Frequently Asked Questions about Solar Power

How does a solar panel work?

A solar panel works by capturing energy from sunlight and converting it to direct current (DC) electricity. A solar inverter then converts the DC power into Alternating Current (AC), which is what your home uses. Solar energy created this way can be used to power your home, stored in batteries for later use, or sent out to the grid. You get credit for all the electricity your system sends to the grid. You can use this credit to offset your electric bill.

What are the financial and personal benefits of solar power?

A solar system at your site effectively locks in your power cost for the next 30+ years.  Solar brings certainty. It ends the budget drain of continually rising utility rates and reduces the impact of unpredictable price spikes. Solar also provides the peace of mind that comes with being able to produce energy even during outages to grid power.

How can I get financing to help with my solar installation?

Catamount Solar partners with VSECU to provide financing with rates as low as 1.99% to its solar customers, making it quick and easy to lock in a low monthly payment so you can start saving on day one.

How Do I Get the Federal Tax Credit?

The Federal Tax Credit on renewable energy systems has been extended through 2023. Save up to 26% on your residential solar install! Act now to get the biggest credit.

To claim this tax credit you will need to fill our IRS Form 5695.

Please Note: Both federal and state incentives are created through legislation and as such are subject to change. To ensure your ability to claim one of the incentives outlined above,  contact us now.

2021-22 26% credit

2023 22% credit

Are there VT and NH Incentives for Installing Solar?

As of 2021, Vermont offers no residential solar incentives.

New Hampshire

$0.20 per watt, up to $1000.00 rebate for residential systems up to $10,000. 

Please Note: Both federal and state incentives are created through legislation and as such are subject to change. To ensure your ability to claim one of the incentives outlined above, contact us now. 

What is a battery backup system?

Catamount has been installing battery systems since 2011. Battery backup systems such as the well-known Tesla Powerwall store energy produced by solar power systems so it can be drawn on during power outages. Green Mountain Power has programs that subsidize the cost of these systems if you allow the utility to draw the battery power on peak load days.

Such batteries are especially helpful when installed into off-grid systems, so they can provide power during times of low electricity production. 

What is a grid-tied solar system?

Grid-tied power systems are connected to the main power grid. When your photovoltaic system produces electricity, the power is first used to satisfy your electricity needs at that time. Excess electricity produced by your is sent to the grid and you get utility credits on your bill.

What is an off-grid solar system?

In an off-grid system, you are not connected to the electrical grid. Therefore, you can only use the amount of electricity you produce and store. Most off-grid systems include batteries, ensuring access to power on days when solar production is low, such as cloudy or short winter days. Off-grid systems require more of a hands-on approach; you need to be aware of your electrical production and use to ensure that you don’t run out.

What if I produce more electrical energy than I use?

If your solar system produces more energy than you use, you get a net metering credit that can be used toward future electric bills. The way these credits can be used vary depending on your utility company.

How much does a residential solar system cost?

The price of a residential solar system will vary depending on location, availability of mounting space and more importantly your annual electricity usage. We will work with you to determine the cost and appropriately sized system for your household and energy goals.

How soon can I get a return on my investment?

The return on investment will vary depending on the size and type of system installed.

With solar, you pay more to install a system up front, and enjoy a steady, predictable power cost for decades. With conventional grid electricity, you are subject to the whims of the marketplace, and often to increasing energy costs over time. In addition to saving you money on your power bills, your solar power system is an improvement that will add value to your property.

How long will my PV system last?

Catamount uses solar components that are built for the long haul. They can withstand the worst that New England weather can dish out, and keep producing energy for 25-35 years.

Catamount Solar offers Residential Costumers a 15 year workmanship warranty.

How can I find out if solar power will work for my home?

Even in the Northeast, solar power can provide reliable, lower-cost energy for most homes. Catamount provides our potential customers with a free analysis of your energy needs, current costs, and long-term financial benefits of a solar system,. We review your site location using Google Earth and your most recent electrical bill to outline your solar options. As we design the optimal solar energy system for you, we take into account shading, exposure, the building’s orientation and age, and your existing electrical system and energy needs.

We provide a detailed proposal outlining the system size and key components, as well as the system’s annual energy production and the percentage of your current utility bill that will be offset by solar. We include a straightforward fixed price as well as any available credits or rebates.

What is net metering?

Net metering is the way in which power companies keep track of the energy your solar panels produce and gives you credit for that energy. With net metering, you only pay for electricity if you use more than your solar system can produce.

What happens when the sun isn’t so shiny?

Solar energy systems produce more power on cloudless days, and less when it is cloudy. They produce no power at night. Despite this, they will produce enough power year round to provide you with significant cost savings over time.

How will snow affect my solar production?

Snowy days are cloudy days, so your system will produce less electricity. Solar panels are tilted so that in most cases, snow slides right off. Occasionally, snow can build up over panels, and they will produce no power. But it’s important to remember that even with these occasional solar blockages, your system will still provide significant amounts of power and save you money over time.

How long does it take to install a residential solar power system?

Catamount is Vermont’s most experienced residential solar installer. In general, our skilled technicians can install a new system in 2-3 days. We respect your property and maintain a tidy worksite. You’ll hardly know we were there!

Who connects me to the grid and does my paperwork?

After the system is completed, we coordinate with the utility company to have the meter  installed. And we handle all the necessary state paperwork to secure your rebate (NH) and file for the required Certificate of Public Good (VT residents).

Catamount Solar
A Worker-Owned Cooperative