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The U.S. Department of Energy and the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center are excited to announce that a new, modernized DSIRE is under construction. The new version of DSIRE will offer significant improvements over the current version, including expanded data accessibility and an array of new tools for site users. The new DSIRE site will be available in December 2014. Staff are currently working hard on the new version of DSIRE but are also maintaining the content of the current version of DSIRE. Thank you for your continued support and patience during this transition. We hope you are as excited for December as we are!

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Incentives/Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

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Small-Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program   

Last DSIRE Review: 02/10/2014
Program Overview:
State: Vermont
Incentive Type: State Rebate Program
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies: Solar Water Heat, Photovoltaics, Hydroelectric, Small Hydroelectric
Applicable Sectors: Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Nonprofit, Schools, Local Government, Construction, State Government, Tribal Government, Multi-Family Residential, Low-Income Residential, Agricultural, Institutional
Amount:Varies depending on technology and eligible sector
Maximum Incentive:Varies depending on technology and eligible sector
Eligible System Size:PV: 25 kW
Systems over 10 kW must include a Certificate of Public Good application as submitted to the Public Service Board with reservation application.
Equipment Requirements:PV: New, grid connected; modules must be UL 1703 listed; inverters must be UL 1741-listed or listed by another nationally recognized testing laboratory.
Solar water heating: New equipment; collectors must have an OG-100 output rating from SRCC or an equivalent organization.
All systems: 5-year warranty required on major system components and installation, with the exception of batteries, for which a 2-year warranty is required.
Installation Requirements:Must be installed by registered Vermont Partners (no self-install). All grid-connected projects (solar PV) must apply for, secure, and provide proof that the Vermont Public Service Board has issued a Certificate of Public Good.
Ownership of Renewable Energy Credits:Not addressed
Funding Source:State, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) State Energy Program (SEP) funds
Program Budget:Current round (starting October 2013): $1.4 million
Start Date:6/17/2003 (initial funding)
Expiration Date:2014
Web Site:
Authority 1:
Date Effective:
Act 69 of 2003
6/17/2003 (initial funding)

Note: On July 10, 2013, the Clean Energy Development Fund Board approved changes to the Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program, effective October 1, 2013. Beginning in October, wind turbines, commercial PV systems, and solar thermal space heating will no longer be eligible for incentives. The PV incentive levels, maximum, and system size caps will be decreased. A new wind grant program will replace the wind incentives. See the full details here.

Vermont's Small Scale Renewable Energy Incentive Program, initiated in June 2003, provides funding for new solar water heating, solar electric (photovoltaic), and micro-hydro energy system installations. Currently in its seventh round of funding (almost $4.1 million dollars), the program is available to single- and multi-family residences, commercial and industrial businesses, farms, schools, builders/developers, and local & state governments. Vermont also allows third-party owned and leasing systems installed on residential property and less than 10 kW are considered residential leased systems; all other leased systems are considered commercial systems. In 2012, Vermont added an efficiency adder to encourage Vermonters to complete an audit or participate in specific efficiency programs (such as Energy Star Homes). Only systems installed by pre-approved installers will be eligible for funding. Funding must be reserved and applications approved before expenditures are made. Once solar (PV or Water Heating) reservations are granted, applicants have six months to complete their projects and submit the final application. Current incentives are as follows:

Solar Photovoltaic (PV)

For systems that generate at least 1,000 kWh/year per kW of rated DC capacity installed:

  • Residential PV: $0.25/Watt (W) generating capacity (DC) up to 10 kilowatts (kW).  Total maximum incentive is $2,500. An additional efficiency adder may be available: $0.15/W (cap: $350).
  • Special Category (low-income housing non-profits, municipalities, public schools) PV: $1.25/W DC up to 10 kW, up to $12,500 or 50% of total installed cost. Efficiency adder: $0.15/W (cap: $450).

Systems that generate less than 1,000 kWh/year per kW of rated DC capacity may be eligible for a lower, pro-rated incentive payment.

Solar Hot Water

  • Residential Solar Hot Water: $1.50/100 British thermal unit/day (Btu/d) up to 200 kBtu/d, up to $3,000. efficiency adder of $0.50/100Btu/day ($350 cap).
  • Commercial Solar Hot Water: $1.50/100 Btu/d up to 200 kBtu/d, up to $16,500. Efficiency adder of $0.55/100Btu/day ($450 cap).
  • Special Category Solar Hot Water: $3.00/100 Btu/d up to 1,500 kBtu/d, up to $45,000 or 50% of total installed cost. efficiency adder of $0.55/100Btu/day ($450 cap). Solar Hot Water incentives are available for public swimming pools for Special Category customers only.

Micro hydro

  • Residential and Commercial: $1.75/3ft-gal/min up to $8,750.
  • Special Category: $3.00/3ft-gal/min up to $17,500 or 50% of total installed costs.

Systems greater than 10 kW may be eligible for the incentive but must first submit a Certificate of Public Good application as submitted to the Public Service Board. For more information on the program, eligible installers, remaining funds, and installations to date, visit the official program web site.

  Public Information (RERC)
Renewable Energy Resources Center
Vermont Renewable Energy Incentive Program
128 Lakeside Avenue, Suite 401
Burlington, VT 05401
Phone: (877) 888-7372
Fax: (802) 658-1643
Web Site:
NCSU - home
Disclaimer: The information presented on the DSIRE web site provides an unofficial overview of financial incentives and other policies. It does not constitute professional tax advice or other professional financial guidance, and it should not be used as the only source of information when making purchasing decisions, investment decisions or tax decisions, or when executing other binding agreements. Please refer to the individual contact provided below each summary to verify that a specific financial incentive or other policy applies to your project.

While the DSIRE staff strives to provide the best information possible, the DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. make no representations or warranties, either express or implied, concerning the accuracy, completeness, reliability or suitability of the information. The DSIRE staff, the N.C. Solar Center, N.C. State University and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Inc. disclaim all liability of any kind arising out of your use or misuse of the information contained or referenced on DSIRE Web pages.

Copyright 2014 - 2015 North Carolina State University, under NREL Subcontract No. XEU-0-99515-01. Permission granted only for personal or educational use, or for use by or on behalf of the U.S. government. North Carolina State University prohibits the unauthorized display, reproduction, sale, and/or distribution of all or portions of the content of the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE) without prior, written consent.