Many states across the country are taking initiatives to “go green” in order to combat environmental changes and the ensuing macroeconomic consequences; and Massachusetts is leading the way. Residents and businesses are beginning to take advantage of the tax credits, rebates, and other incentives that MA offers for switching to clean energy like solar power, and in turn are saving a little green in the process.
In 2008, Massachusetts officials rolled out the Green Communities Act which established an initiative to produce one of the nation’s first renewable energy portfolio standards (RPS), requiring that 15 percent of the state’s electricity come from renewable energy sources by 2020. In order to entice homeowners, business, and municipalities to move to greener energy sources, the state created the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) to give out rebates and incentives for installing solar power systems with the capacity to generate up to 15 kilowatts.
Not only can residents enjoy state personal income tax credits of up to $1000, state sales tax exemption on the purchase of any solar equipment, and a local property tax exemption, they can also make money on their solar energy system. The Division of Renewable Energy at the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) implemented a solar carve-out program. This program will issue a solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) to solar system owners for each megawatt-hour of electricity they generate, which they then sell to retail electric suppliers.
SRECs are traded at current market value which floats between $200 and $250 a piece in Massachusetts. Since retail electric suppliers are required by state law to buy a certain number of SRECs annually in support of renewable energy production, homeowners who have installed solar energy systems can offset their costs and energy bills by selling their SRECs. Talk about a system that pays for itself!
Since the cost of equipment and installation has begun to drop over the past few years and financing programs have become available, more and more residents and small business owners are finding that going solar is a completely viable option. Combining state incentives with rebates from federal programs, the initial outlay of capital can be greatly reduced allowing the initial investment to be recouped in as little as 3 to 5 years. Many residents are appreciating the ability to go green without needing to consider how it will negatively impact their wallets.
Because Massachusetts has started to offer green initiatives, nearly 4,000 residential solar projects have been installed and only 10 of the state’s 351 cities and towns remain without some form of solar activity. According to MassCEC, 220 megawatts of solar power have been installed already in MA and the state sees an annual growth rate of 1% for solar energy due to the success of the carve-out program.
In an effort to address climate commitments, renewable energy sources, and new industry jobs and economy, Massachusetts officials have found that to be green, it pays to spend a little green. These enticing rebates and credits make it a great time for MA residents to harvest this wonderful, renewable resource in order to make their world a better place to live.
Contact Higgins Solar Store in Massachusetts to find out more information on designing and installing a solar system in your residence or small business.