Massachusetts Solar Energy Incentives
Massachusetts incentives have helped our state become a national leader in promoting and facilitating renewable energy and energy efficiency in our state! These include; net metering, SRECs and the new Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) incentive program beginning in January 2018, along with other generous state and federal incentives.
We will help you understand which incentives you qualify for and how you can take advantage of them!
For over 15 years, Clean Energy Design has been an industry leader in the design and installation of commercial and residential photovoltaic and solar thermal systems in southern New England, particularly Massachusetts. Massachusetts Solar Energy Incentives are some of the most progressive in the country! We are very proud that Massachusetts leads the way in allocating resources to ensure the adoption of clean, renewable energy sources and that we have been able to play a role in that progress. We’ve happily participated in helping to expand the Massachusetts solar energy incentive programs and initiatives over the years.
Our experience includes dozens of successful applications for institutions, residences and businesses under the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water Program (below), Commonwealth Wind Program, and now expired Commonwealth Solar II Program, MTC Small Renewables Initiative, PV Cluster Program, and Large On-Site Renewables Program.
Solar Loan Program
Massachusetts Solar Loans make it easy for MA residents to obtain low-interest loans to fund the installation of solar electricity systems for their homes!
Offering Zero percent down and additional income based loan buy down!
This program is a partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) which connects homeowners interested in solar electricity to solar installers and lenders that have available financing options. Through the program, lenders offer low-interest loans for Massachusetts residents and property owners, including renters and those with moderate incomes or low credit scores. The program is financed through $30 million of Alternative Compliance Payments from the Department of Energy Resources. DOER provides program and policy oversight of the Mass Solar Loan program while the MassCEC acts as the program Central Administrator.
The program includes easy-to-access incentives through lenders that help Massachusetts residents go solar by providing:
- A low-interest, fixed-term loan for homeowners and residents. The current interest rates start at 4.5%.
- Additional loan support/incentive for income-qualified solar owners. There is a 20-30% principle write down available based on income for qualified participants. If your household income is less than $57,759 annually, you may qualify for a 30% principal write down on the loan from the bank. If your household income is between $57,759 and $86,638 you may qualify for a 20% principal write down! The banks only require one year of tax records within the past 2 years.
For more information see; http://www.masscec.com/programs/mass-solar-loan
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs)
SRECs, or Solar Renewable Energy Certificates, are tradable certificates that represent the positive environmental attributes of electricity generated from a solar electric system.
Massachusetts’ renewables portfolio standard (RPS) requires each regulated electricity supplier/provider serving retail customers in the state to include in the electricity it sells 15% qualifying renewables by December 31, 2020. Massachusetts’ Solar Carve-Out provides a means for SRECs to be created and verified, and allows electric suppliers to buy these certificates in order to meet their solar RPS requirements. Electric suppliers must use SRECs to demonstrate compliance with the RPS and will pay a penalty if they do not meet compliance requirements.
Solar System owners can take advantage of this incentive by reporting their systems production to the MA Clean Energy Center for SREC aggregation purposes. The MA production tracking system (PTS) will keep track of the systems production and quarterly mint the kWh production into salable/transferable certificates, which will then be available for brokers or utilities that are required to provide proof of compliance for the solar RPS requirements.
When a solar system generates 1,000 kilowatt hours (1 megawatt hour) of electricity, an SREC certificate is issued which can then be sold or traded on the open market. The price of SRECs is determined primarily by market availability, although the DOER has created a certain amount of market stability by establishing a state Solar Credit Clearinghouse Auction where prices are fixed for the next few years at 271/MWh. The Solar Credit Clearinghouse will be utilized if or when SREC generators cannot sell their SRECs on the open market.
For more information please visit MA DOER Solar Carve Out 2.
New Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) incentive program to replace SREC 2 production based incentive program. Please visit our SMART page for more info.
State by State Solar Rebates and Incentives
The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) contains a list of incentive and rebate programs that encourage energy efficiency and renewable energy in each state.
State and Federal Solar Tax Credits
For residential systems, a 15% state tax credit up to a maximum of $1000 is available for primary residences.
You may be eligible for a 30% Federal Tax Credit for the total cost of the system. In addition to the 30% ITC, businesses may take advantage of 5 year accelerated depreciation.
MA Property Tax Exemption
Massachusetts provides 100% property tax exemption for a duration of 20 years on photovoltaic energy systems used to generate electricity for a residence.
MA Sales Tax Exemption
Massachusetts offers sales tax exemption for equipment related to a solar electricity generation for a primary residence.
MA State Rebate Programs
Individual details for all of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Rebate Programs for solar, wind and energy efficiency are found on these individual pages.
- Massachusetts New Homes with ENERGY STAR Program
- MassCEC – Commonwealth Solar Hot Water
- MassCEC – Commonwealth Wind Incentive Program – Micro Wind Initiative
MA Rebates For Solar Hot Water Systems
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Residential and Commercial Solar Hot Water Programs are in effect until 2016 and will provide rebates for the installation of residential and commercial solar hot water systems. Only businesses in territories that contribute to the MassCEC Renewable Energy Trust Fund are eligible for the commercial rebate. See http://www.masscec.com/solarhotwater for more specific information.
As of May 2016 incentives are as follows;
Residential rebates = $100 x [# of collectors] x [SRCC collector rating] capped at $4,500 per building or 40% of total installed cost. The base rate will be doubled if you qualify for the moderate home or income value adder. Commercial Rebates= $100 x [# of collectors] x [SRCC collector rating], capped at $100,000 for projects or 40% of total installed cost of system. Non-profit rebates = $150 x [# of collectors] x [SRCC collector rating] capped at the lesser of %50,000 or 65% of the installed cost. Up to $5,000 is available for feasibility studies for private entities, with a cost-share of at least 25%. The cap for public entities is also $5,000 but the cost-share requirement is only 5%.
Commonwealth Commercial Solar Hot Water Financing Program
The Commercial Solar Hot Water Financing Program assists commercial and non-profit building owners in installing solar hot water at little or no upfront cost.