We will see a new incentive for solar in Rhode Island announced for the first of the year. Last year’s Rhode Island solar grant program was a huge success and all eligible systems were funded. The solar grant was for 25% off the cost of systems up to 10kW and 20% off systems 10kW-50kW. This was good, but it encouraged people to limit their system size to 10kW to get the extra 5% off the price. That’s too bad because with another few solar panels, some of these people could have offset 100% of their power.

The incentive for next year may be structured differently so people will still get the equivalent of 25% off no matter what size system they install. Depending on what the incentive looks like, the discount could be 27% or higher. The incentive applies to the installation of new or additional solar panels but does not apply to the replacement of older solar panels.

In the mean time, what we’re doing for people here at Newport Solar is conducting free site visits and shading analyses and comparing a roof’s electricity production capabilities to the home’s electricity usage to determine if the roof can produce all of the electricity the home uses, or what percentage of the home’s usage the roof can produce. We do this by comparing the estimated electricity production in our report to the usage on an electric bill the home owner provides. Once the system size is determined, we discuss how much the system will cost with the available incentives, and what financing and payment options the home owner has for solar here in RI. With the incentives in place, it equals about 52% off the starting cost. Many home owners were thrilled to learn this and it has made going solar in RI much easier for them.

Most people understand the environmental benefits of producing electricity from sunshine over burning coal or gas to heat water to transform into steam to turn a huge turbine to eventually make electricity. The electricity from these power plants then must be transmitted hundreds, if not thousands of miles to the areas where it will be used. Along the way, much of this electricity is lost as  heat energy from friction in the lines. In some cases the losses can be over 50%! That’s tremendously wasteful and means that a lot of that coal or gas is being burned and polluting the air for nothing.

The way solar electricity works, it is almost entirely used productively. The sun shines on the roof, the panels transform the light into electricity, and the electricity goes directly into the home’s wiring system powering the  appliances and lights in the home. If the home does not use all of the electricity produced, the excess simply goes out to the lines on the road and into the neighbor’s house to power their appliances and lights. The solar electricity almost always ends up  traveling less than one hundred feet to where it will be used, even if it goes next door to the neighbor’s house. The losses are barely measurable and the source is the sun, how great is that?

Here at  Newport Solar we are passionate about producing solar electricity and the many benefits it offers our clients and society as a whole. That’s why we will always come to your house and help you discover your potential to make your own clean electricity  and discuss your options until every question you have is answered. And if you think of something later, we encourage you to call us or email to make sure you are fully educated and clearly understand what installing solar on your home or business would mean for you.


The sales and installation process was straightforward, well communicated, and executed on time.