United Illuminating Solar Program Overview
United Illuminating (UI) is a regional electric distribution company in Connecticut and has been around for 121 years. UI provides service to about 325,000 people and is a subsidiary of Avangrid, a larger utility company.
United Illuminating also supports solar customers (and more every day!) who are connected to the energy grid. In the long run, installing your own home solar system can save you money, especially when you take advantage of existing solar rebates and incentives from UI as well as those from state and federal governments.
How the United Illuminating Solar Program Works
Solar energy generated from your own solar panel system can be used to power your home, store energy in a home battery, or sell the power back to the electricity grid. To power your home, you need a solar system and sunlight. To store energy for future use (like at night), you need a special home battery. To sell power back to the grid, you need a two-way system and a meter that is hooked up to the UI utility grid. These function together to send energy back to the grid and offset your electric bill, a program which is called net metering, Net Energy Metering or NEM.
UI offers NEM, and EnergyPal can help you determine if it applies to your home. The energy you sell back to the grid is purchased at rates set by state law and is typically somewhat less than what you pay for your retail electricity. This amount you sell back to UI becomes a credit and goes against the cost of retail electricity you use when you cannot supply yourself with enough solar energy. Sometimes the amount you can sell back to the grid is capped.
At the end of your 12-month billing cycle, you receive a True-Up statement. This shows a net charge if your charges for consumed energy exceed your credits for excess solar energy contributed over the last 12 months. Conversely, if your credits for producing surplus solar energy from your panels exceed what you were charged for consumed energy, then UI compensates you. Overall, you can offset your electric bill to near zero! However, credits do not apply to monthly infrastructure charges. Credits do carry over to the next 12-month billing period. EnergyPal will help you size and configure your solar and home battery system appropriately to ensure you maximize your financial savings and energy independence.
Becoming a United Illuminating Solar Customer
In addition to reducing fossil fuel consumption and diminishing your carbon footprint, you can reduce your monthly bill, improve the resale value of your home and avoid power loss during outages with your own solar (or solar-battery) system. EnergyPal will help you follow these steps:
- Download your UI bill information on your annual usage.
- Assess the solar potential for your home, and analyze your roof.
- Compare quotes for solar panel systems and finance options.
- Prepare the interconnection agreement, and sign documentation.
- Install your solar system using qualified workers.
- Pass inspection with local inspectors.
- UI will install a new meter so you can get credit for generating your own power!
Upfront United Illuminating Solar Incentives
There are multiple state incentive programs available to reduce the upfront costs associated with solar system installations. Connecticut residents can take advantage of the:
- Residential Solar Investment Program (RSIP). This program gives Connecticut homeowners a rebate based on the size of their newly-installed, well-designed solar system. There is also a rebate program for those who lease solar systems. Enrollment is limited.
- Energy Conservation Loan (ECL). Eligible Connecticut residents can qualify for no or low interest loans for solar systems.
- Smart-E Loan. This is a no money down, flexible, low-interest loan for homeowners that can be used for solar systems and solar water heaters.
- Sales tax incentive. Connecticut residents do not have to pay sales tax on solar systems.
EnergyPal is available to help you navigate UI bills and the UI solar program requirements and steps for installing solar. Start by requesting a quote, and we'll help you through the whole process so you get the right system at the right price and offset your United Illuminating electric bill.