Rebates & Tax Credits Make “Going Solar” a Viable Option in Massachusetts


Massachusetts Solar Power

There are great incentives for installing a solar power system in the state of MA, but residential solar power systems can also save a lot of money on home energy bills for years and years to come.

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 economSolar Energy MAy, 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.

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Massachusetts Solar on Increase

Massachusetts Solar Moves State Closer to Renewable Energy Goals 
& Big Box Stores Lead the Way By Example!

What does it take to spur companies into investing in solar power?  In Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick’s 2008 initiative directed at large retail stores seems to have done the trick.  He urged the use of alternative energy sources, making the point that large flat roofs are ideal for use in capturing solar power.  His call has been answered by a number of retailers, such as Shaw’s Supermarkets located in Burlington and Webster and the Stop & Shop, which installed solar panels in Dedham, Dorchester, and Somerville stores.  And now Walmart is planning to contribute to the state’s solar power initiative, in a big way.

America’s largest retail store, Walmart, has stated plans to install solar panels on the roofs of approximately half of its 50 or so Massachusetts stores.  This is all expected to be completed as early as August, and Walmart representatives say that this effort is a part of the expansion of solar power throughout Massachusetts.

At this point, these environmentally friendly plans for 27 Walmarts in MA are in the engineering phase.  Local permits, for instance, need to be obtained for each location.

Walmart Stores Lead the Way in Solar Implementation.

Once the solar panels have been installed in the selected Walmarts, they will be capable of collectively generating enough energy to provide power for as many as 2,600 homes, which equals approximately 10.5 megawatts worth of energy.  How does that compare with the governor’s goal?  Gov. Patrick’s hope is that big-box retailers will supply 250 megawatts of solar-generating capacity by the year 2017 – enough for 37,500 homes. The disappointing part of that equation is that in reality the power will all go to helping the big box store, not to powering homes. But all that can change… one homeowner or small business location at a time.

Just imagine if consumers and small business owners started using their own roof tops to begin generating power for residential and commercial use. That is our goal at North American Solar Stores, to make Solar Energy a sensible and economical alternative to ever-increasing utility bills. If the big box stores can do it, why can’t we! Our NASS Solar Store member in Barre, MA is fully equipped to sell and install both solar electric / solar pv systems and solar hot water / solar thermal systems.

When you look at the numbers, it appears that Walmart will barely scratch the surface of the solar energy goals.  But there are already 105 megawatts of solar power installed in Massachusetts, which adds up to approximately 40 percent of the ultimate goal.  So the Walmart effort definitely gives the state’s goal a nice boost.  Patrick said, “This is another step forward in the Commonwealth’s clean-energy mission and will help make Massachusetts a better place for the next generation.”

Massachusetts isn’t the first state in which Walmart is getting in on solar power.  Several of their stores in California, Arizona, and Hawaii have solar panels installed on their roofs.  Construction is underway to install solar panels on stores in Colorado and New Jersey.  At this point, Walmart stores in the USA produce 50 megawatts worth of solar generating capacity, which is enough to supply all the power needed for 12,500 homes. Walmart says that its goal is to beat current utility prices or at least match them when deciding to go solar with a store location.

Massachusetts Solar Store in Barre 

Solar Store at Higgins Energy - Solar panels in Barre, MA

The new Higgins Store will be open soon in Barre, MA

Higgins Energy Alternatives is ready to install Solar Panels in Royalston, Massachusetts – Winchendon, Massachusetts – Athol, Massachusetts – Petersham, Massachusetts – Barre, Massachusetts – Hardwick, Massachusetts – New Braintree, Massachusetts – West Brookfield, Massachusetts – Oakham, Massachusetts – Rutland, Massachusetts – Phillipston, Massachusetts – Templeton, Massachusetts – Hubbardston, Massachusetts – Leicester, Massachusetts – Spencer, Massachusetts – North Brookfield, Massachusetts – Auburn, Massachusetts – Oxford, Massachusetts – Princeton, Massachusetts – Holden, Massachusetts – Sterling, Massachusetts – Gardner, Massachusetts – Warren, Massachusetts – Charlton, Massachusetts – Dudley, Massachusetts – Worcester, Massachusetts – West Boylston, Massachusetts – Westminster, Massachusetts

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