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Solar Panel Laws in Connecticut

Connecticut Solar Panel Laws

Solar Panel Laws in Connecticut

Going green in the Constitution State has never been easier thanks in large part to progressive solar panel laws.
These new regulations that have been implemented specifically to get electricity consumers off the grid and producing their own electricity.
Here are three of those laws that can get you saving green while going green!

3 Solar Panel Laws in Connecticut That Will Save You Money

1) Public Act No. 13-298

Also known as An Act Concerning Implementation of Connecticut’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy and Various Revisions to the Energy Statutes, this law allows agricultural customers to run solar farms of up to 3 megawatts and sell the solar power they collect there to serve the needs of up to 10 other farms.

2) Net metering and progressive RPS

An RPS, or renewable portfolio standard, is a law that requires a certain amount of power be generated by renewable means by a certain date.

Connecticut boasts an RPS mandating that 7% of power in the state be derived from renewables by 2010, and 23% by 2020.
To achieve this, the state is providing incentives that will produce at least 30 megawatts of new residential solar production by the end of 2022.
The state is also providing for net metering for all sites up to 2 megawatts, which means excess energy you produce will be credited directly back to you.

3) Solar Home Renewable Energy Credits

To further incentivize the use of solar power, Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy is supporting a measure that aims to create the first market for residential solar energy credits for the state.

If implemented, this would further increase the amount that electricity customers are able to both save and be credited for.

So whether it’s through allowing agricultural customers to run solar farms and sell the solar power they collect there, providing customers with progressive RPS laws as well as net metering, or further incentivizing solar power through solar home renewable energy credits, electricity customers in the state of Connecticut have never had a better opportunity to save some green while going green!

Solar Panel Laws in Maryland

Maryland solar panel laws

Solar Panels in Maryland: What Laws Apply?

Many of us are trying to go green with our energy. Some do it to protect the environment, while others want to save money.

Whichever side you fall on, knowing major laws and regulations can come in handy when improving a home with solar power.

Maryland Guide to Solar Power

The exact laws and regulations vary depending on where you live. All of the following apply in Maryland. If you’re not from Maryland, that’s not a problem- some of these are mirrored in other states.

Licensing and Permits

Only licensed electricians are allowed to install solar panels, and many municipalities require a permit before adding them to a property. Installing solar power as a DIY project is not recommended.

Homeowner Protection

Groups like Home Owners Associations cannot prevent the installation of solar panels or prevent them from being installed in the most efficient location. An HOA also cannot force a homeowner to use a specific material if it increases the cost.

Some properties do not have these protection, such as properties in historic districts.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)

SRECs are used in sixteen states plus Washington, D.C. as part of a Renewable Portfolio Standard. Your solar panel will earn SRECs as it generates energy, which can then be sold to energy companies who need to meet their quotas for different types of energy.

The exact value changes throughout the year and between states because it depends on how much of their quotas the companies have filled.

State Tax Incentives and Grants

Maryland offers several programs designed to increase the use of solar power.

There is no sales tax when buying solar panels and other solar power materials or when selling the SRECs earned. Maryland provides grant money to help pay for installing solar power.

Homeowners can also claim a state income tax credit based on how much power their panels produce, although the panels must generate at least 23,530 kWh a year (the amount necessary for a $1,000 tax credit).

Community Solar Farms

While most of the benefits apply to homeowners, it is possible for renters and homeowners that cannot install panels to join the fun. Recent legislation created community solar projects so interested citizens can invest in the projects and reduce their electricity bills.

Solar power is a great way to save money, but laws can and do change. However, this list should be a good starting point when researching solar options. Be sure to research local building codes, zoning, and certified electricians thoroughly before building.

If you are looking into getting solar panels in your Maryland household, you can get a free quote here.

Solar Panel Laws in Rhode Island

rhode island solar panel laws

Rhode Island’s Solar Panel Laws Make Sustainable Energy Affordable

Rhode Island places a strong emphasis on clean energy. The state’s renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requires that, by the year 2020, at least 16 percent of all energy must come from renewable sources, including solar power and wind power.

Various other state laws provide incentives for individuals and business owners to make the switch to more sustainable energy choices and to install solar panels.

Renewable Energy Income Tax Credit

In Rhode Island, a state income tax credit encourages owners of homes and businesses to install solar power panels and systems. The tax credit is equal to 25% of the power system’s full cost, or up to $3,750 total. Systems that qualify for this credit must be at least 24 square feet in size.

Off-grid systems have to be tied to a battery back-up, and solar-heating systems must have a collector area that is at least 125-square-feet.
To claim the credit, homeowners and businesses must also obtain approval from the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources and attach that approval to their income tax returns.

Solar panel laws in Rhode Island

Renewable Energy Tax Exemptions

The Rhode Island state sales tax is 7%, but solar electric and thermal systems, as well as mounting equipment and solar panels, are exempt from this tax.

Since 1980, Rhode Island has also allowed a property tax exemption for solar energy.

Municipalities are prohibited by law from assessing your solar power system at a greater value than that of a conventional system, which means solar panels will not increase you property tax assessment.

Net Metering

Rhode Island’s net metering program allows solar power customers to produce up to 125% of the electricity they consume.

Home and business owners will receive a credit for this excess production of electricity. The credit is applied to their future electric bills.

Rhode Island boasts the lowest per capita electric use of any state in the nation. Laws related to tax credits, tax exemptions, and net metering encourage the use of environmentally friendly power sources such as solar panels, and the more solar power people use, the less electricity they consume.

If you’re looking for a free quote to see if getting solar panels is a fit for you, click here for a free quote.

Solar Panel Laws in New York

New York solar panels

3 Solar Panel Laws in New York That Can Save You Money

Many energy consumers in the Empire State have felt the urge to go green. Whether it’s through wind, solar, or other renewable means, the opportunity to reduce reliance on fossil fuels has never been greater.

For those looking to turn to the power of the sun for their energy needs, it’s important to stay informed when it comes to solar panel legislation in New York in order to take advantage of money-saving incentives.

3 Solar Panel Laws in New York That Can Save You Money

1) Net Metering

The generation of solar electricity by individual homes is finally feasible thanks to New York’s adoption of net metering, which allows for excess electricity generated on sunny days to be returned to the electrical grid. Consumers can then receive credit or payment from the utility company for the amount of power generated.

2) State Solar Energy Incentives

To increase solar energy resources, New York offers financial incentives that help businesses, schools and homeowners defray the upfront cost of solar energy equipment. Among these incentives are:

An income tax credit for 25% of the cost of the system installed, up to a maximum of $5,000.

Exemption from sales tax for passive solar space heat, solar water heat, solar space heat and photovoltaics installed.

A 15-year real property tax exemption for the cost of systems installed in the state.

3) Excellent RPS Laws

An RPS, or Renewable Portfolio Standard, is a state law that mandates that a certain percentage of all energy generation come from renewable sources by a certain date.

In an RPS, utility companies must meet these standards by either generating renewable energy or buying it from their customers.

If they don’t meet these standards, they’re forced to pay high fees. Utilities in states with strong RPS laws often offer these money-saving incentives to homeowners since it’s cheaper than paying the fees involved.

With the nation’s seventh best RPS, New York boasts a renewable program that benefits the consumer in myriad ways.

So whether it’s thanks to net metering, state solar energy incentives, or the state’s progressive RPS laws, the Empire State offers many opportunities to save some green while going green.

Solar Panel Laws in New Mexico

New Mexico solar panel laws

Solar Panel Laws in New Mexico – Incentives and Protections

The solar panel laws in New Mexico provide incentives and protections to encourage the production of solar and other forms of renewable energy.
New Mexico’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) sets requirements for renewable energy production based on the type of utility companies in the state.
Investor-owned utilities are required to obtain 20% of all energy from renewable sources by 2020.
Of this amount, at least 20% must be from solar power.

Rural electric cooperatives are required to obtain 10% from renewable sources by 2020.

Incentives

New Mexico’s Net Metering Program

New Mexico has a net metering program; however, it only applies to the three investor-owned utilities.
Municipal utilities are exempt.

This program allows producers of renewable energy to sell any unused power to utility companies and receive credits or funds in return.

The utility companies set the rates and pay out at the utility’s avoided cost rate.

Solar Panel Laws in New Mexico and Renewable Energy Certificates

Renewable energy certificates (RECs) are performance based incentives issued to generators who produce renewable energy.

Investor-owned utilities purchase these certificates from the generators to meet their RPS requirements.

This operates in addition to the net metering program.

Interconnection Requirements

Interconnected customers must complete an application, pay an application fee and comply with local and national standards.

All require a redundant external disconnect device.

Insurance may be required depending on the capacity of the system.

Tax Credits

New Mexico offers a state tax credit on the purchase and installation of a solar power system.

 This credit is applied on the state personal income tax form.

PACE Financing

The PACE program operates on a county level.

 It allows residents to purchase renewable energy systems with PACE funding, then have the amount financed added as a lien on their property and paid back through their property taxes.

Protections

Under the Solar Rights Act of 2007, New Mexico determined solar energy to be a property right.

It created protection against counties and municipalities restricting solar power by making void and unenforceable any codes, covenants or deed restrictions that prohibited solar use after July 1, 1978.

However, it did create an exception for historic districts.
It also allows a property owner to protect solar access by creating an easement to prevent shading from adjacent properties.
This protection requires notification to neighbors as well as filing requirements with the local zoning authority.
With several incentives and protections in place for both solar and renewable energy sources, New Mexico has created a strong foundation for green energy production.

Solar Panel Laws in New Jersey

New Jersey Solar Panel Laws

Solar Panel Laws in New Jersey – What Incentives Are Available?

The solar panel laws in New Jersey seek to increase alternative energy production by providing incentives for the production of solar and other forms of renewable energy.
Under New Jersey’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), electric utilities must produce 22.5% of electricity from renewable resources by 2021.
In addition, 4.1% must come from solar energy by May 2028.
To accomplish these standards, New Jersey offers several incentives for alternative energy production.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) are performance payments issued to producers of solar power.

These certificates are usually sold through a broker and allow electric utilities to purchase credits as needed to meet the RPS requirements.
It is also possible to sell SREC’s to the solar installers or project developers to offset the cost of a project.

Net Metering

New Jersey has a net metering program.

This program allows generators of renewable energy to sell any unused power to the utility and receive credits in return.
Generators receive credits for the full retail value of the electricity up to their annual usage demand.
At the end of the annual period, any remaining credits are paid to the generator at the wholesale power rate.
The Board of Public Utilities has the option to limit participation to 2.9% of peak demand.

Interconnection Standards

New Jersey has a three-tier system of interconnection standards based upon the size of the energy system.

Small residential systems of less than 10 kW have simple procedures and no application fees.
Larger systems may be required to install redundant external disconnect switches or purchase liability insurance.
The renewable energy system cannot have the capacity to exceed the generator’s annual electrical needs.

Sales Tax Exemptions

Solar energy equipment is exempt from the state 7% sales tax.
An exemption certificate must be completed and submitted in order to obtain the exemption.

Property Tax Exemptions

New Jersey offers a property tax exemption on residential solar power systems.
Under this exemption, the value of a solar system will not increase the property assessment.

However, this is subject to registration requirements.
The homeowner must apply for a certificate to obtain the exemption.

Rebates

The New Jersey Clean Energy Program has discontinued the rebates on solar equipment.
The new focus for solar power generation incentives are on SRECs and net metering.

With several incentives for both solar and alternative energy sources, New Jersey has created a strong foundation for renewable energy production.

Solar Panel Laws in Washington DC

Washington DC solar panel laws

Solar Panel Laws in Washington DC – What Incentives are Available?

The solar panel laws in Washington DC encourage green energy by providing incentives for the production of solar and other forms of renewable energy.
Under Washington DC’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), the District requires utility companies to obtain 20% of all energy from renewable sources by 2023.
At least 2.5% of that must be from solar power.

To accomplish these goals, Washington DC offers some incentives for alternative energy generators, but others are not available.

What Incentives Are Available?

Solar Renewable Energy Credits

Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) are performance payments issued for each megawatt-hour of solar power produced. The credits are sold through brokers and allow utilities to purchase credits as needed.

Utility companies must pay a Solar Alternative Compliance Penalty if they are not able to meet the RPS requirements. However, these penalties reduce each year until the District reaches its 20% goal in 2023. As a result, the value of SRECs will decrease over time.

The District’s Net Metering Program

Washington DC has a net metering program.

This program allows those who generate their own power through renewable energy systems to sell any unused power to the utility and receive credits in return.

The surplus is credited to the next bill at the full retail rate and can be carried over indefinitely.

However, there are no cash payouts for the credits and the program caps out at 1 megawatt.

Systems producing less than 100 kilowatts receive credit at the retail rate

Generators producing over 100 kilowatts receive credit at the generation rate which is much lower than retail.

Easy Interconnection Standards

Interconnection standards provide easy access for smaller systems. A residential system of less than 10kW can qualify for a simple interconnection.

Larger systems require liability insurance and a redundant external disconnect switch.

What Is Not Available?

Rebate Program Has Expired

The Renewable Energy Incentive Program expired in 2012. The District has offered other programs and initiatives in the past but many are short-term and narrowly targeted.

No Tax Credits

At this time, the District does not offer any tax credits or incentives. However, Federal tax credits may be available (you can learn more about them here ).

No Sales Tax Exemptions

The District does not have a sales tax. As a result, there is no sales tax exemption for renewable energy.

Solar Panel Laws in Washington DC

 While Washington DC no longer offers rebates or tax credits, they do offer other strong incentives through their net metering program and Solar Renewable Energy Credits.

Solar Panel Laws in Vermont

Vermont solar panel laws

Take Advantage of Vermont Solar Panel Laws to Save Money

In Vermont, a typical solar rooftop system will pay for itself in about ten years through energy cost savings, but various laws also help to make such systems a feasible choice.
Additionally, state law is forcing a rapid move toward environmentally friendly energy sources including solar power.

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Vermont’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) is one of the most ambitious in the nation, second only to Hawaii’s. State law requires that, by 2017, an impressive 55% of all electricity come from renewable sources such as solar panels.

By 2020, the goal is 59%, and it increases from there, until 2032, when 75% of all electricity will have to come from renewables.

 

This law forces utility companies to help customers make the transition to solar power, because if they don’t meet these goals, they will end up having to pay fines to the state government.

 

Net Metering

Utility companies are required by law to monitor energy produced by their customers’ solar power systems. Any excess production is then credited to the customers’ electric bill at the going rate (retail price).

 

However, if the credits are not all used within twelve months, the customer loses them. They are not rolled forward to the next year or refunded. Credits are given for up to 500 kW, with a cap at 15% of peak demand.

Fee Restrictions

Vermont law prevents utility companies from charging more than the standard fees on solar power systems. Thus, interconnection, standby, and capacity fees cannot be marked up.

Renewable Energy Credits

When your solar power system produces energy, you receive a renewable energy credit, or REC.

One unique law in Vermont is that, even if you get a performance payment from a utility company such as Green Mountain Power, you can still keep your RECs. You can then sell those RECs on the energy market in other states.

Despite Vermont’s high RPS and other favorable solar power laws, unlike many states, it has no solar power rebates or income tax credits.

This means that switching to solar will not save you anything on your income taxes, which top out at 8.95% in Vermont. Sales of solar panels and other equipment are not free from sales tax either. Solar customers will receive only the federal tax credit.
However, the state laws regarding RPS, net metering, fee restrictions, and renewable energy credits still help to make solar power an affordable long-term option.
If you are interested in learning about where to get solar panels in Vermont, click here for our recommended resource who will give you a free quote here.

Solar Panel Laws in California

California solar panel laws

California Solar Panel Laws

There are many California residents who have questions concerning solar panel laws. Some want to know if their neighbor can legally block their solar panels with shading. Others want to know what codes restrictions and covenants place limitations on the use of solar energy and more.

California Solar Rights Act
This was passed into law in 1978. It established a legal framework for California residents to have solar energy.

The act makes certain consumers have access to sunlight. It also places limitations on homeowner associations as well as local governments from restricting solar energy installations.
 It was designed to encourage consumers using solar energy.

Solar Shade Act
This act is part of the Solar Rights Act. It provides protection for solar energy system owners from different types of shading on adjacent properties.

This provides legal protection for an energy system owner from having shrubs, trees and more interfere with the proper operation of solar panels.
This law states that a shrub or tree is not permitted to cast a shadow that covers over 11 percent of an absorption area for a solar system owner’s panels.

This law must be in obeyed between the hours of 10 am and 2 pm. This also applies to any shrubs and trees planted after the installation of the solar system.

Solar Panel Laws in California

Local Authorities
California Government Code 65850.5 specifically addresses the authority of local agencies to create ordinances regarding solar energy systems. It prevents the enactment of unreasonable barriers to the installation and use of such systems.

This code forbids using the limitation aesthetic purposes as well as design for the reason of restricting solar energy systems. It also makes certain businesses, agricultural concerns as well as homeowners have the legal authority to install these types of systems.

Permitting
In September of 2014, California bill AB 2188 was signed into law. This was designed to decrease the red-tape involved with obtaining a permit to install a solar energy system.

This bill mandated that all cities in California, as well as counties, create an ordinance to streamline the permitting process for residential rooftop solar energy systems.

California Civil Code 801.5
This is known as California’s solar access law. This makes it possible for neighbors to voluntarily agree to a solar easement.

The goal is to ensure adequate sunlight is possible for individuals who use solar energy systems for their energy needs.

California SB 43
This permits individuals who rent or those with shaded roofs to have access to the benefits of solar energy. It enables these individuals to purchase as much as 100 percent of their energy from a remote solar power plant.

If you are looking to get solar panels installed at your house, we offer a free quote to see if it would be a fit for you. Click here to get your free quote.

Solar Panel Laws in Delaware

Delaware solar panels

Solar Panel Laws in Delaware – Incentives and Protections

The solar panel laws in Delaware encourage alternative energy sources by providing both incentives and protections for the production of renewable energy.
Under Delaware’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), the state’s utility companies are required to obtain 25 percent of their energy from renewable resources by 2025.
At least 3.5 percent of this renewable energy is to come from solar power.

To accomplish this, Delaware offers various incentives and protections for alternative energy producers.

Green Energy Fund

The Green Energy Fund has several programs that offer grants and loans to support the use and development of renewable energy sources.

These programs include rebates and grants to homeowners, researchers and developers, as well as funding courses and curriculum on solar technology in Delaware high schools.

Solar Renewable Energy Credits

Many utility companies offer Solar Renewable Energy Credits.

When solar energy is generated, the generator gains the credits.
The credits are valid whether the energy is consumed or sent to the grid.

These credits can then be sold to a utility company to meet their requirements under the RPS mandate.

Delaware’s Net Metering Program

Delaware is one of 43 states that has a net metering law.

This law allows homeowners that generate their own power through renewable energy systems to sell any unused power to the Delaware Green Energy Fund at the wholesale electricity rate.
Funds are credited to the customer’s next bill and used to offset any power the customer uses from the power company.

A customer can receive a payout after a 12-month period or simply allow the credits to continue to roll over.

Protection for Residential Rooftop Solar Panels

In addition to the incentives, Delaware law encourages the use of solar power by protecting residential solar energy systems.

In July 2009, Delaware passed a law to protect the use of rooftop solar panels on single-family residences. It was specifically designed for photovoltaic (PV) systems and single-family residential structures.
It prohibited covenants or restrictions against the use of a roof-mounted solar energy system by the owner of the property but only applies to deeds or legal instruments recorded after January 1, 2010.
A year later, the law was amended to include ground-mounted systems on residential property of at least a half-acre in size.
With these incentives and protections, the solar panel laws in Delaware offer numerous benefits for the continued growth of solar and other renewable energy sources in the state.
You can choose to work with one of our recommended companies to make the process a lot easier. We offer a free quote to New Hampshire residents, click here to get your quote.