about the timeline to lock in this higher solar adder rate: we need to get your permit filed before September 1, which means we need to have your signed solar agreement in hand by Monday, August 29. Note that this is different from incentives like the ITC that require your system to be installed by a certain date. So it’s not too late! Use the links on this page to get in touch with us.

Q: “What if I’m a current customer or waiting on my solar to be installed?”
A: As long as you’ve already signed your solar agreement, this change in the adder value will not affect you!

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Are you leaving savings on the table?

We believe reducing the value of solar produced by Vermonters is a step in the wrong direction for Vermont and for our planet. Energy from the sun can power our lives and build vibrant communities. Our obligation is to help as many Vermonters as possible get the most value for their solar — and create a brighter future for us all. Unfortunately, these policy changes mean that if you wait to go solar, you’re leaving savings on the table. So, if you want to take advantage of the current incentives, now is the time to sign up. 

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*The $2,500 of lost savings is based on our solar panels’ 25-year performance warranty; however, solar systems will produce electricity for many years after the warranty period, so the total amount of lost savings may be significantly more than $2,500.

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