Connecticut gives backing to solar power

December 17, 2013 by  

The optimum time to invest in solar power may have arrived for Manchester residents. Connecticut’s Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority is currently undertaking solar installation campaigns in 22 out of the state’s 169 municipalities. According to the authority’s director of marketing and outreach, Bob Wall, 2,160 residential solar systems have received approval in less than two years.

Solar power companies bid on contracts to handle installations for specific communities. These entities will likely enlist printing companies to help them distribute information around the neighborhoods in which they are working.

For Manchester residents, the installation will be done by Encon Solar Energy Division. According to Glenn Cucinell of that company, the average cost per home would be $24,000. With a state rebate of $8,000 and a federal tax credit of 30% the homeowners final cost would be somewhere between $8,00 and $12,000. Connecticut is not alone in providing subsidies, since almost all states are offering grants, loans, or rebates – or a combination thereof.

Subsidizing homeowners in their purchase of solar panels is intended to reduce the load on the nation’s electric grid, and to reduce pollution and our dependence on overseas oil. Surprisingly, solar energy does not receive as large of a federal subsidy as does wind power (the figures are 1.13 billion for solar versus 5 billion for wind). However, according to utilities analyst Andy Pusateri, with Edward Jones, while wind power is growing faster, solar energy promises the greatest potential. Therefore, there is little chance the solar subsidies will be phased out anytime soon.