Connecticut Solar Rebates And Incentives

Rebates list

Connecticut Rebates and Incentives Summary

Connecticut

Connecticut, the Nutmeg State, has long been a seaport and is among the wealthiest states in terms of income per capita. It’s also one of the smallest states in the nation, in fact, only Hawaii and Rhode Island are smaller. Despite its geographic size it packs a punch with 3.5 million residents, it’s among the top 30 in terms of population and the fourth most densely populated state. Not bad for the third smallest state. With the high population density and limited space, Connecticut’s an ideal location for distributed generation as opposed to utility-scale solar. As such, the state offers some big incentives to residents and business owners who choose to install solar or other renewables, like wind.

In Connecticut solar incentives or subsidies to home- and business owners are offered through utilities and some are offered by the state itself. Such incentives include rebates, tax incentives and others that help reduce the up-front cost of solar for potential buyers. In addition to the state incentives listed here, Connecticut residents should check with their local utility or installers about solar incentive programs and any changes made to them. However, some of the state’s programs are being changed, for instance, the popular CT Solar Lease program, which allowed homeowners access to a state-sponsored solar lease with no up-front payment, stopped taking applications in 2011. 

About half of Connecticut gets an average of slightly less than 4.5 hours of direct sunlight per square meter on a daily basis, with the rest getting up to 4.35 hours of direct sunlight per square meter on a daily basis—slightly more than New York State gets on average. While nothing like the sun that hits Arizona or other southwestern states, it’s still more than most of Germany gets, and more than enough to justify solar.  The state also is rich in other resources, particularly wind along the southern-facing, Atlantic coast, which also has the potential for offshore tidal generation.

Currently the Connecticut’s electric supply comes from two dominant forms of energy production, natural gas and nuclear. While the state’s utilities offer incentives for solar and wind, the programs are filling up fast, so it’s a good idea to check what current incentives are available and at what level. 

Despite its size, location and lower levels of direct sunlight than some other states, the state was in the top ten in terms of solar capacity generation as recently as 2008. That’s largely because the state has numerous incentives to help residents buy and install solar on their homes.

The state’s laws and regulations are encouraging more renewables, too. For instance, the state’s renewable portfolio standard requires that 27 percent of electricity comes from renewable sources by 2020. Of that, 20 percent must come from “Class I” renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, tidal and other technologies.

(Last updated October 2012)

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(CHIF) Home Energy Solutions Loan Program

Connecticut Housing Investment Fund (CHIF) in partnership with the electric and gas utilities offers variety of low interest loans to finance energy efficiency upgrades. The program offers On-Bill Repayment financing, where the loan amount can be paid through a surcharge on the monthly electricity bill. The loans are not transferable, and there currently is no collateral requirement. 

Eligibility

Customers of Eversource (formerly CL&P) and United Illuminating are eligible for the program. Applicants must own a single or two-family home (including condos and vacation homes). 

Applicants can choose from 3 types loan options:

1.  Energy Efficiency Payment Plan: This option provides

(Electric and Gas ) Home Energy Solutions Rebate Program

Energize Connecticut, funded by Connecticut's public benefits charge, provides home energy efficiency rebate programs to customers of Connecticut Light and Power Company, United Illuminating Company, Connecticut Natural Gas, Southern Connecticut Gas, and Yankee Gas customers. In order to participate the customer can contact their utility or contact 877-WISE-USE (877-947-3873) for more information.

The Home Energy Solutions program is divided into three categories- Core Services, Income Eligible, and Home Performance with ENERGY STAR. All three Home Energy Solutions program begins with a free energy assessment of the home. The contractor will provide an energy audit of the home including energy-efficiency measures, energy

(Electric and Gas) Residential New Construction Program

The Energize CT offers a program designed to encourage the construction of energy efficient homes. The Residential New Construction Program offers incentives targeted at increasing energy efficiency in several important stages in the construction process. Certified HERS raters work with customers' building teams throughout construction. Program incentives vary based upon the final HERS scores, and whether dwelling is a single or multi-family residence.

The program is administered by participating utilities, including Eversource Energy, United Illuminating, Connecticut Natural Gas, and Southern Connecticut Gas. Interested customers are required to complete the "Initial Plan" section of the application and submit it to

(Electric and Gas) Residential Rebate Program

The Energize CT in coordination with participating utilities offers various rebates for energy efficient electric and natural gas equipment.  

Electric customers of Eversource, United Illuminating (UI) are eligible for electric equipment rebates, while natural gas customers of CNG, SCG, and Eversource gas utility are eligible for natural gas equipment rebate. Equipment must be installed by a licensed contractor in the service territory of the participating electric utility.

Rebate amount might differ between the utilities, please contact your utility to verify the exact rebate amount and requirements before purchase. 


Building Energy Code

NOTE: Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP websites.

The Connecticut Office of the State Building Inspector establishes and enforces building, electrical, mechanical, plumbing and energy code requirements by reviewing, developing, adopting and administering the state building code. Compliance is determined through construction documents submitted to the relevant local building official showing detailed building data and features, and equipment systems governed under the code. Variances and

Connecticut Clean Energy Fund

Connecticut’s 1998 electric restructuring legislation established the Renewable Energy Investment Fund.*  The Renewable Energy Investment Fund was later renamed as the Clean Energy Fund, and the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA),** a quasi-governmental investment organization, was given the authority to administer the Clean Energy Fund. In operation since 2000, the Clean Energy Fund has aimed to develop, invest in, and promote clean, sustainable energy sources. A surcharge on Connecticut ratepayers' utility bills provides the funding for the Clean Energy Fund, and the charge currently stands at "not less than" $0.001 per kWh (1 mill per kWh).

CEFIA was

Connecticut Light & Power - ZREC and LREC Long Term Contracts

NOTE: Year 3 of the competitive solicitation for the program ended on February 2015, next round is anticipated to be opened on April, 2015. 

In July 2011, Connecticut enacted legislation amending the state's Renewables Portfolio Standard and creating two new classes of renewable energy credits (RECs): Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credits (ZRECs) and Low Emission Renewable Energy Credits (LRECs).

ZREC

The state's two investor-owned electric utilities, United Illuminating (UI) and Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) must enter into 15-year contracts for RECs from zero-emission "Class I" renewable energy facilities (on the customer side of the meter) larger than 100 kilowatts (kW)

CT Clean Energy Communities

The Clean Energy Communities program, offered by the Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, offers incentives for communities that pledge their support for energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy.

In order to participate in the program, a municipality must meet three requirements:

1. The municipality must make the Municipal Energy Efficiency Pledge and reduce municipal building energy consumption 20% from baseline levels by 2018.

2. Commit to the Municipal Clean, Renewable Energy Pledge and purchase 20% of municipal buildings’ energy use by 2018 from renewable sources;

3. Achieve milestones in support of energy efficiency and

Energy Conservation Loan

Energy Conservation Loans are available through the Connecticut Housing Investment Fund, Inc. (CHIF) to owners of one- to four-family homes who meet established income limits for family size and location. Interest rates vary in accordance with the borrower's family size and income, and the loan may be repaid over 10 years. Single-family homes can receive a 0% interest rate if the family has below a 50% Median Income, or if the loan is for a furnace/boiler that is ENERGY STAR rated.

Loans for large residential properties are available through the Multi-Family Energy Conservation Loan Program. The terms of this loan are

Energy Efficiency Fund

Connecticut's original electric-industry restructuring legislation (Public Act 98-28), enacted in April 1998, created separate funds to support energy efficiency and renewable energy.* The efficiency fund is known as the Energy Efficiency Fund, and the renewables fund is known as the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF). The mission of the Energy Efficiency Fund is to advance the efficient use of energy, to reduce air pollution and negative environmental impacts, and to promote economic development and energy security.

The Energy Efficiency Fund is funded by a surcharge of $0.003 per kilowatt-hour (3 mills per kWh) on Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) and

Energy Efficiency Requirements for State Government

Public Act No. 06-187, enacted in 2006, required the Connecticut Office of Policy and Management, in consultation with several other state agencies, to adopt building construction regulations for state facilities. The construction standards must be consistent with or exceed the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver rating for new commercial construction and major renovation projects, or receive a two-globe rating under the Green Globes USA design program, or other equivalent standard. The regulations state that the base minimum energy performance for all building projects must be 21% better than the Connecticut State Building Code or ASHRAE Standard 90.1-2004, whichever is

Eversource - Small ZREC Tariff

Note: Eversource will open the Year 7 Small ZREC Tariff Program on Monday, April 1, 2019 at 1 p.m. Eastern. Therefore, the two-week window (as described in the posted Rules & Process for Submitting Applications for the Small ZREC Tariff below) will close at 1 p.m. Eastern on Monday, April 15, 2019.

In July 2011, Connecticut enacted legislation amending the state's Renewables Portfolio Standard and creating two new classes of renewable energy credits (RECs): Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credits (ZRECs) and Low Emission Renewable Energy Credits (LRECs). A Zero Emission Renewable Energy Facility is one that produces no emissions, such

Green Power Purchase Plan

In April 2004, Connecticut's governor signed an executive order directing state government agencies and universities to purchase an increasing amount of electricity generated by renewable resources. Under terms of the order, the state government has a goal to increase "Class I" renewable energy purchases to 20% of electricity used in 2010, 50% in 2020 and 100% in 2050. The order also authorizes the use of savings generated by state energy efficiency and conservation projects to fund green power purchases.

Class I renewable energy resources include solar, wind, new sustainable biomass, landfill gas, fuel cells (using renewable or non-renewable fuels), ocean

Groton Utilities - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Groton Utilities offers a variety of rebates to residential customers for the purchase and installation of energy efficient equipment. All items must meet or exceed efficiency standards included in the program guidelines. Customers should view the program web site listed above for more application and equipment information.  For customers with electrically heated homes, Groton Utilities offers the Home Energy Savings Program which provides incentives for efficiency measures such as air sealing, duct testing and sealing, hot-water saving measures, rebates for appliance replacements, installation of CFLs, and insulation upgrades. 

Visit the program web site for more information and specific requirements

Interconnection Standards

In December 2007, the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) now called the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) approved new interconnection guidelines for distributed energy systems up to 20 megawatts (MW) in capacity. Connecticut's interconnection guidelines apply to the state's two investor-owned utilities -- Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) and United Illuminating Company (UI) -- and are modeled on the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) interconnection standards for small generators.*

Connecticut's interconnection guidelines, like FERC's standards, include provisions for three levels of systems:

  • Certified, inverter-based systems no larger than 10 kilowatts (kW) in capacity (application fees: $100);
  • Certified systems

Local Option - Building Permit Fee Waivers for Renewable Energy Projects

As of July 2011, Connecticut authorizes municipalities to pass a local ordinance to exempt "Class I" renewable energy projects from paying building permit fees. Class I renewable energy projects include energy derived from solar power, wind power, fuel cells (using renewable or non-renewable fuels), methane gas from landfills, ocean thermal power, wave or tidal power, low-emission advanced renewable energy conversion technologies, certain newer run-of-the-river hydropower facilities not exceeding five megawatts (MW) in capacity, and sustainable biomass facilities. (Emissions limits apply to electricity generated by sustainable biomass facilities.)

Public Act 15-194 effective October 1st 2015, requires each municipality to incorporate residential solar photovoltaic

Local Option - Commercial PACE Financing

NOTE: In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, contractual subordination or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has released initial guidelines for using PACE with FHA-secured single or

Local Option - Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems

Connecticut municipalities are authorized, but not required, to offer a property tax exemption lasting up to 15 years for qualifying cogeneration systems installed on or after July 1, 2007 (see Conn. Gen. Stat. § 12-81 (63)). Municipalities that adopt an ordinance to provide such an exemption may require a payment in lieu of taxes from the property owner.

Beginning in October 2013, a municipality may also adopt an ordinance to exempt commercial or industrial Class I renewable resources*, certain hydropower facilities**, or solar thermal or geothermal renewable energy resources. Only facilities installed between January 1, 2010 and December 31, 2013

Local Option - Residential Sustainable Energy Program

NOTE: In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, contractual subordination or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), has released initial guidelines for using PACE with FHA-secured single or

Low-Income Multifamily Energy Loan Program

The Low-Income Multifamily Energy (LIME) Loan supports energy improvement projects for low- and moderate-income properties. Connecticut Green Bank has partnered with Capital for Change (C4C) to provide unsecured multifamily energy financing for owners seeking to improve the energy performance, economics, and health and safety of their properties. Loans are repaid from energy cost savings for terms up to 20 years.

Eligibility

The program is open to multifamily properties that are partnerships, trusts, LLCs, sole proprietors, public housing authorities, non-profits, condo/co-op associations, etc. Must be 5 units or more, and at least 60% of units must be designated affordable to households

Low-Interest Loans for Customer-Side Distributed Resources

Long-term financing is available to retail end-use customers for the installation of customer-side distributed resources. Customer-side distributed resources are defined by Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-1 as "(A) the generation of electricity from a unit with a rating of not more than sixty-five megawatts on the premises of a retail end user within the transmission and distribution system including, but not limited to, fuel cells, photovoltaic systems or small wind turbines, or (B) a reduction in the demand for electricity on the premises of a retail end user in the distribution system through methods of conservation and load management, including,

Multifamily Navigator Pre-Development Energy Loan Program

Connecticut Green Bank’s Navigator Pre-Development Energy Loan is a simple, unsecured pre-development loan that funds customized analysis and design of energy improvements for multifamily properties using owner-selected and managed technical service providers.

Eligibility

The program is open to multifamily housing properties with 5 units or more. Income eligible and market rate properties can participate (Private and non-profit owners, public housing authorities, senior/assisted living communities, condominium/co-op associations, etc.)

Program Description

The Navigator loan program allows property owners to select and manage their own service professionals. Owners cover 25% of pre-development costs; Connecticut Green Bank loans 75% of costs. Eligible costs include:

Multifamily Sherpa Pre-Development Energy Loan Program

The Sherpa Pre-Development Energy Loan offers an affordable, low-risk, one-stop solution to analyze, design and arrange financing for green energy upgrades. Connecticut Green Bank has partnered with New Ecology Inc., an expert multifamily technical services provider and nationally-recognized non-profit, to act as an owner’s representative to help scope, design and arrange financing for energy improvement projects.

Eligibility

The program is open to multifamily housing properties with 5 units or more. Income eligible and market rate properties can participate (Private and non-profit owners, public housing authorities, senior/assisted living communities, condominium/co-op associations, etc.)

Program Description

The Sherpa loan program has three stages:

Net Metering

NOTE: In May 2018, S.B. 9 signed into law made significant changes to the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard and Net Metering policies. The law ends net metering to new customers when the Residential Solar Investment Program ends or when the regulators establish the new compensation program- whichever occurs first. The existing net metering customers will be grandfathered until December 2039. Upon the closure of the existing net metering program, new customers will be able to select buy-all, sell-all option or net billing option. PURA has initiated proceeding to develop regulations of the program. 

Connecticut's two investor-owned utilities -- Connecticut Light and Power

Norwich Public Utilities (Electric) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) provides residential customers with rebates on the ENERGY STAR-qualified appliances and energy efficient HVAC equipment. Eligible appliance purchases include refrigerators/freezers, washing machines, air conditioners, and heat pump/storage water heaters. The program is limited to one rebate per appliance per residential electric utility account.  Rebates are also available for central AC systems as well as air-source and geothermal heat pumps; incentive amounts vary according to equipment size and efficiency level. 

In addition, NPU customers may be eligible to participate in the free-of-charge Residential Home Energy Savings Program. This program entails a home visit by a NPU technician

Norwich Public Utilities (Gas) - Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Norwich Public Utilities (NPU) provides residential natural gas customers rebates for upgrading to energy efficient equipment in eligible homes. NPU offers rebates of between $250 - $3000 for natural gas furnaces, boilers, and water heaters which are installed in single family or two family homes.  Minimum efficiency requirments (listed above and available on the program application) must be met in order to be eligible for rebates.  NPU also offers a rebate program for its electric customers.  Visit the utility's web site for more information. 

 

Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy Systems

Connecticut provides a property tax exemption for "Class I" renewable energy systems* and hydropower facilities** that generate electricity for private residential use. The exemption is available for systems installed on or after October 1, 2007, that serve farms, single-family homes or multi-family dwellings limited to four units. In addition, "any passive or active solar water or space heating system or geothermal energy resource" is exempt from property taxes, regardless of the type of facility the system serves. 

Beginning in October 2014, commercial and industrial systems (meeting the same technology requirements as above) are also eligible for the property tax exemption.

Renewables Portfolio Standard

Established in 1998 and subsequently revised several times, Connecticut's renewables portfolio standard (RPS) requires each electric supplier and each electric distribution company wholesale supplier to obtain at least 24% of its retail load by using renewable energy by January 1, 2020. The RPS also requires each electric supplier and each electric distribution company wholesale supplier to obtain at least 4% of its retail load by using combined heat and power (CHP) systems and energy efficiency by 2010. In 2018, Public Act No. 18-50, according to Substitute Senate Bill 9, extended the renewable portfolio standard to year 2030, demanding at least

Residential Solar Investment Program

NOTE: In May 2018, S.B. 9 signed into law made significant changes to the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard and Net Metering policies. The law ends net metering to new customers when the Residential Solar Investment Program ends or when the regulators establish the new compensation program- whichever occurs first. The existing net metering customers will be grandfathered until December 2039. Upon the closure of the existing net metering program, new customers will be able to select buy-all, sell-all option or net billing option. PURA has initiated proceeding to develop regulations of the program. 

In March 2012, the Connecticut Green Bank*

Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Energy-Efficient Products

In Connecticut, residential weatherization products for residential use only are exempt from the state's sales and use tax. Eligible residential weatherization products include CFLs, programmable thermostats, window film, caulking, window and door weather strips, insulation, water heater blankets, water heaters, natural gas and propane furnaces and boilers that meet the federal Energy Star standard, windows and doors that meet the federal ENERGY STAR standard, oil furnaces and boilers that are not less than 84% efficient and ground-source heat pumps that meet the minimum federal energy efficiency rating. Exemption only applies to in-store sales.

For additional information about this exemption, please

Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Solar and Geothermal Systems

Connecticut enacted legislation in June 2007 (H.B. 7432) that established a sales and use tax exemption for solar energy equipment and geothermal resource systems. H.B. 7432 added passive and active solar water-heating systems, passive and active solar space-heating systems, and solar-electric systems to the list of exempt technologies. The sales and use exemption covers both the equipment related to eligible systems, and labor (services) relating to the installation of eligible systems. The exemption has no expiration date.

Consumers purchasing the eligible equipment or services must present form CERT-140 to the seller at the time of purchase. Certification Form CERT-140 is

Smart-E loans

The Connecticut Green Bank administers the Smart-E Loan program which offers long-term, low-interest financing to CT homeowners looking to upgrade their home's energy performance. Loans are offered at no money down, fixed rates, and with no prepayment penalties for various energy efficiency upgrades and renewable energy systems. Smart-E Loans are offered in partnership with participating community banks and credit unions, and approved contractors. 

To be eligible for the loan, the building must be 1-4 units,  be owner occupied, and the homeowner's primary residence, located in CT.

 

For more information, including a list of eligible measures, participating lenders and approved

Solar and Wind Contractor Licensing

The Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection (DCP) is authorized to issue licenses for solar-thermal work, solar-electric work and wind-electric work. "Solar thermal work" is defined as "the installation, erection, repair, replacement, alteration, or maintenance of active, passive and hybrid solar systems that directly convert ambient energy into heat or convey, store or distribute such ambient energy." Solar electricity work is defined as "the installation, erection, repair, replacement, alteration, or maintenance of photovoltaic or wind generation equipment used to distribute or store ambient energy for heat, light, power or other purposes to a point immediately inside any structure or adjacent to

The United Illuminating Company - Small ZREC Tariff

In July 2011, Connecticut enacted legislation amending the state's Renewables Portfolio Standard and creating two new classes of renewable energy credits (RECs): Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credits (ZRECs) and Low Emission Renewable Energy Credits (LRECs). A Zero Emission Renewable Energy Facility is one that produces no emissions, such as solar, wind, or hydro. Owners of these facilities have an opportunity to sell their ZRECs to the utility at a fixed price for a period of 15 years. 

In coordination with the state's other investor-owned utility, the United Illuminating (UI) Company offers owners of small ZREC projects (less than or equal

The United Illuminating Company - ZREC and LREC Long Term Contracts

NOTE: Next round of solicitation is expected to open on July 1st, 2015.

In July 2011, Connecticut enacted legislation amending the state's Renewables Portfolio Standard and creating two new classes of renewable energy credits (RECs): Zero Emission Renewable Energy Credits (ZRECs) and Low Emission Renewable Energy Credits (LRECs).

ZREC

The state's two investor-owned electric utilities, United Illuminating (UI) and Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) must enter into 15-year contracts for RECs from zero-emission "Class I" renewable energy facilities (on the customer side of the meter) larger than 100 kilowatts (kW) but not larger than one megawatt (MW). Zero-emission Class I