Going solar as a Massachusetts homeowner comes with benefits. The Bay State is known for its history and beautiful east coast landscapes. However, it is slowly becoming known for solar. The state passed a bill requiring 40% of energy be renewable by 2030*. The bill is encouraging many incentives to go solar.
Massachusetts utilities operate on Time of Use (TOU) rates, giving you higher rates when you need electricity the most. By going solar you may be able to avoid these TOU rates altogether. You may have lower rates at night, but if you install batteries, you may not need any electricity from the grid. You could even potentially save from net metering.
Be prepared for outages
Massachusetts can have long, cold winters. During snowstorms demand for electricity rises, making blackouts possible. Avoid being frustrated with power outages by going solar. As long as you have batteries, you will have back up power to continue running your home during an outage. The size of the batteries you need depend on your lifestyle needs and how long you want to run off the grid.
Preserve Massachusetts’s outdoors
Massachusetts is filled with beautiful parks, forests, and historical sites. Homeowners are especially proud of their environment, which is why many of them want to preserve it. Every Massachusetts homeowner that goes solar directly contributes to reducing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Going solar can keep your environment beautiful for future generations.
Have predictable payments
In Massachusetts, utilities will bill you according to TOU rates. It can make budgeting nearly impossible. With solar you can stop wondering how much your bill will be each month. If you install batteries, your electricity usage could lessen. Your solar loan payment could remain the same and you may only pay the minimum payment to your utility.
Invest in your home
Home values continue to increase year over year. The average Massachusetts home is valued at $474,673, that’s a 10.4% annual increase.* Keep up with the rising home values in Massachusetts by installing solar. Installing a solar system can also make your home more attractive to potential buyers.** Reinvest into your home instead of giving your money to your utility company.
Solar incentives in Massachusetts*
Massachusetts offers net metering through regulated electric companies (Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil). Net metering pays out 100% of the value of the electricity they deliver to the grid, which includes the value of the fees charge for basic service, distribution, and transmission. The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program is a tariff-based incentive available for Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil customers. It pays a bonus for each kilowatt-hour of electricity produced by a solar system. You can also qualify for an extra incentive if you install a battery to your system. Eversource customers can also qualify for the Connected Solutions program that pays an additional incentive annually in exchange for access and use electricity stored in your battery during high demand periods. It offers $225 per kilowatt for your battery’s average contribution furing summer events and $50 per kilowatt during winter events.
Massachusetts homeowners are also eligible for the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).*** The ITC allows you to deduct 26 percent of the cost of installing a solar energy system from your federal taxes.
Going solar is a big decision, and although there are many factors you should consider, local weather shouldn’t be a deterrent. Solar panels are designed to work in almost any type of weather… even snow and clouds!
There are sunny days ahead for solar. The more sun you have access to, the longer your panels work during the day. Your panels work best at converting energy when sun rays shine directly at them. The more energy you produce, the more excess you may be able to send back to the grid. Take advantage of the excess through net metering and other incentive programs.
As the rain pours down, your panels will continue to be hard at work. Solar panels will work with reflected or partially blocked sun rays to keep your home powered. Your production is linked to the amount of clouds. Rain will have some effect on your production, but the rays will still penetrate through the rain. It may actually help keep your panels working efficiently as they wash away any dust or dirt.
It is a misconception that panels don’t work on cloudy days. The best way to know how much the clouds affect your system’s performance is to monitor your system on sunny days and compare. Your system may actually be more efficient without the excess heat. This is because solar systems prefer the cold! The sun’s rays are still able to penetrate through cloudy skies and keep your system running.
Amazingly enough, even when covered in snow a solar system can still produce power! Scattered light filters through snow and reaches solar panels even when the snow cover is fairly heavy. Your solar panels may actual be more efficient in light snow. Cold weather helps them perform better, and usually snow slides right off. Power production may be reduced with heavier snowfall, but your system can still produce.
Solar panels are highly reliable and sturdy, they hardly notice your average winds. In most cases, damage from wind will be due to weakened roofs, not solar panels. This is why we assess your roof condition and reccomend any repairs prior to installing your system. In the event that higher winds cause an outage in the grid, you will still have power if you have batteries with your system.
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*This information is current as of May 5, 2021 and figures are approximate. Customers are encouraged to check with their local utility providers for the most up to date and accurate information.
**We advise you to consult with the appropriate professionals (including, but not limited to, your solicitor or attorney, accountant, CPA, CGA, or any other financial or legal advisor) for the implications of any information contained in our website and in any link you access through our website.
***You should contact a qualified tax expert and consult with them. Neither Freedom Forever’s family of independent authorized dealers nor Freedom Forever itself can give you tax advice. A qualified tax professional will understand your situation and be able to give you the most relevant advice.