New Hampshire is far from the sunniest state in the United States, yet residents realize a variety of significant benefits by investing in residential solar energy systems. High electricity rates along with a long tradition of individual liberty, civic mindedness and self-sufficiency are attributes working in favor of the growth of solar panels in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire’s Solar
Report Card

Grade
Methodology

To determine a grade for each state, our researchers and solar experts analyzed data on crucial solar-advancement criteria from the following sources:

We determined a rank from 1 to 10 for each state in each category. We then combined the scores with the following weights and assigned an overall grade for each state. Our goal is to encourage those considering solar for their homes to get a basic understanding of solar potential in their areas and discover the best opportunities for clean energy available.

Incentives & Rebates, 40%

Electricity Rate, 15%

Renewable Energy Policy, 30%

Interconnection Ease, 5%

Photovoltaic Potential, 10%

New Hampshire Electric Rates: What’s the Cost?

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), the average cost of residential customer electricity in New Hampshire is $0.18/kWh. This is one of the highest rates of retail electricity in the nation and is significantly higher than the national average of $0.1236/kWh. Thanks to the state’s large percentage of forested land, forest products play a large part in the energy portfolio mix. The EIA notes that nearly one in 12 homes depend on wood products as their main source of heat. While wood and biomass lead the charge on renewables in New Hampshire, incentives and tax exemptions are helping pave the way for solar.

Cost of Residential Electricity

Data from U.S. Energy Information Administration
*as of Q3 2015

Solar Panel Resource
Library: New Hampshire

New Hampshire Solar Panel Incentives

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory ranks New Hampshire 19th in the nation for the number of solar systems installed with 1,788. In 2007, this solar friendly state adopted a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that requires nearly 25 percent of electricity sold to be from renewable sources by 2025. The Granite State, promotes the use of solar energy through a variety of policies, programs and financial incentives. Homeowners and businesses can take advantage of the Net Metering policy, the Residential Small Renewable Energy Rebate Program, Enterprise Energy Fund Loans and more.

REBATES/INCENTIVES

Local Option – Energy Efficiency & Clean Energy Districts:

The Property-Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, financing program provides energy improvement loans to those who own commercial properties and multifamily residences. This funding is repaid through special property tax assessments and borrowers have terms of up to 30 years.

Commercial & Industrial Solar Rebate Program:

The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission offers incentives for PV systems that range from $0.30/W AC to $0.75/W AC, depending on the size of the system. Systems should not exceed 500 kW (AC). The maximum amount that a property owner can receive is 25 percent of the system’s cost.

Commercial & Industrial Renewable Energy Grants:

Renewable energy project grants are available through the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. The minimum amount of funding that applicants can receive is $150,000 and the money must be used for installation or upgrades of a system that uses solar, wind, tidal, hydrogen, or ocean thermal technologies.

New Hampshire Electric Co-Op – Solar Photovoltaic Incentive Program:

New Hampshire Electric Cooperative, Inc. provides rebates for PV systems owned by commercial and residential property owners. Incentives are $0.25 per DC Watt, with a maximum amount of $1,375 for residential owners and $10,000 or 15 percent of the system (whichever amount is less) for commercial owners.

Residential Small Renewable Energy Rebate Program:

New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission provides a $0.75/watt rebate for homeowners with renewable energy systems on their property. Systems must be10 kW or less to qualify. The maximum rebate amount that can be received is $3,750 or 50 percent of the system’s cost, whichever amount is lower.

Enterprise Energy Fund Loans:

New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority provides loans of $50,000 to $500,000 to commercial entities and nonprofit organizations to install or upgrade renewable energy systems. The repayment terms of the loan and interest rate depend on the scope of the energy project.

POLICIES

Solar Easements:

New Hampshire allows PV system owners unobstructed access to solar energy. To that end, equipment must be positioned on a property in a location that allows for maximum energy production.

Net Metering:

Net metering legislation requires that all New Hampshire utility companies selling electricity allow property owners with PV systems to receive credit on their bills for the energy they generate. The law establishes limits of 100 kilowatts and 1 MW for small and large systems respectively.

Interconnection Standards:

New Hampshire has rules that allow commercial and residential customers with solar, geothermal, wind, and biomass systems to connect to the energy grid. Utility companies are prohibited from mandating that these property owners purchase liability insurance.

Renewable Portfolio Standard:

The renewable portfolio standard, adopted in 2007, requires the state’s electricity providers, excepting municipal entities, ensure 24.8 percent of retail electricity sales come from renewable energy sources by 2025.

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

TAX CREDITS

None for residential/commercial specifically

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

TAX EXEMPTIONS

Local Option – Property Tax Exemption for Renewable Energy:

Tax exemptions from residential property taxes are available for residential and commercial property owners that have installed solar or wind energy generating systems or wood-fired heating systems.

None for residential specifically

None for commercial specifically

New Hampshire Companies, Contractors & Installers

Frase Electric

With more than 2 MW of installed solar through more than 300 arrays, Frase Electric has been designing and building roof-mount, ground-mount, and pole-mount arrays since 2009.

Where it operatesLakes Region

Year of opening1991

Granite State Solar

Granite State Solar designs, sells, distributes and integrates innovative, custom-built alternative energy products and services, including residential solar assessments, financing assistance, design, engineering, installation, operations and maintenance.

Where it operatesBoscawen

Year of opening2008

ReVision Energy

ReVision Energy is a locally owned and operated solar energy and sustainable energy technology and systems company that has completed more than 4,500 solar energy installations over the last 10 years.

Where it operatesConcord

Year of opening2008

SunRay Solar

SunRay Solar is a full-service solar energy systems installation and integration company. They design, install, monitor and service both solar electric and solar thermal systems according to customers’ budgets and needs. Member of Spread the Sunshine community solar network and Solarize New Hampshire public-private solar partnership.

Where it operatesConcord

Year of opening2012

Solar Panel Resources: N.H.

New Hampshire Electric Co-op

Discover information on incentives and services to help residential and commercial customers invest in solar and other renewable energy products, systems and services, as well as information regarding local, state and federal solar incentive programs.

New Hampshire Office of Energy & Planning

Search through a comprehensive list of local, state and federal solar energy programs for New Hampshire residents.

New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission

Find essential information about renewable energy rebate programs in New Hampshire, which include rebates for residential PV and wind turbine installations.

New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association

Explore this non-profit organization that conducts education, outreach and advocacy initiatives aimed at accelerating the transition from uncertain, polluting and imported energy through development of economic, locally appropriate renewable energy mixes.

New Hampshire State Legislature

The state congress’s website enables you to track new and modifications to state laws and policies, including those related to electricity rates, utility regulation and solar and renewable energy.