Massachusetts can boast about more than just their championship sports teams – the state is also home to some of the best energy storage incentives in the country. As a Bay Stater, you can save thousands on a home battery thanks to federal, state and utility incentives currently available.
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What storage incentives are available in Massachusetts?
SMART battery adder
The Solar Massachusett’s Renewable Target (SMART) program pays Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil customers a bonus for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity produced by their solar panel system. Even better, if you pair your solar panel system with a battery, you’re eligible for an extra “adder” to your incentive rate.
The value of your adder depends on the type of battery you install and the size of your solar panel system – for the average 8 kW system in Massachusetts, your battery can earn you an additional $237 to $732 a year, or $2,370 to $7,320 over the 10-year duration of the SMART program. Calculating your battery adder can be complicated; fortunately, the DOER provides a calculator that you can download for free on their website.
The ConnectedSolutions Program, available to Eversource customers, is a demand response program that pays you an annual incentive in exchange for allowing your utility company to access and use electricity you store in your battery during times of peak energy demand.
In MA, you can receive $225 per kW during the summer events (i.e. times when they pull electricity from the battery) and $50 per kW during the winter events. Program participants experience a maximum of 60 events during the summer, and 5 events during the winter. A single event can last no longer than 3 hours.
Your overall incentive benefit will depend on the number of events per year and how much power your solar battery can provide, but according to MassSave, “…a typical battery capable of a 5-kW continuous contribution during these events, the ConnectedSolutions program would pay $1,375 per year of participation.”
Massachusetts tax benefits for energy storage
Massachusetts does not have any state-specific tax incentives for energy storage systems. However, Bay Staters installing a solar battery can still save on their taxes with the federal investment tax credit (ITC).
The federal investment tax credit (ITC)
With the federal investment tax credit (ITC), you can claim up to 30 percent of the cost of your solar battery as a credit towards your federal taxes. For most homeowners, the ITC can help decrease the cost of a battery by an additional $3,000 to $4,000.
Importantly, standalone storage is not currently eligible for this credit – but it will be starting in 2023 thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act! To claim this incentive for the remainder of 2022, you need to charge your battery with an on-site renewable energy source (like rooftop solar). If you have a residential solar panel system and you charge your battery with electricity from the grid, you cannot take advantage of this credit right now.