Home energy costs fluctuate wildly, and even in Connecticut where multiple suppliers compete to offer homeowners better prices than are usually available through the big utility companies, those costs are unpredictable not only from year to year but often from season to season. The sun, however, is a relative constant, and solar panels and solar energy systems offer homeowners an option to reduce their energy bills while also helping reduce Connecticut’s reliance on fossil fuels. Federal and state tax rebates and credits have made solar energy system installation more affordable, and there are companies that offer no-money-down leases and pay-as-you-go plans. Look to these Connecticut companies to go solar in your home.
714 Brook St., Suite 150
Rocky Hill, CT 06067
“Helping Connecticut Shine” is the motto at Solar City in Rocky Hill, just outside of Hartford. A “full-service solar installer,” Solar City not only sells and installs solar panels, it also provides “ongoing monitoring” to ensure that they are operating properly, and producing the optimum amount of energy. The installation teams are composed of “employee-owners,” which as a Solar City spokesman explains, makes them “stakeholders” in the company.
The company offers a number of payment plans, including full purchase, lease and pay-as-you-go plans. Those who purchase can take advantage of a federal tax credit that covers 30 percent of the system cost. The company estimates the life of the system it installs at “30+ years.” Solar City freely admits that even with the federal tax credit, the upfront cost can be off-putting for many homeowners, which is why it also offers a Solar Lease and a Solar PPA plan. Neither requires any money down. The Lease option is a pay-by-the-month plan, while the PPSA is a pay-by-the-kwh (kilowatt hour) plan.
Connecticut Sun and Power
165 Chestnut Land Road
New Milford, CT 06776
Robert A. Trezza has been roofing for 30 years, and claims to be the “only solar contractor in Connecticut with an electrical PV-1 license.” In other words, he knows what he is doing and has the license to prove it. His Connecticut Sun and Power company builds stand-alone, off-grid and grid-tied home systems (with or without storage batteries). Grid-tied systems offer homeowners the security of being able to tap into the electric utility lines when either the sun isn’t shining or their batteries, if they have them, are low. Connecticut Sun and Power consultants can explain each of these options and answer questions on these and other issues, and provide homeowners with a plan that fits their home, lifestyle and budget.
Connecticut Sun and Power also does upgrades for older solar systems and installs, repairs and maintains solar electric systems. It can also help with the grants, rebates, tax credits and financing options to make solar energy an affordable as well as environmentally sound option.
Aegis Solar Energy
81 School Ground Road
Branford, CT 06405
“Orphaned” by a solar energy installer that is either no longer in business or has left Connecticut? Then Aegis Solar Energy of Branford will come to the rescue. Considering solar power? Aegis is also is a full-service solar electric and solar thermal installer. It has been in operation since the late 1980s and offers everything from solar pool heating and solar home hot water heating to full solar energy systems for home and business needs. Aegis is not only experienced, it is a leader in the field, as according to its literature, Aegis “completed the first grid-tied system” in Connecticut and was “one of the first approved solar installation contractors for the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund’s Solar Photovoltaic and Solar Hot Water rebate programs.”
Aegis offers full consulting, design and installation services, and has completed residential, commercial and institutional projects not only in Fairfield County and other parts of Connecticut, but also in Massachusetts, New York and Rhode Island.
Ross Solar Group
38 Beaver Brook Road
Danbury, CT 06810
Based in Danbury and with an office in Worchester, Massachusetts, Ross Solar Group boasts of being “The Best PV Designers and Installers in the Northeast” – PV of course standing for Photovoltaic. Its staff of “solar engineers” helped the company win Commercial Regional Dealer of the Year in 2011, and it has extensive experience in projects big and small.
When Ross Solar claims it can provide “Solar Power You Can Count On,” it is speaking from experience. Ross Solar recently became a Sunpower Elite dealer and has designed and installed solar energy systems for huge department stores and small bagel shops, as well as homes, and is a partner in “every major photovoltaic incentive program in the Northeast,” including the Connecticut Clean Energy Program. Ross Solar is currently involved in the “Solarize Canton” project, part of the State of Connecticut-sponsored “Solarize Connecticut” program.
American Solar and Alternative Power
85 Old Long Ridge Road, Suite A-1
Stamford, CT 06903
If American Solar and Alternative Power is good enough for Temple Beth El in Stamford and the Glenville Elementary School in Greenwich, it is good enough for any home or business. That is the pitch made by this Stamford-based company which believes that “Harvesting the Sun” is the way of the future – and the present, for those who want to save money and help the environment. American Solar and Alternative Power also offers unique lighting solutions to help clients get even more from the sun than just power to run appliances and heat water. It also offers energy-efficiency packages for businesses and management companies, and helps customers take advantage of government incentive programs, including grants, rebates and tax credits.
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Mark G. McLaughlin is a professional and prolific writer with a proven publishing record in a wide variety of fields. An historian, novelist, freelance journalist, ghost-writer, book reviewer, magazine editor, web and magazine columnist, Mark has more than 30 years of experience. His work can be found at Examiner.com.