Boston: Check Your Solar Savings, Costs, Incentives, Rebates, and Tax Breaks
Massachusetts, as you may know, is a great state when it comes to encouraging residential renewable installations.
While you may not think of Boston as the sunniest place in the union it has a lot to offer when it comes to solar.
Between great rebates and programs, there’s never been a better time to keep the power of the sun in mind. Boston is the place to be as it turns out when it comes to going green, both when it comes to your pocketbook and the environment.
Return on Investment for Residential Solar Energy in Boston
In Massachusetts, a solar panel system will typically cost you about $18,000 on average. While this is actually lower than what people in other states typically pay for an installation, it can still be a very hefty investment for most people.
But luckily, there are tax credits and rebates to consider.
The city of Boston will cut you a check for your installation, up to $2,800. Add in the 30% Federal solar tax credit, which cuts about $4,650 off your initial first year costs, and the state tax credit, which is available for a maximum of $1,000 and you’ll be down to about $9,550. This is less than half of what you might pay in other states for the initial investment.
It’s pretty incredible and that’s before you consider your profits from energy production, your 100% property tax exempt increase in property value, and how much you can save on energy each year.
- The initial cost of a 5KW system is about $18,000.
- Boston’s rebate program averages about $2,800.
- Between the state and Federal tax credit, you’re down an additional $5,650.
- This brings your first year cost down to $9,550
- Your system should pay for itself within 4 years.
- Your solar panel system will add about $19,000 additional property value on your home.
The above figures are just an estimate cost for an average home in Boston. Off course, every home and location is unique.
Boston Solar Panel Installation Process
Solar in Boston sure sounds like a good deal. And the good news is, it’s easy to get started today.
The first step is to fill out our free solar power information form. By providing us with basic information about your property and situation we can refer you to a local solar panel installation team in your area.
The installation process typically takes anywhere from three to four days to complete. Once completed, all you have to do is sit back, relax, and watch as the savings roll in.
Let’s sum it all up:
2. Talk to local installation teams.
3. Arrange home visit and review quotes.
4. Sign the installation agreement.
5. Enjoy the savings and your greener lifestyle.
Boston MA: Solar Power Incentives, Tax Breaks, and Rebates
As a Bostonite, you have a lot to look forward to when it comes to adopting the sun as an energy resource.
Between great rebates, tax credits and exemptions, owning a solar PV system is both affordable and a great investment.
Massachusetts is also a great state when it comes to encouraging both residents and utility to turn their attention to the sun.
In Boston, count on the city to cut you a check for your system. There may not be a statewide rebate program anymore but the city and utility based rebate programs are still fantastic.
In Boston, you can expect a check covering about a third of the system’s cost, with a cap of $2,800, a fantastic rebate all around.
Massachusetts’ RPS isn’t too shabby. A RPS, or renewable portfolio standard, calls for a certain percentage of energy to be produced via renewable sources like wind or sun.
By 2030, the state hopes to produce 30% of their energy from renewable sources alone. 0.5%, a rate which could be better, is to come exclusively from solar installations.
But never the less, this RPS is a good step in the right direction and this gives utility companies plenty of motivation to consider humble residential systems, benefiting you as a resident and energy producer.
A strong RPS is important when it comes to both helping a state become more green and encouraging utility companies to look into renewable energy.
Boston Tax Credits
In Boston, you can benefit from both the state tax credit and the Federal tax credit. The state tax credit covers 15% of the system’s cost, up to a maximum of $1,000.
The Federal tax credit, which is available until the end of 2016, when it will expire, covers 30% of the system’s cost as a tax credit.
This is great motivation when it comes to installing your own system. Act quickly though, The Federal tax credit certainly won’t last forever and is only available for systems installed before or during 2016.
Tax Exemptions in Boston
But that’s not the only tax benefit you can expect when you’re a Bostonite. You can enjoy a 100% property tax exemption for up to 20 years. This is great news when you consider the fact that, by then, you’ll have usually begun earning a profit on your system well before then and the increase in property value can be up to $19,000.
Electricity Rates in Boston
Electricity rates in Boston average about 15.2 cents per kilowatt. This is above the national average of 11.43 cents per kilowatt.
As you know, those prices quickly add up when it comes to calculating your utility bill every month and prices fluctuate.
Solar energy is a great way to cut the cost of your utilities and become less dependent on the general electric grid for your power.
Boston Net Metering
Boston has a tiered net metering system. Different sizes of systems fall into different tiers. Most installations, such as your 5kW system, fall into the class 1 tier.
This means that excess energy that you don’t use can be redeemed as credits on your next electric bill and these credits will roll over indefinitely.
But we would be amiss to not talk about the SREC program. SRECS, also known as solar renewable energy credits, are basically proof that you produced a certain amount of energy. Utility companies will purchase these from you.
Right now, expect about $285 per SREC. Since you’ll produce, on average, about 6 SRECS a year, this nets you about $1,700 alone in SREC sales every year, depending on the current market value of SRECs.
Boston Solar with Zero Money Down: Financing Options
We have to admit that Boston is one of the best places in the union to buy a solar panel system. But that initial cost of about $18,000 can still be a hefty investment for most people.
Luckily, there is an array of financing options you can consider.
In some cases, you may even be able to obtain a solar panel system for zero money down, which sounds like a great deal to us, and can still make a big difference when it comes to your utility bills over the long run.
Residents can consider leases, loans, or PPAs. Let’s explore what these options mean for you:
A solar lease is, by far, one of the most popular financing options. And it’s no wonder why.
A solar lease allows you to obtain a solar system for zero money down. With a lease, you’ll only be responsible for your monthly lease payments and whatever you may still be drawing off of the electric grid, with the ability to purchase the system later.
Most lease agreements last for about 20 to 25 years. You won’t have to make the hefty initial investment and can begin saving on your utilities almost immediately with the ability to become an owner depending on the terms of your lease.
Another great financing option to consider is a solar loan. Loans make a lot of sense. An increasing number of bankers and lenders are now considering offering solar loans due to the fact that they have a lot of long-term financial value, both when it comes to the profit that a solar system can produce over time and the increase in property value it can provide a home with (It’s like a new porch with a better value).
As such, you may be able to obtain a loan that can cover most, if not all of the cost of the system.
Consider your financial and credit situation before applying and make sure you’ll be able to make monthly payments on your loan. This can be an easy way to obtain a solar panel system without making a hefty out of pocket investment and it can be an affordable option depending on your situation.
But don’t discount a solar PPA, or solar purchase power agreement. Depending on your situation this may be available to you.
In this situation, you’ll basically enter an agreement to allow a company, landlord, or so on to install a solar panel system on your rooftop. You’ll then purchase your electricity directly through the system’s owners.
You will not technically own the system and all rebates, tax credits, or SREC benefits will only be able to be redeemed by the actual owners.
However, this can be a great option since you won’t have to pay anything for the system, just whatever power you’re receiving at a great discount from your original utility bill. You also won’t have to be responsible for maintaining or repairing the system.
All in all, this is a good option if you want to benefit from lower cost electricity but aren’t necessarily interested in becoming involved with the intricacies of actually purchasing the system for yourself and becoming an owner.
Solar is a great investment when you live in Boston. Even though Boston may not be a stereotypically sunny city, there’s still a lot you can stand to gain from adopting this great, green source of energy. And it’s all thanks to the great implementations taken by the State's government to encourage renewable development.
The RPS is a strong 30% by 2030, not bad when compared to the rest of the nation.
There’s a lot of financial incentive for you too. Between the Boston rebate program, which covers about 1/3 of the system’s cost with a cap of $2,800, and the federal and state tax credits, you can drop the initial system’s cost significantly down from the initial $18,000 investment. On average, the system can pay for itself within 4 to 7 years.
But we get it. $18,000 is still a very hefty investment. That’s why it’s great to know that there are plenty of nice financing options too.
A solar lease can help you obtain a system for zero money down. A loan allows you to purchase the system without paying for everything out of pocket. And a solar PPA allows you to consider letting a landlord or a company install a system on your home without having to be responsible for maintaining it at all.
Solar is a great deal in Boston. So why not embrace the power of the sun today?