When you think of Massachusetts, you may think of Boston, its Revolutionary War history, or its championship sports teams. Now, it’s time to add a new association to the list – Massachusetts is becoming known for its great solar incentives and programs, which are considered some of the best in the country. Here’s why solar panels are such a great investment in Massachusetts.
The best way to compare your solar options and save money at the same time is by registering on the EnergySage Marketplace. When you compare quotes for solar panels on EnergySage's competitive solar marketplace, you can expect to see prices up to 20% lower than working with a single solar company.
What are the best Massachusetts solar incentives?
Let’s take a look at the top MA solar incentives that we recommend to the prospective solar shopper:
Residential renewable energy income tax credit
When it comes to clear cut state solar incentives, it doesn’t get a lot simpler than the MA renewable income offer. Under this credit, the owner of renewable energy systems get a 15% coverage of the system cost against his or her MA income tax with a $1000 maximum credit amount.
Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART)
One of Massachusetts’ most exciting solar developments is the SMART program. 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. For systems under 25 kilowatts (kW), the rate ranges from 29 to 31 cents per kWh, depending upon your location and utility. For comparison, the regular retail rate in MA is closer to 20 cents, indicating large savings from the SMART incentives. In addition, the state also provides higher incentive rates for low-income customers or those who install battery storage to pair with their solar panel system, making solar power more accessible to more customers in the state.
Net metering in Massachusetts
When solar homeowners receive bill credits from their utility for the energy they are sending back to the grid, they are benefitting from one of the best incentives in solar - net metering. Though there have been several net-metering battles in Massachusetts, this incentive is still available for now so make sure you cash in on it.
Check out the top utility net metering programs in Massachusetts:
Additional benefits of solar power in Massachusetts: solar tax credits and programs
Mass Solar Loan program
This new, innovative state-level incentive allows residential homeowners to own a solar PV system by making fixed, low-interest loan payments. This financing program is a major reason for solar’s rising popularity in Massachusetts where legislators wanted to incentivize homeowners to get the best value out of their solar panel installation - by owning it rather than getting into complex third-party ownership agreements.
Massachusetts solar tax exemptions
There are two major tax exemptions for solar homeowners to note in addition to the income tax exemption: the sales tax and property tax incentives. Both of these tax breaks are attractive ones because they ensure 100% tax exemption from both sales and property tax payments which certainly add up over time.
Massachusetts storage incentives
Massachusetts has set ambitious energy storage deployment targets. To that end, the ConnectedSolutions program from National Grid and Eversource is a bring your own battery program that provides annual incentive payments to customers who install a solar + storage system and provide their utility with access to the stored energy in their battery. The rebates range based on how much stored energy you provide access to, as well as which utility's service territory you live in.
The federal solar tax credit (ITC) is a top MA incentive
Taking into consideration the recent extension of the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) for solar, the horizon of incentives in Massachusetts broadens even further. In addition to the state-specific incentives and programs available in MA, you will still get an additional discount of up to 26 percent on the total cost of your PV solar energy system thanks to this great government subsidy. Keep in mind that the ITC applies only to those who buy their PV system outright (either with a cash purchase or solar loan).