Vermont’s thriving solar market is in the midst of a big debate, which could determine the effect out-of-state solar installers and suppliers have on builders and homebuyers.
TecHome Builder’s new solar series takes it state-by-state to provide you with a better grasp on the current solar market, including laws and advice from builders on how to overcome challenges.
Part one of the series focuses on the federal tax credit program and industry lingo. Part two deals with California’s solar-friendly mandates. Part three looks at Texas’ complex energy market. Part four introduces a controversial net-metering proposal in Maine. Part five analyzes Arizona’s declining solar market. Part sixth deals with New Jersey’s rebounding solar market, and part seven presents lessons from Colorado’s thriving solar market.
Now, in part eight of this series, we visit Vermont to speak to certified Passive House consultant and green contractor Malcolm Gray of Montpelier Construction.
“If your household income is less than $60,000, the interest on new solar installations is either zero percent or 1.99 percent for ten to twelve years,” says Gray, referring to Vermont’s Zero Energy Now program.
The Zero Energy Now program is just one of many financial incentives in Vermont. It aims to improve efficiency through improved insulation, high-performing HVAC equipment, renewable heating sources and the installation of solar panels. But a new debate having to do with out-of-state solar companies is stirring up some controversy and could affect programs like Zero Energy Now.
Vermont’s Unique Solar Market and Ongoing Debate
[tps_title] Energy Markets [/tps_title]
Vermont’s energy market has faced difficulties in energy production, following the closure of the famous Yankee Nuclear power plant at the end of 2014. To prevent shortage, the state passed a comprehensive energy plan, earlier this year.
Part of the 2016 plan sets ambitious renewable energy goals for the state, which dictate that 67 of percent electricity, 30 percent of building energy consumption and 10 percent of transportation energy must be produced from renewable sources by 2025.
The energy plan also paves the way for an influx of financial incentives for high-performing homes that take advantage of alternative heating sources such as pellet heating. Using these efficient guidelines, builders have been able to market massive savings to their clients.
According to Gray, past clients have been able to end up with an overall positive cash flow when it comes to the home’s energy costs. “If you run it through the heat saver loan … when they are done paying the loan, the energy costs are close to nothing.”