Anyone who has done a little digging on the new trend to “solarize” or “go solar” has most likely heard the term ZREC used in conversation. Unfortunately, it is used so routinely that the assumption is made that everyone knows what it is. See below if you are yearning for an explanation.
What is a ZREC?
ZREC stands for Zero Emissions Renewable Energy Credit, and refers to a program offered to commercial business owners in Connecticut. Connecticut’s utility companies — like Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) and UI — provide commercial solar system owners with a 15-year contractual revenue which pays them a fixed price for every kilowatt-hour (kWh) of solar electricity generated. This is in addition to the savings on their electric bill.
How do I apply for ZREC?
It is a lottery process, and it is the only direct monetary incentive for commercial solar offered by the utility. If you win the lottery, the payback term for your solar system is significantly accelerated. If you don’t win the lottery, it doesn’t mean that you can’t commit to going solar; the standard commercial solar incentives, like the 30% tax credit and depreciation still exist, but it will take a little longer to pay off the system.
You may have heard on the news Governor Malloy is moving towards offering a similar solar benefit program on a residential level, but currently CT residents are offered a rebate for going solar, rather than a ZREC. As the plan progresses and technology expands so will the rebates and incentives.