You're In the Right State for Solar!

As a Massachusetts resident you may be eligible for a state tax rebate up to $1,000 and to be enrolled into the state net metering and Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, or SCREC, trade program. Be sure to ask one of our Solar Energy Consultants about all the financing options.

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Massachusetts Solar Power Incentives

With nearly 2.5 GW of installed solar power capacity by early 2019, the state of Massachusetts has demonstrated a commitment to making sure solar energy works here.

In order to continue to be a solar energy leader in the U.S., state legislators have recently updated existing standards and laws, while adding some new ones. Some of the more effective changes include the following:

    • Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) – Updated to apply the more stringent goal of a 80% total emissions reduction by 2050, compared to the 1990 baseline.

 

    • Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) – Increased the goals from 2020 to 2050 by 2% per year, ending in a requirement of 80% of the state’s electricity to be derived from renewable energy sources.

 

  • Clean Energy Standard (CES) – In response to the GWSA and RPS, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to assign more stringent CO2 reduction requirements. By 2050, the state now mandates that CO2 emissions must be 80% below the level when the policy was amended in 2017.

These policies are designed to direct utilities and the power grid operator, while also giving the right signals and incentives to the clean energy market. Importantly, these also inform the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) in producing the required regulations and administering the incentives. The result is the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target, known as SMART.

The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target

The SMART program establishes a preset, and therefore predictable payment or tariff that utilities will pay for solar power generated by homeowners and businesses. The initial payment ranges from about 28.5 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) in Western Massachusetts to as high as 34.0¢/kWh in isolated parts of Eastern Massachusetts. For most residents it averages closer to 31.0¢/kWh. Considering that the average retails residential electricity rates are closer to approximately 21.2¢/kWh, this is a reasonable premium for solar energy systems.

The program was designed to promote adding 1.6 GW more of solar power capacity across the state. There are essentially 8, 200 MW, sequential tariff schedules, or blocks under which an application will fall. It is on a first come, first serve basis, so timing is very important. The sooner you contract for a solar energy system, the earlier your installer can apply and the more likely you are to enjoy the highest reimbursements for that time frame. For each successive block, the rate drops by approximately 4%.

Other Massachusetts Solar Incentives

The state of Massachusetts offers some additional, minor incentives that help homeowners save even more by adding a solar energy system to their homes.

Residential Renewable Energy Income Tax Credit – More Info
Valued at as much as $1,000 total, this policy allows a 15% income tax deduction for the cost of a solar energy system, including installation costs, for a primary residence.

Sales and Property Tax Exemptions
No sales tax is charged on the solar energy system. For 20 years, the value of the system is not subject to property tax.

Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) – More Info
With this incentive, the State of Massachusetts pays Eversource, National Grid, and Until customers a fixed rate per kilowatt hour (kWh) of solar energy produced for 10-years.