The U.S has witnessed remarkable solar growth over the past decade. Connecticut is one of the fastest growing smaller states in the industry and is currently ranked 18th in the nation for solar capacity. Cities like Stratford benefit from such development and have the added advantage of having below-average solar panel installation costs. In this article we’ll explain why Stratford, Connecticut is a great spot for solar power and how Stratford homeowners can maximize their solar savings.
How much do solar panels cost in Stratford?
As of mid-2017, the average price for solar panels in Stratford was $3.63 per watt. Thus, since the typical system size in the U.S. is 5 kilowatts (5,000 watts), the average cost of a solar panel system in Stratford is $18,150 before any rebates or incentives.
While this price is low, it is also very competitive for the overall state of Connecticut. Prices for solar panel systems have dropped by over 55% in Connecticut over the past 5 years and homeowners are taking notice. Check out this comparison table of Stratford and state pricing for various system sizes:
Solar pricing table: Stratford compared to Connecticut
|System size||State average cost
| stratford average cost
The above table, which uses pricing data from solar quotes received by homeowners on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace over the last 12 months, offers a comparison of prices in Connecticut and Stratford for solar energy systems. As the data illustrates, typical solar prices in Stratford, Connecticut are significantly lower than the rest of the state.
Connecticut is an affordable and pragmatic place to install solar. But when you zero in on Stratford’s market and compare it to the rest of the state, the advantage for homeowners is even clearer. The good news for Stratford homeowners is that these low costs do not even incorporate the added benefit of net metering, which is offered throughout the Constitution State.
Connecticut net metering and other incentives
Every solar homeowner in Connecticut is eligible to participate in their utility’s net metering program. Net metering offers retail-value credits in exchange for every kilowatt-hour of solar electricity that is sent back to the grid. Those credits can be used whenever a homeowner or business needs more electricity than their panels are generating at a given time
Additional incentives include the Residential Solar Investment Program, which is administered by the Connecticut Green Bank. This rebate is worth $0.49 per watt of solar installed up to 10kW. This means a homeowner who invests in a 5kW system would receive more than $2,400 in rebates through the program.
Connecticut also offers an Energy Conservation Loan for eligible homeowners to borrow up to $25,000 for 10 years at low interest rates between zero and six percent. This loan is in addition to the solar rebate mentioned above which means homeowners can save big in Connecticut when installing solar.
The state also offers tax breaks for solar in the form of the Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Solar and Geothermal Systems and the Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems. The Sales and Use Tax Exemption means homeowners do not have to pay any taxes on the purchase of a solar panel system and the Property Tax Exemption means homeowners do not have to pay additional taxes on the increased value solar panels add to their home.
How Stratford homeowners can save big with solar
Though Stratford residents are already seeing low solar prices with continued cost declines expected over the next five years, low prices aren’t necessarily the biggest selling point. When it comes to going solar, the long term ROI and savings from avoided bill payments is often the biggest deciding factor – and the figures can be staggering even in states where utility rates are reasonable.
In 2017, solar quotes received by Stratford homeowners yielded 20-year savings estimates of over $74,028 on average. Checkout the breakdown of average net savings by solar system size:
Stratford net 20-year savings from solar
|System size||Average solar savings over 20 years|
Three tips for solar shoppers in Stratford, CT
Homeowners who get multiple quotes save 10% or more
As with any big ticket purchase, shopping for a solar panel installation takes a lot of research and consideration, including a thorough review of the companies in your area. A recent report by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) recommended that consumers compare as many solar options as possible to avoid paying inflated prices offered by the large installers in the solar industry.
To find the smaller contractors that typically offer lower prices, you’ll need to use an installer network like EnergySage. You can receive free quotes from vetted installers local to you when you register your property on our Solar Marketplace – homeowners who get 3 or more quotes can save thousands on their solar panel installation.
The biggest installers typically don’t offer the best price
The bigger isn’t always better mantra is one of the main reasons we strongly encourage homeowners to consider all of their solar options, not just the brands large enough to pay for the most advertising. A recent report by the U.S. government found that large installers are $2,000 to $5,000 more expensive than small solar companies. If you have offers from some of the big installers in solar, make sure you compare those bids with quotes from local installers to ensure you don’t overpay for solar.
Comparing all your equipment options is just as important
National-scale installers don’t just offer higher prices – they also tend to have fewer solar equipment options, which can have a significant impact on your system’s electricity production. By collecting a diverse array of solar bids, you can compare costs and savings based on the different equipment packages available to you.
There are multiple variables to consider when seeking out the best solar panels on the market. While certain panels will have higher efficiency ratings than others, investing in top-of-the-line solar equipment doesn’t always result in higher savings. The only way to find the “sweet spot” for your property is to evaluate quotes with varying equipment and financing offers.
For any homeowner in the early stage of shopping for solar that would just like a ballpark estimate for an installation, try our Solar Calculator that offers up front cost and long term savings estimates based on your location and roof type. For those looking to get quotes from local contractors today, check out our quote comparison platform.