Massachusetts Solar Installations Quadrupled

What is the secret to explosive growth in the use of solar energy in the state of Massachusetts, where solar installations quadrupled in the last three years?   Check out these statistics:

  • There were 780 solar photovoltaic (PV) panel installations in Massachusetts in 2010.
  • There were 1,700 solar panel installations in Massachusetts in 2011.
  • And in 2012, there were 2,600 solar PV system installations in MA.

Solar Installations

The big secret can be summed up in one word:  incentives.  Not just one but a set of incentives all together make it far less expensive for homeowners and business owners to install solar panels than it was in the recent past.  In addition, the price of solar panels has dropped considerably.

Probably the most attractive solar incentive for homeowners in MA is the ability to receive Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs).  For SRECs to provide benefit, the homeowner must generate more power than what is used.  Then the utility company sends a check to the homeowner for the amount of energy created over and above usage.

Depending on the amount of kilowatts generated by the homeowner, they would receive SRECs each year based on the output of their system.  This would result in a reimbursement per SREC making the return on the solar investment even more significant.

No matter where you live in the U.S., a federal government incentive is available, which offers a 30% tax credit on the purchase and installation of a solar PV system.

In addition to the federal incentive, Massachusetts has a state solar rebate program which can be worth as much as $1,000 per year.

By taking advantage of all available incentives, one Massachusetts homeowner reported purchasing a $39,000 solar PV system at a cost of just $22,000.  Between the monthly savings on electricity bills and the income from the SRECs, the man expects that he can pay off the solar system within eight years.  Since solar panels usually carry a warranty of up to 25 years, the homeowner will save money for a long time to come.  In this scenario, it’s obvious that the investment in solar is well worth it.

Massachusetts solar power

Perhaps Massachusetts is simply doing a better job of getting the word out about how smart a decision it is to go with solar energy.

One benefit of solar panels is that they have no moving parts and require little to no maintenance whatsoever.  They are also incredibly durable.

On top of all of these other benefits to installing solar, which the folks in Massachusetts must be familiar with, there is the fact that the value of a home increases significantly when solar panels are installed on the roof or on the property.

Massachusetts may rank 44th as far as its size when compared with all of the other states, but it ranks 6th for the amount of solar power generated.  The funny thing about the secret behind this distinction is that the incentives offered in MA are also offered in most of the other 49 states; instead of MA having a solar secret, perhaps it’s more of a mystery why many other states aren’t as aggressively switching to solar.

Contact Higgins Solar Energy Store in Barre MA to get more details on a custom installed solar energy system and take part in this great initiative program.  We serve Worcester County, Franklin County, Hampshire County and more!

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  1. Great article! I was able to purchase my $25,000 5-kw solar panel system for only $11,000 after incentives. But there’s one mistake in your article as your earn one SREC for each kilowatt generated. So my system produced 6 kW of electricity last year and earned me 6 SRECs. In your example, 7.8 kW of generated electricity would earn the homeowner 7 SRECs, since they are only offered in whole kW amounts.