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Blog 9/30/10: The Latest on Massachusetts Solar Incentives

Massachusetts has been continually listed as one of the top 10 states for going solar due to the substantial incentives available to homeowners. While the number of solar installations in Massachusetts is growing, many homeowners are still in the dark about the various incentives that make alternative energy more affordable with a payback period of 5-7 years.

The following overview will explain of how you can reduce your payback period as a Massachusetts homeowner with a Federal Tax Credit, Commonwealth Solar rebate, and the SREC program. A free site evaluation is the best way to find out which incentives apply to you.

Commonwealth Solar II State Rebate

Commonwealth Solar is a program that launched in January 2008 by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and provides rebates for the installation of grid-tied PV systems.

The rebate is based on the system size and other characteristics of the project. Residential rebates are subject to a cap based on the less of a 5 kW system or $10,500 total. The current rebate levels are:

· Base Incentive: $1.00/watt

· MA Company Components Adder: $.10/watt

· Moderate Home Value or Moderate Income Adder: $1.00/watt

Rebates are available to electricity customers served by the following MA electric utilities: Fitchburg Gas & Electric Light (Unitil), National Grid, NSTAR, and Western Massachusetts Electric. Homeowners served by a municipal light plant need to check their town’s solar rebate structure.

Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)

As of January 1, 2009, all solar electric and solar thermal installations are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit on the net cost of your system. If your tax liability is not that great, it is possible to spread the ITC over a number of years to be able to take full advantage of it.

Solar Renewable Energy Credits

Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) are tradable commodities used in the energy industry and are essentially the free market trading of the “clean energy attributes” (not the electricity) of your solar energy. You will receive one SREC per 1,000 kW hours your system produces, which can be traded within 2 years. The first Q1 Massachusetts SREC auction took place in August for 2010 and cleared at a price of $500 per SREC, which is good news for solar payback.

These incentives can help reduce your solar installation cost up to 50% or more. Though the tax credits and rebates may seem overwhelming, the Sunlight Solar staff completes all rebate and tax paperwork for you so that you are able to get the most money off your installation.

Massachusetts Solar Incentives
Massachusetts has been continually listed as one of the top 10 states for going solar due to the substantial incentives available to homeowners.  While the number of solar installations in Massachusetts is growing, many homeowners are still in the dark about the various incentives that make alternative energy more affordable with a payback period of 5-7 years.

The following overview will explain of how you can reduce your payback period as a Massachusetts homeowner with a Federal Tax Credit, Commonwealth Solar rebate, and the SREC program.  A free site evaluation is the best way to find out which incentives apply to you.    Commonwealth Solar II State RebateCommonwealth Solar is a program that launched in January 2008 by the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative and provides rebates for the installation of grid-tied PV systems.The rebate is based on the system size and other characteristics of the project. Residential rebates are subject to a cap based on the less of a 5 kW system or $10,500 total.

The current rebate levels are:

  • Base Incentive: $1.00/watt
  • MA Company Components Adder: $.10/watt
  • Moderate Home Value or Moderate Income Adder: $1.00/watt

Rebates are available to electricity customers served by the following MA electric utilities: Fitchburg Gas & Electric Light (Unitil), National Grid, NSTAR, and Western Massachusetts Electric.  Homeowners served by a municipal light plant need to check their town’s solar rebate structure.  Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC)As of January 1, 2009, all solar electric and solar thermal installations are eligible for a 30% federal tax credit on the net cost of your system. If your tax liability is not that great, it is possible to spread the ITC over a number of years to be able to take full advantage of it. Solar Renewable Energy CreditsRenewable Energy Credits (SRECs) are tradable commodities used in the energy industry and are essentially the free market trading of the “clean energy attributes” (not the electricity) of your solar energy.  You will receive one SREC per 1,000 kW hours your system produces, which can be traded within 2 years.  The first Q1 Massachusetts SREC auction took place in August for 2010 and cleared at a price of $500 per SREC, which is good news for solar payback.

These incentives can help reduce your solar installation cost up to 50% or more. Though the tax credits and rebates may seem overwhelming, the Sunlight Solar staff completes all rebate and tax paperwork for you so that you are able to get the most money off your installation.


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