Massachusetts state governments are offering incentives such as solar rebates and tax credits. These incentives aid in the initial cost of installing a solar energy system.
Tax-Based Incentives for Solar Energy in Massachusetts
Massachusetts has passed several laws providing tax relief for residents installing solar PV panels or a solar water heating system including:
- A 15% personal tax credit (up to $1,000) for individuals installing solar PV panels or a solar thermal system. Excess credit can be carried to the next year for up to three years.
- A 100%, 20-year property tax exemption for renewable energy equipment. In other words, any value added to your home based on your solar improvements is tax exempt.
- Tax exemption for all solar energy system equipment (residential).
MA Rebates for Solar Energy
Commonwealth Solar offer's the state's most widely known rebate. Homeowners can receive $1.00 - $2.10/W DC installed (exact rebate will vary depending on value of home and income). Massachusetts's four investor-owned utilities: National Grid, NSTAR, Western Mass Electric and Fitchburg Gas & Electric allow customers to become eligible for a cash rebate upon installation of a solar PV system. Remember:
- Systems are required to be at least 1 kW in size.
- While there isn't a system size limit, there is a rebate limit based on 5kW.
- The per-watt rebate amount will vary, but the maximum rebate is $4.40/watt (for residential systems).
- The maximum rebate (for residential systems) is $10,500.
Solar REC Incentive
A non-profit organization, The Energy Consumers Alliance of New England (ECANE) buys electricity generated by solar systems (PV) and smaller sized wind systems. The group bundles this electricity into renewable energy (RECs) and sells the power to consumers through a program called the National Grid's GreenUp. The goal is to offer environmentally friendly options for consumers who don't wish to install their own solar and/or wind energy system. In the state of Massachusetts, ECANE operates as the Mass Energy Consumers Alliance. Residents and businesses are able to sign up for a contract lasting three years, and the Alliance will pay $0.03 for each kWh generated by their solar PV panel system.
Several Massachusetts utilities offer rebate programs in addition to the Commonwealth Solar.
Concord Municipal Light Plant Solar Rebate Program gives consumers a rebate covering $1,000 per kW AC (up to $5000). Inverters must have a minimum 7-year warranty, and PV modules are required to have a 20-year warranty. Systems must have an average output of 85% (or greater).
Many utility companies also offer a tax rebates for homes that strive for energy efficiency but don't install solar energy systems.