Massachusetts Photo voltaic Panel Incentives: Rebates, Internet Metering, Financing and Extra


Once you consider photo voltaic panels, New England states like Massachusetts may not spring to thoughts, however there are some huge motivations for residents to put in photo voltaic panels, notably the excessive worth of electrical energy within the state. The Bay State ranks fifth highest within the US, based on Statista, at 28 cents per kilowatt-hour, and a few residents noticed their electrical energy payments triple in December 2022.

Learn extra: Finest Photo voltaic Panel Set up Corporations in Massachusetts

Though Massachusetts would not make CNET’s record of states with the most effective incentives for photo voltaic panels, the state encourages photo voltaic funding by means of a number of totally different applications together with a tax credit score, rebates and internet metering — the follow of paying prospects for extra photo voltaic vitality.

Some Massachusetts photo voltaic panel incentives are easy, whereas others are remarkably complicated. We’ll break them down in easy language so you possibly can perceive all of the monetary incentives for photo voltaic funding within the state.

Notice: The photo voltaic incentives listed under are for residential electrical prospects in Massachusetts. There are totally different photo voltaic incentives for utilities, companies, faculties and different organizations. The incentives for photo voltaic panels are present as of March 22, 2024.

Evaluating Massachusetts incentives for photo voltaic panels

Massachusetts photo voltaic incentives

Massachusetts incentive DescriptionEligibilityEstimated worth*Residential vitality tax credit score 15% tax credit score again for photo voltaic panels as much as $1,000All Massachusetts residents$1,000Solar gross sales tax exemption Photo voltaic panels and eligible set up tools are exempt from state’s 6.25% sale taxAll Massachusetts residents$1,500Solar property tax exemption Worth of photo voltaic installations are exempt from residence assessments for property taxesAll Massachusetts residents$274 per yr, relying on native property taxes and elevated worth of homeSolar Massachusetts Renewable Goal (SMART) Month-to-month incentive funds for photo voltaic panelsCustomers of Eversource, Nationwide Grid and UnitilVaries widelyMunicipal Gentle Plant Photo voltaic Program Rebate for putting in photo voltaic panelsLocal electrical prospects in Braintree, Georgetown, Middleborough, Norwood, Rowley and Studying$4,800 to $9,600ConnectedSolutions Battery Program Related inverters use battery energy at peak use occasions in summerNational Grid prospects$2,200 every summerConcord Municipal Gentle Plant rebate Native rebate for putting in photo voltaic panelsConcord utility prospects$3,125Net metering A refund for extra photo voltaic vitality generatedMost MassachusettsansVariable ratesFederal photo voltaic tax credit score 30% again on photo voltaic panel installationsAll Individuals$7,200

* Estimated worth calculated through the use of a nationwide common of $24,000 for putting in photo voltaic panels and 1.14% for common Massachusetts property tax.

Massachusetts state photo voltaic tax credit, exemptions, rebates and mortgage applications

Massachusetts has a state tax credit score for photo voltaic panel funding and two main statewide solar-panel incentives for patrons of the large investor-owned utilities and sure publicly owned native utilities. It additionally gives each gross sales tax and property tax exemptions for photo voltaic panel installations to all residents.

Massachusetts residential vitality tax credit score

The Massachusetts residential vitality tax credit score provides a proportion of the price of a photo voltaic panel set up again to residents at tax time. The credit score is price 15% of the price of the photo voltaic panels as much as a most of $1,000.

The credit score consists of each passive and lively photo voltaic vitality programs. Taxpayers can solely declare the credit score for photo voltaic panels put in at their main residence. To say the Massachusetts residential vitality tax credit score, file Schedule EC along with your state tax return.

Massachusetts state property tax exemption for photo voltaic panels

Photo voltaic panels in Massachusetts are exempt from property taxes, which implies you will not pay extra even when photo voltaic panels improve the worth of your private home. 

Massachusetts common property tax is 1.14%, based on the Tax Basis. Whereas the worth of including photo voltaic panels to a home will differ, the tax break might save Massachusettsans about $274 per yr, utilizing a median photo voltaic panel set up worth of $24,000.

Massachusetts gross sales tax exemption for photo voltaic panels

Massachusetts is likely one of the 16 states that give gross sales and property tax exemptions for photo voltaic panels. The gross sales tax exemption for photo voltaic panels additionally applies to wind generators and warmth pumps. 

Massachusetts state gross sales tax is 6.25%, so that you’d save $1,500 on a median $24,000 photo voltaic panel set up. 

Photo voltaic Massachusetts Renewable Goal (SMART)

One of many broadest incentives for photo voltaic panels in Massachusetts is the Photo voltaic Massachusetts Renewable Goal (SMART), a statewide tariff program that delivers money incentives on to prospects who set up photo voltaic panels. It changed the state’s former photo voltaic renewable vitality credit score (SREC) program in 2018.

The SMART program is offered to all prospects of Massachusetts’ investor-owned utilities — Eversource, Unitil and Nationwide Grid, which encompasses Massachusetts Electrical and Nantucket Electrical. The unique objective of this system was to put in 1,600 megawatts of photo voltaic, however in 2020 it expanded to focus on 3,200 megawatts. SMART is a declining incentive, which means that its worth decreases as extra members be part of this system.

The amount of cash prospects can obtain from the SMART program is calculated by a sophisticated system that components within the dimension of your photo voltaic panel set up, your utility firm and your “capability block.” SMART compensation additionally consists of “adders,” or further cash for low-income prospects or for system traits like battery storage or panels that transfer to trace the solar.

Massachusetts gives two Excel recordsdata that may assist calculate your potential SMART funds — a normal SMART calculator (XSLX file) and an adder calculator (XLSX file). College of Massachusetts Amherst’s information to utilizing the SMART calculators may be very useful.

Incentive funds from the SMART program are at present scheduled to final for 10 years after set up of photo voltaic panels.

Massachusetts Municipal Gentle Plant Photo voltaic Program

For sure prospects of publicly owned native utilities in Massachusetts, the Municipal Gentle Plant Photo voltaic Program can present an enormous incentive for putting in photo voltaic panels.

Prospects of eight Massachusetts native utilities — Braintree Electrical Gentle Division, Danvers Georgetown Municipal Gentle Division, Middleborough Gasoline & Electrical Division, Norwood Municipal Gentle Division, Studying Municipal Gentle Plant and Rowley Municipal Lighting Plant — are eligible to obtain rebates for putting in photo voltaic panels.

Rebates vary from $0.60 to $1.20 per watt for photo voltaic panel installations, as much as a selected most capability for every MLP. Functions for the MLP rebate are dealt with by means of Power New England.

Listed here are the rebates for every of the taking part MLPs, with hyperlinks to the applications.

Collaborating municipal mild vegetation

Nationwide Grid ConnectedSolutions Battery Program

Massachusetts prospects of Nationwide Grid are eligible for a program that rewards photo voltaic prospects with battery storage throughout afternoons in summer season months. 

ConnectedSolutions contacts inverters of enrolled prospects through the web and shifts them to utilizing saved electrical energy from batteries at particular peak occasions of vitality use which will come up from 3 p.m. to eight p.m., June to September. 

In return, members get $275 per kW of electrical energy carried out throughout these occasions. ConnectedSolutions says that the occasions will happen not more than 60 occasions per yr for 3 hours every time on the longest.

You will have to have a qualifying inverter on your photo voltaic panel set up to work with ConnectedSolutions. Listed here are the manufacturers of at present suitable inverters:

EnphaseFortress PowerFranklin WHGeneracOutback Related to SonnenSol-ArkSolarEdgeSunPowerTesla

Native photo voltaic panel rebates in Massachusetts

Except for the six native utilities taking part within the MLP Photo voltaic Rebate, many different municipal utilities in Massachusetts present rebates for photo voltaic panels on their very own.

Harmony Municipal Gentle Plant photo voltaic panel rebate

Prospects of Harmony Municipal Gentle Plant are eligible for a major rebate for putting in photo voltaic panels — $625 per kilowatt as much as a most rebate of $3,125. Residential photo voltaic panel installations as much as 167 kW are eligible, as are all business installations of any dimension. There isn’t any expiration deliberate for the Harmony photo voltaic panel rebate.

Hingham Municipal Gentle Plant photo voltaic panel rebate

South of Boston, the shoppers of Hingham Municipal Gentle Plant are additionally eligible for a reimbursement on photo voltaic panels. The municipal utility provides $0.60 per watt for photo voltaic panel installations as much as a most of $6,000.

Hudson Gentle and Energy photo voltaic panel rebate

For residential photo voltaic panel installations as much as 25 kW, Hudson Gentle and Energy provides a $1.20-per-watt rebate as much as 50% of the whole set up price, at a most of $7,500. 

Ipswich Municipal Gentle Division photo voltaic panel rebate

Prospects of Ipswitch Municipal Gentle Division with photo voltaic panel installations as much as 25 kW are additionally eligible for a rebate — $0.30 per watt as much as a most of $3,000. To be eligible, photo voltaic panels will need to have an azimuth of 90 to 270 levels and a most 20% discount in output on account of shading.

Littleton Electrical Gentle and Water Division photo voltaic panel rebate

The Littleton Electrical Gentle and Water Division gives a substantial rebate for photo voltaic panels — $1 per watt as much as 50% of the whole set up price. To be eligible, the photo voltaic panel set up have to be accepted for internet metering.

North Attleborough Electrical Division photo voltaic panel rebate

For residential and business prospects with photo voltaic panel installations as much as 25 kW, the North Attleborough Electrical Division provides $0.60 per watt for the primary 5 kW for a most $3,000 rebate. The division has pledged a complete of $60,000 to fund photo voltaic panel rebates in 2023.

Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant photo voltaic panel and battery rebates

The Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant gives two totally different rebates for photo voltaic panels and battery storage. Eligible photo voltaic panels get $1.50 per watt put in as much as a most of $4,500. Batteries with capacities of 5 kW or increased get an extra $300.

Wakefield Municipal Gasoline & Gentle Division photo voltaic panel rebates

Wakefield Municipal Gasoline & Gentle Division is one other municipal utility that continues to offer prospects with a rebate for putting in photo voltaic panels. The utility provides $0.80 per watt as much as 50% of the whole set up price.

Federal photo voltaic tax credit and incentives for Massachusetts

The federal tax credit score for funding in renewable vitality — technically referred to as the residential clear vitality credit score — is likely one of the largest incentives for putting in photo voltaic panels in Massachusetts or another state. You will get 30% of your photo voltaic panel set up prices again as a tax credit score while you file your federal return — a $7,200 worth for a median set up costing $24,000.

The photo voltaic funding tax credit score is nonrefundable, which means you possibly can’t get extra money than you owe in taxes, however there is not any most, and you’ll carry over any further credit score to the following tax yr and get it again then. The residential clear vitality credit score might be claimed by submitting IRS Type 5695, which is included in all the greatest tax software program.

Massachusetts internet metering guidelines for photo voltaic vitality

Internet metering — the follow of compensating house owners of photo voltaic panels for producing extra electrical energy than they use — is required by legislation in Massachusetts for the three investor-owned utilities. Part 18.03 of the Code of Massachusetts Laws for the Division of Public Utilities says, “Every Distribution Firm shall present companies to Prospects and Host Prospects essential to allow Internet Metering, together with these associated to interconnection, metering, calculation, and billing of Internet Metering Credit.”

Most of the municipal utilities additionally present some type of internet metering for his or her prospects, however not all. Internet metering in Massachusetts is compensated with billing credit that carry over from month to month. There is not any course of for paying out credit in money on the finish of the yr, as in Florida.

Group photo voltaic applications in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is likely one of the first states to permit group photo voltaic tasks, beginning with its Inexperienced Communities Act of 2008, which enabled “neighborhood internet metering.” Group photo voltaic tasks present photo voltaic vitality to a number of prospects who cannot or do not need to set up photo voltaic panels on their very own property by letting them buy or spend money on bigger, shared photo voltaic installations. Whereas rooftop photo voltaic is offered solely to owners, each owners and renters can take part in group photo voltaic.

As of early 2023, Massachusetts has 452 group photo voltaic tasks producing 725 megawatts of electrical energy, per Perch Power. That is about 17% of the state’s whole photo voltaic output. Group photo voltaic applications in Massachusetts could also be administered by a municipal utility, resembling Braintree Electrical Gentle Division, or by business group photo voltaic suppliers.

Energy buy agreements in Massachusetts

Massachusetts permits solar energy buy agreements (PPAs), that are contracts that permit third events set up photo voltaic panels on property for free of charge to owners, for mounted charges of electrical energy generated. The state’s official information to photo voltaic says that “residential photo voltaic PPAs are usually broadly accessible.”

Since you do not personal the photo voltaic panels which might be put in, you will not get lots of the incentives that go together with putting in photo voltaic panels, together with the Massachusetts and federal tax credit or any potential rebates, however PPAs is usually a method to get photo voltaic panels on your home with out paying for them or sustaining them. You will additionally get a set charge for electrical energy that will not go up by means of the years. Nonetheless, PPAs are tied to property for the size of their contracts — usually 20 years — which may make promoting a house harder.

FAQs

Goes photo voltaic price it in Massachusetts?

Whether or not photo voltaic panels might be a great funding in Massachusetts will depend on many components, together with the scale of your photo voltaic panel set up, the quantity of shade on your home, your electrical charges and the quantity of electrical energy you employ. It takes about six to 12 years for photo voltaic panels to pay for themselves on common.

Do photo voltaic panels work in Massachusetts?

Most consultants agree that photo voltaic panels ought to work in each US state, and Massachusetts isn’t any exception, regardless of its cooler New England climate and comparatively low variety of sunny days. Photo voltaic panels are literally extra environment friendly in colder climate and are not negatively affected by snow.

A report from the Massachusetts Government Workplace of Power and Environmental Affairs and the Massachusetts Clear Power Heart discovered that Massachusetts’ degree of insolation (accessible photo voltaic radiation) is larger than that of Germany, one of many world’s largest markets for photo voltaic panels.

How do photo voltaic tax incentives work?

Incentives for photo voltaic panels are designed to encourage owners to shift to renewable vitality and cushion the monetary funding required to take action. These incentives can take the type of tax credit, rebates, tax exemptions, grants, particular loans and internet metering insurance policies that compensate house owners of photo voltaic panels for generated extra vitality that may be put again into the bigger electrical grid. 

Some incentives like tax credit and rebates happen as soon as, whereas others like tax exemptions and internet metering can final for a few years.

How does the federal photo voltaic tax credit score work?

The residential clear vitality credit score — usually referred to as the photo voltaic funding credit score — is a federal tax credit score that provides owners who set up photo voltaic panels 30% again of the price of set up. There is not any restrict to the credit score, however it’s non-refundable — you possibly can’t get extra money than you owe in taxes. File IRS Type 5695 along with your federal tax return to say the photo voltaic funding credit score, or let the most effective tax software program handle it for you.

What’s internet metering for photo voltaic vitality?

Internet metering is the time period for the method by which utility corporations calculate the quantity of vitality consumed and generated by prospects with photo voltaic panels and provides billing credit or cash when the “internet” vitality utilized in a month is damaging.

Utilities might pay for extra photo voltaic vitality at their common retail charge or a proportion of it. They might additionally compensate for surplus vitality at an “averted price” charge, or the wholesale worth at which the utility purchases electrical energy itself. Internet metering is required by legislation for all in Massachusetts.



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