Oct. 2014 News on Massachusetts Solar Legislation and Utility Prices
Every once in a while, we like to do a brief update to customers and prospective customers when we feel the news from the utility companies and/or Massachusetts Legislature warrants it. This is one of those times!
As you may have heard, last month (September, 2014) both National Grid and NStar, warned customers to brace for much higher electric bills this winter, with National Grid quoting a record-breaking 37% rate hike because the cost of buying electricity from power plants has soared to the highest level in decades. Other utilities are also warning customers to brace for higher electric bills this winter, but they have not determined final rates for the winter.
As expected, this announcement has created a sense of urgency for Mass businesses interested in switching to solar energy. With the current incentives in place, including Net Metering (a kind of “rollover minutes” for electricity produced), SREC market (certificates you can sell for generating clean electricity), tax incentives and credits, as well as many options for financing, the timing is really very good.
Legislation is always changing, however, and we are never sure exactly what the outcome will be. For example, just as the rate hike news came out, the current Net Metering agreement with the utility companies was reaching its cap of 3%. Luckily, this month, the Mass Legislature made an “eleventh hour” move, raising it to 4% and giving businesses some wiggle room for the next year or so, as they look to take advantage of each and every incentive available to reduce utility costs.
On the other hand, the 30% Federal Tax Credit is expected to be reduced to 10% at the end of 2016, adding to the sense of urgency.
The MA SREC II program, a modified extension of the original program continues to bring a substantial production based incentive for a ten (10) year term. This is expected to maintain stability with higher values, particularly for businesses with large available roof surfaces who are able to use the power generated onsite. The state guaranteed floor prices are stable and very good compared to other states’ programs.
To help businesses take advantage of the most current and positive incentives to “go solar”, both banks and solar financing partners are making their options to help more appealing (we even have a partner offering a cash back option with their PPA)!
Great reasons to give us a call today to discuss all of your options and for a free on-site assessment of your building’s greatest dormant assets – your roof and lawn!