The Benefits of Solar Panels in Fairfield County, Connecticut
Southwest Connecticut isn’t the sunniest corner of the world. But with some of the highest grid electricity prices in the nation, solar panels can go a long way to reducing energy costs in Fairfield County, Connecticut.
In this article, we’ll explore the savings potential of solar panels in Fairfield County and some additional benefits of producing your own clean electricity. Let’s dive right with how much residents of Fairfield County can expect to save with solar panels.
Energy cost savings is, in many cases, the primary motivation for installing solar panels. And in Fairfield County, the savings potential is well above average thanks to Connecticut’s extremely high grid electricity prices.
In January 2023, Connecticut had the fourth highest average retail electricity price in the US at 30.24 cents per kWh. For context, that’s nearly double the national average of 16.2 cents per kWh and triple the cost per kWh of electricity produced by an average solar system.
Now, let’s compare the cost of paying for grid electricity versus buying a solar system.
Let’s say you buy a 5 kW solar system for $25,000 that produces an average of 5,880 kWh of electricity per year. The incentives available to Eversource customers in Fairfield County would bring the cost of that system down to $13,760, as shown below.
|Federal tax credit (30%)||-$7,500|
|20 years of RECs||-$3,740|
Now, $13,760 is no small chunk of change, but it’s peanuts compared to buying the same amount of electricity from a utility provider over 20 years. The graph below shows the cumulative costs of paying for solar panels versus grid electricity.
- With a cash purchase, a homeowner in Fairfield County can expect a payback period of around 8 years and lifetime savings well over $30,000
- A 15-year solar loan would provide Day 1 savings since the monthly payments on this system would be lower than an average monthly utility bill. However, the interest payments on the loan would reduce the lifetime savings to around $25,000.
Either way, there is plenty of money to save with solar panels in Fairfield County.
Additional benefits of solar panels in Fairfield County
While everybody loves to save money, there are several additional benefits to having solar panels in Fairfield County.
Reduced carbon emissions
For instance, not only is Connecticut’s grid electricity expensive, it’s also quite carbon intensive. In January 2023, around 55% of the state’s electricity was generated from natural gas-fired power plants and just 2% was generated from nonhydroelectric renewable resources like wind and solar.
Natural gas has a carbon footprint around 12 times greater than rooftop solar. So, by installing solar panels, residents of Fairfield County can substantially reduce the carbon emission attributed to their electricity use, improve local air quality, and contribute to the clean energy transition.
Increased home value
In addition to providing energy cost savings, solar panels increase the value of your home. Studies by Zillow and the Berkeley Lab found that homes with solar panels sell faster and for more money than comparable homes without them.
Better yet, thanks to Connecticut’s solar property tax exemption, that additional value is tax-free. So, solar panels can both reduce your energy costs and add tax-free value to your home.
Backup power for grid outages
Power outages — due to extreme weather events and non-weather events — increased around 80% from 2000-2021. In fact, Connecticut had six outages that lasted four hours or more in 2022, including a 33-hour outage in late November.
Pairing solar panels with battery storage can provide clean, quiet, and reliable backup power for outage events and reduce your dependence on a utility provider. It’s important to note that solar-only systems are typically shut off automatically during grid outages to prevent the backflow of electricity from harming utility workers repairing the grid.
Are solar panels worth it in Fairfield County, CT?
Home solar is worth it for energy cost savings alone in Fairfield County, Connecticut. But the beauty of home solar is that it doesn’t matter if your primary motivation is cost savings, carbon emissions, or contributing to a more resilient power grid: Solar panels address all of these issues at once.
The key to a lucrative and long-lasting solar installation is working with a trusted installer with a proven track record of excellent workmanship and customer service in your area. Solar.com makes this easy by rigorously vetting the installers in our network.