Massachusetts residential solar energy incentives

Residential renewable energy state income tax credit:

-The state of Massachusetts allows a 15% tax credit against the state income tax for the entire cost of a renewable system including installation up to $1,000.
-Eligible renewable systems include solar photovoltaics, solar water, solar space heating and wind energy systems.
-Excess tax credit may be forwarded for three years.
-Systems must be new and meet all safety and performance standards to qualify for this credit.

Mass Energy – Renewable energy certificate incentive:

-Mass Energy buys renewable energy credits from photovoltaic systems as well as small wind energy systems and sells those REC’s combined with hydro and biomass REC’s as a New England GreenStart product.
-Purchasing renewable energy certificates allows customers who do not have their own solar or wind system to support and use renewable energy in their home instead of conventional electricity.
-The Energy Consumers Alliance of New England purchases REC’s from Massachusetts renewable energy systems at $30 per megawatt hour ($0.03 per kilowatt hour) for three years.

Renewable energy property tax exemption:

-Residential solar energy or wind devices installed to heat or cool a structure, generate electricity or provide heat to be used in the structure are 100% exempt from property taxes.
-Eligible systems include photovoltaics, solar water heat, solar thermal electric wind, and hydroelectric.

Renewable energy equipment sales tax exemption:

-In the state of Massachusetts, solar energy equipment, geothermal equipment and wind equipment are 100% exempt from state sales tax.

Commonwealth solar rebates – Massachusetts Technology Collaborative:

-This State rebate program provides incentives for the installation of photovoltaics that are grid-tied to customers of participating Massachusetts utility companies.
-Base incentive amount is $1.00 per watt. Incentive amounts may vary depending upon PV system size and home value.
-PV systems must have a minimum 5 year warranty and must meet all safety and performance standards and installation requirements to qualify.

Utility-sponsored loan and solar rebate programs:

-Many utility loan and rebate programs are available throughout the state of Massachusetts, provided by municipal cities and utility companies.
-Information and details on all the different programs are available on the internet.
-Details and requirements for each program will vary.
-Loan and rebate programs are generally available for customers who install solar photovoltaic and solar water heat systems. Loans are also available to make energy efficiency improvements as well.
-Loans are usually 0% interest or low interest loans to help with the purchase and installation of solar and other energy efficiency technologies.
-Rebate amounts are typically determined by a per-watt AC basis and depending on the system’s size and applicable sector.

Residential renewable energy tax credit:

-This personal tax credit allows the taxpayer to claim a credit of 30% of expenditures including labor costs and installation of qualified residential solar-electric systems, solar water heating systems or fuel cells. Small wind-energy systems and geothermal heat pumps can also be accredited for.
-Solar-electric systems and solar water heaters have a maximum incentive of $2,000 if placed in service before 2009. There is no maximum incentive for systems placed after 2008.
-The excess amount of the federal tax credit may be carried forward to the next taxable year if it exceeds tax liability.
-This can be carried forward until 2016, but after that, it is unknown if the unused credit will be able to be forwarded.

Residential energy conservation subsidy exclusion:

-This is a personal exemption of 100% of energy conservation subsidies provided by public utilities.
-The value of a purchase or installation of any energy conservation measure by a customer such as solar water heat, solar space heat or photovoltaics will not be included in the customer’s gross income.
-Customers of an electric utility company, who participate in the utility’s energy conservation program, may receive a rate reduction of electricity furnished or a nonrefundable credit against the purchase price of the electricity on each monthly electric bill.

Energy-efficient mortgages:

-This is a federal loan program where homeowners can use EEM (energy-efficient mortgages) to finance renewable energy technologies in a home.