How to Use the Solar Calculator
The best way to learn about local rebates, your home’s energy potential, and your eventual return on investment is to use our ModSun Solar Cost Calculator (see above). Enter your home address in the box, then click Check My Roof. You’ll get an instant picture of your roof’s productivity, your average energy expenses, and installation costs in your area—whether you decide to buy or loan. We’ll also provide system size recommendations and information about rebates and incentives you may be eligible for. Just select More Info under each purchasing strategy to learn more, and then connect with a solar pro.
Solar City Buying Guide for Burlington, Vermont
An investment in solar power is an investment in your future. Solar power in Burlington, Vermont is on the fast track with help from local, state and federal incentive programs designed to promote renewable and sustainable energy. Burlington has experienced a boom in solar usage in the past several years and remains in a positive position to continue this course. As you begin your solar installation process, this buying guide will point out some basic areas to help get you started in the right direction.
Permit for Solar Installation in Burlington
Many home improvement projects require a building permit and solar panel installation in Burlington is no different. Several steps are required by the City of Burlington before installation of a solar panel system including completion of a PV Solar System Installation Checklist.
First, existing roof systems must be reviewed and evaluated to ensure they meet minimum codes and design standard criteria in the City of Burlington Department of Public Works and are capable of sustaining the additional weight and behaviors related to flat lying solar panel systems. Only trade professionals recognized by the Vermont Secretary of State and NABCEP certified professionals and homeowners are allowed to complete sections A & B.
In addition to a completed PV installation checklist, you must also submit a permit application, plan view of the PV system layout, documentation supporting the certificate of public good when applicable, solar system documentation, professional engineers report when applicable, and construction plans.
You can apply for a permit in person while you wait Monday thru Friday between the hours of 8 A.M. and 10 A.M. or by dropping off your application between the hours of 7:30 A.M. and 4:30 P.M. at the Burlington Department of Public Works, 645 Pine Street, Suite A, Burlington, Vermont 05401. You can also email your application to DPW–firstname.lastname@example.org. For additional information, contact the DPW by calling (802) 863-9094.
Contractor Verification in Burlington
The hiring of an experienced solar contractor is one of the most important steps in the solar installation process. They will be your guiding light through the entire process from completing and obtaining the necessary paper work through the final stages of installation. It is their job to obtain the necessary permits, size and design the system, complete a quality installation and oversee the interconnection phase when your solar panel system is connected to the main grid. After choosing one of three written estimates, you would be wise to validate their license and verify insurance coverage. Visit the Vermont Secretary of State website for licensee lookup and verification. Contact the applicable insurance company to validate insurance coverage. In addition, you can contact the BBB “Better Business Bureau” to search for recent complaints or pending legal action.
Introduction to Solar Power for Burlington Residents
The type of solar power you choose will depend mostly on discussions with your solar contractor. One of the most popular solar power systems for home and business owners is the solar panel system. This system uses the sun’s energy to produce power. Cells located in the panels absorb the sun’s rays converting, storing, or feeding excess power back to the main grid or a battery backup. Optimum conditions include unobstructed, south-facing panels, exposed to as much sunshine during the day as possible. The system is most often mounted on the roof but can be ground-based when space limitations are not a concern.
Grid configurations include:
- Grid-tie systems the connect to the main power grid
- Grid-tie systems with battery backup to power your home during nighttime hours
- Off-grid systems with battery storage that do not connect to the main grid; most often used in remote locations where grid power is unavailable or not feasible
Solar Water Heating Options in Burlington
Solar water heating systems use energy from the sun to produce domestic hot water. Depending on climate considerations, your contractor will recommend either an active or a passive system. It is recommended that climates with freezing temperatures use the indirect active system that utilizes a non-freezing liquid versus the active direct system, which uses water.
Solar Rebate and Incentive Programs in Burlington
Rebates and incentives may be available to Burlington residents that can reduce the costs associated with obtaining solar power. In an effort to encourage renewable energy and conservation, you will find quite a few resources including loans, rebates, and incentives, available through these websites:
The benefits of solar outweigh the initial cost of a system, many times over. Each month, your solar system will have an effect on your utility bill, eventually recouping your investment as time passes. Along with saving money each month, you’re tapping into a natural resource that does not create a carbon footprint or emit bad gasses into the atmosphere. A solar panel system also highlights your home as a green, environmentally efficient property, which is a great marketing tool should you decide to sell your home in the future.