It pays big to go solar. Besides saving money on your electric bill, purchasing solar panels brings huge benefits to homeowners. There are three major incentives for going solar: the SMART Program, Federal & State Tax Credits, and Net Metering.
The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program is a performance-based incentive that compensates you for the electricity you generate. For ten years, you’ll receive a monthly check based on your electricity production.
With SMART, the longer you wait to go solar, the less financial incentive you receive because it’s structured as a declining block model. When you sign up for solar, you’re assigned to a block that dictates the rate you’ll be compensated. However, these blocks have a fixed solar energy capacity (in megawatts), and once the blocks fill up, new solar owners go to the next block where they receive a lower incentive rate.
Along with a 15% state tax credit worth up to $1000, the Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) refunds you on your tax return for 26% of the total cost of your solar installation. Like SMART, this incentive is declining, so the sooner you go solar, the more you save. In 2021, the rate will be 22%, and by 2022, the credit will no longer be available for residential installations.
Many grid-tied solar owners also earn money through a billing mechanism called net metering. When your system produces more energy than you need, the surplus electricity is sent to the grid and you earn credits for it. You can utilize those credits to pay your electric bills in months when your production is lower. In New England, you generally overproduce electricity in the spring and summer and in the winter months, because production is lower, you can use the credits you have accumulated.
Maximize Your Investment
The best time to invest in solar is now. We can help you navigate federal and state incentives, so your solar system can earn you money while it saves you money.