Installing solar panels on your Vermont home can provide clean, renewable energy and lower your electricity bills. But before signing a contract to go solar, it is important to understand the legal requirements and components involved.
This will help ensure your solar project goes smoothly from start to finish.
Permits and inspections
Most residential solar installations in Vermont require a building permit from your town or municipality. The permit application will likely need to include your solar contract and system design specifications. After your solar system’s installation, it must pass inspection by the local building inspector before final approval. Failing to get the proper permits can jeopardize your solar incentives and lead to potential legal issues down the road.
Vermont has strong net metering laws that allow solar customers to get credit for excess electricity they export back to the grid. This helps offset your electricity usage at night or during less sunny weather. Your solar contract should clearly explain how net metering works with your utility company and any associated charges or credits.
Solar contracts typically specify whether you purchase or lease your solar system. Purchasing the system outright allows you to receive all incentives and net metering credits. Leasing often has lower upfront costs, but you will miss out on some long-term financial benefits. Make sure you understand the ownership terms before entering a solar lease or power purchase agreement.
By understanding the legalities and doing your due diligence before going solar, you can feel confident your system will be a smooth, worthwhile investment.