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Solarize Charlotte! is the CEC’s campaign to promote residential solar installations throughout town. By partnering with local solar providers All Earth RenewablesBuilding Energy, Green Mountain Solar, and Harvestar Power, Charlotte residents and property owners who have an appropriate site, can get at least a 3% discount, the guidance they need to solarize their homes, guidance on other carbon reducing energy efficiency approaches, and lowering their utility bills by joining the clean energy revolution.

Depending on site conditions and scope of improvements, coupled with discounts and tax rebates, the breakeven on your green investments now generally range from 5-15 years, and often are financeable so that your energy bill does not substantially increase during the payback period. Lifetime system savings can cut your energy bills substantially while going green at the same time!

Charlotte's goal is to transition to 90 percent renewable energy by 2050, as informed by Vermont’s statewide energy goals. The town has made great progress, with 171 solar sites that produce 5,758 MWh of energy, or 36 percent of residential electricity use. For Charlotte to reach the 90 percent renewable goal by 2030, more than thirty homes per year must install solar arrays.

Solar Energy - the ‘Why’ and the ‘How’

Solar arrays provide low-cost energy to your home without relying on fossil fuels. The panels, once installed, are very low maintenance and generally last 25-30 years. With EV's and heat pump upgrades becoming more popular to deliver better indoor air quality while incurring substantial savings, the demand for electric energy will only increase. The Inflation Reduction Act has provided incentives to get your current and future energy needs met at lower long-term cost while being better for the environment. Now is a great time to act by getting an expert to assess your savings potential.

Incentives

Financial incentives of 3%* or more off the initial installation are available for installing new solar systems. Owners may take advantage of a 30 percent federal tax credit. When tied to the grid, Green Mountain Power credits excess energy produced and sent back to the grid, through the state net metering incentive. Property tax exemptions may apply for some solar systems as well.

Types of Solar

Charlotters are encouraged to obtain solar arrays from any provider they see fit. However, the CEC has partnered with the local providers to arrive at competitive discounts for a variety of energy producing and saving systems, as well as community-based incentive and referral program.

 

If you aren’t sure what kind of solar is right for you, our selected vendors likely have a solution for you and can come to your home for a site visit and help you determine the best option. By filling out the Contact Form here, you give permission for the CEC Solarize Charlotte administrators to provide your contact information to all 3 local vendors so they can follow-up with you directly and recognize the pre-negotiated discount of 3%*.

Typical residential installations include:

 

Rooftop: In unshaded buildings, this is the simplest and often most cost-effective type of solar project, in which solar is installed on the rooftop of a home or other structure.

 

Ground mount: This is another popular option, in which the array is installed on structures, fixed or rotating, rigidly affixed on the ground within the property it will be used to power. This is a great option for anyone whose roof does not get enough sunlight to fit a full array and environmental impacts are fully considered.

 

Community solar: A system in which a group of people each own a small portion of a large solar array (usually not located on-site) and use that energy in their homes. Charlotte does not currently have a community solar array (yet!) 

 

Financing

While the cost of an array can seem daunting, there are experienced local banks ready to help you finance an array. The Vermont State Employees Credit Union has extensive experience in the area and offers solar project financing options to all residents. For more information, see the options below, browse the VSECU website, or contact Lisa LaSante at llasante@vsecu.com or 802-371-3170.

 

The VGreen Investment Tax Credit (ITC) Loan: This is a fixed rate unsecured loan with favorable interest rates updated at Personal Green Loan Rates - VSECU. There are many options in payments, tax credits, terms, and rates. Get the most up-to-date information from VSECU to figure out what’s best for you.

 

Energy Equity/Home Equity loan: Offers a discounted home equity rate for energy improvements. This loan would need to be a first or second mortgage on your home with no more than 90% combined LTV. 

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