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Massachusetts governor Charlie Baker has announced six new programs aimed at making solar energy more affordable for MA residents.
The new programs use money from U.S. federal government incentives and state funds to help combat climate change and lower energy bills for homeowners. The goal is to put solar panels on the roofs of those who previously could not afford them. The plan involves using the rebates set aside for solar and the money raised by companies who want to lower their carbon emissions.
These potentially massive savings for middle-class Massachusetts homeowners are explained below.
key solar facts:
There are several incentives that make it attractive to upgrade to solar. One is the federal tax credit, which applies nationwide.
All the other incentives depend on the state in which you live. Some states are more politically inclined to support green energy than others and some are sunnier than others, making solar more attractive and incentives less necessary to get people on board.
“Government-regulated, often publicly traded utilities around the country…are waging war against solar in attempts to preserve the utility monopoly business model – in other words, practically guaranteed profits.”
Mark Durrenberger, The Energy Miser Blog
If you live here you know that already…but it’s especially true when it comes to incentives to go solar.
Massachusetts provides a state tax credit of 15% of the cost of installation or $1,000, whichever is less. In practice, that usually means that if you go solar you get $1,000 from the Commonwealth.
This is NOT a tax deduction, but a tax credit (i.e., if you don’t owe the state money, they cut you a check). This is just the tip of the iceberg, the real reason MA has the best incentives is related to “SRECs” which we’ll explain below.
There are also six new programs announced by the governor that are designed to further reduce costs for families that qualify.
This is because governments and companies are encouraging people to go solar but once some critical mass of families DO go solar, there’s no need to provide big incentives anymore.
“[S]olar incentives were always designed to decline over time. The cynic in me thinks state leadership bought the utilities’ “cost” arguments hook, line, and sinker. Since solar has cut into the monopoly utility business by a whole 4%, it must be slowed down…”
Mark Durrenberger, The Energy Miser Blog
Even the 30% federal tax credit for solar is designed to “sunset” or disappear in a few years. As the federal government struggles with an enormous deficit and state governments seek to balance their own budgets, solar incentives are likely to continue declining.
All this means that if you’re interested in lower energy bills and cleaner, more sustainable electric power…NOW is the time.
The mission of Suntrica is to disseminate the best, most up-to-date and reliable information on renewable energy options for your home. We focus on select U.S. states to provide information where it is most needed and useful. We aim to help the average U.S. homeowner take the next steps toward a more affordable and sustainable future for their home energy needs.
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