Massachusetts Solar Rebates And Incentives

Rebates list

Massachusetts Rebates and Incentives Summary

MassachusettsResidents of Massachusetts are offered a wealth of options for funding the installation of a solar energy system in their homes. State lawmakers have taken an interest in ensuring that renewable energy is, and will remain, a lucrative and ever-growing source of both energy and revenue. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center uses funds that are collected from all electricity ratepayers in the state to finance grants and rebates for individuals and companies interested in installing renewable energy systems. The goal is to expand the role of renewable energy sources in meeting residential, commercial, industrial, institutional, and municipal energy needs.

Compensation for taxes for residential systems includes a state personal income tax credit up to $1000, state sales tax exemption on the purchase of any solar, wind or geothermal equipment, as well as local property tax exemption. Statewide organizations and utility companies offer rebates and incentives to offset the cost of a new photovoltaic system.

 

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Alternative Energy and Energy Conservation Patent Income Tax Deduction (Corporate)

Summary
Massachusetts offers a corporate income tax deduction for (1) any income -- including royalty income -- received from the sale or lease of a U.S. patent deemed beneficial for energy conservation or alternative energy development by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, and (2) any income received from the sale or lease of personal or real property or materials manufactured in Massachusetts and subject to the approved patent. The deduction is effective for up to five years from the date of issuance of the U.S. patent or the date of approval by the Massachusetts Department of Energy

Alternative Energy and Energy Conservation Patent Income Tax Deduction (Personal)

Summary
Massachusetts offers a personal income tax deduction for (1) any income -- including royalty income -- received from the sale or lease of a U.S. patent deemed beneficial for energy conservation or alternative energy development by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, and (2) any income received from the sale or lease of personal or real property or materials manufactured in Massachusetts and subject to the approved patent. The deduction is effective for up to five years from the date of issuance of the U.S. patent or the date of approval by the Massachusetts Department of Energy

Building Energy Code

Summary

Much of the information presented in this summary is drawn from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Building Energy Codes Program and the Building Codes Assistance Project (BCAP). For more detailed information about building energy codes, visit the DOE and BCAP web sites.

The Massachusetts Board of Building Regulations and Standards has authority to promulgate the Massachusetts State Building Code (MSBC). The energy provisions in the MSBC were developed by the Board's Energy Advisory Committee. The state's 351 cities and towns enforce the code. Only a building code board of appeals,

Cape Light Compact- Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Summary

Cape Light Compact (CLC) offers a variety of financial incentives to customers for purchasing energy efficient residential equipment. Residential customers can take advantage of incentives on weatherization measures, solar water heaters, central AC systems, heat pumps, oil and propane heating equipment, refrigerators, freezers, and other home appliances. Installation of a central AC systems and heat pumps must be performed by a pre-approved contractor, who will provide the rebate form. Instant rebates for certain appliances are also available at participating retailers.

CLC also offers home

Commercial Solar Hot Water Rebate Program

Summary

Beginning in August 2011, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) will provide grants* for feasibility studies of commercial solar hot water systems through the Commercial Solar Hot Water Program. This program is open to residential buildings with five or more units, as well as commercial, industrial, institutional, and public facilities that will require nine or more collectors. Smaller projects should apply under the Residential and Small-Scale Solar Hot Water Program.

Commercial Solar Hot Water rebates are available to electricity customers served by the following Massachusetts

Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Program

Summary

NOTE: This program opened its most recent round of funding on March 13, 2017. Applications may be submitted until August 21, 2017. 

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources are currently offering rebates through the Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Program. This program assists eligible Massachusetts residents with the cost of replacing non-EPA certified wood-fired stoves with EPA-certified, low-emission woodstoves, pellet stoves, and fireplace inserts. Old stoves must be

Energy Efficiency Fund

Summary

Massachusetts's 1997 electric utility restructuring legislation created separate public benefits funds to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency for all customer classes. Both funds were significantly revised by legislation enacted in July 2008 (The Green Communities Act, S.B. 2768). The 2008 Green Communities Act directs the electric and gas program administrators to “first acquire all available energy efficiency that is cost effective or less than the cost of supply."

The energy efficiency fund is authorized to support energy efficiency programs, including demand-side management (DSM

Energy Reduction Plan for State Buildings

Summary

In April 2007, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed Executive Order 484, titled “Leading by Example: Clean Energy and Efficient Buildings.” This order establishes numerous energy targets and mandates for state government buildings under control of the executive office. These include the following:

  • Overall energy consumption at state-owned and state-leased buildings should be reduced by 20% by FY 2012 and 35% by FY 2020. Such reductions shall be based on a FY 2004 baseline and measured on a BTU per square foot basis.
  • Reduce state government unadjusted greenhouse gas emissions from the

Excise Tax Deduction for Solar or Wind Powered Systems

Summary

In Massachusetts, businesses may deduct from net income, for state excise tax purposes, expenditures paid or incurred from the installation of any "solar or wind powered climatic control unit and any solar or wind powered water heating unit or any other type unit or system powered thereby," including labor expenditures. The installation must be located in Massachusetts and used exclusively in the business or trade of the business. Certain criteria must be met, see the Massachusetts Department of Revenue guidance for more information.

Furthermore, a system or unit that qualifies for this

Excise Tax Exemption for Solar or Wind Powered Systems

Summary

Massachusetts law exempts any "solar or wind powered climatic control unit and any solar or wind powered water heating unit or any other type unit or system powered thereby," that qualifies for the state's excise tax deduction for these systems from the tangible property measure of the state's corporate excise tax. The exemption is in effect for the length of the system's depreciation period. 

Note: For information about what constitutes the corporate excise tax, please visit the official Massachusetts website.

Green Communities Grant Program

Summary

Note: The Green Communities Grant Program is not currently accepting applications. The application deadline to receive a Green Communities designation was November 21, 2016. For designated communities, the grant application period closed February 10, 2017.

In 2008, Massachusetts enacted the Green Communities Act (S.B. 2768), creating the Green Communities Division within the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to support Massachusetts communities efforts towards a sustainable future, specifically in terms of energy use. 

The Green Communities Division offers educational, technical, and

Green Power Purchasing Commitment

Summary

In April 2007, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick signed Executive Order 484, titled “Leading by Example: Clean Energy and Efficient Buildings.” This order establishes numerous energy targets and mandates for state government buildings under control of the executive office. The order directed state government agencies to procure 15% of annual electricity consumption from renewable sources by 2012 and 30% by 2020. This mandate may be achieved through procurement of renewable energy supply, purchase of renewable energy certificates (RECs), and/or through the production of on-site renewable power

Interconnection Standards

Summary

Massachusetts' interconnection standards apply to all forms of distributed generation (DG), including renewables, and to all customers of the state's three investor-owned utilities (Unitil, Eversource, and National Grid).

Massachusetts requires investor-owned utilities to have standard interconnection tariffs. There are three basic paths for interconnection in the state:

  • The Simplified interconnection process applies to IEE 1547.1-certified, inverter-based facilities with: 
  1. A power rating of 15 kW or less for single-phase systems located on a radial distribution circuit, 
  2. A power rating of 25

Local Option - Commercial PACE Financing

Summary

Note: In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are now operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Local Option - Energy Revolving Loan Fund

Summary

Note: In 2010, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), which has authority over mortgage underwriters Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, directed these enterprises against purchasing mortgages of homes with a PACE lien due to its senior status above a mortgage. Most residential PACE activity subsided following this directive; however, some residential PACE programs are now operating with loan loss reserve funds, appropriate disclosures, or other protections meant to address FHFA's concerns. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development

Mass Solar Loan Program

Summary

Massachusetts offers fixed low-interest loans to residents purchasing solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. One purpose of this program is to provide more opportunity for residents to own solar PV systems, rather than enter into third-party ownership arrangements. This program is administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, with oversight from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. The program is funded by alternative compliance payments paid to comply with the state's renewable portfolio standard.

Eligibility Requirements

Loans are available to Massachusetts residents purchasing

Model As-of Right Zoning Ordinance or Bylaw: Allowing Use of Large-Scale Solar Energy Facilities

Summary

Note: This model ordinance was designed to provide guidance to local governments seeking to develop siting rules for large-scale, ground-mounted solar (250 kW and above). While it was developed as part of a cooperative effort involving several state agencies, the model itself has no legal or regulatory authority.

As part of the Green Communities Act (passed in 2008), the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) developed an “as-of-right siting,”* model ordinance guiding the development of large-scale solar,

Model As-of Right Zoning Ordinance or Bylaw: Allowing Use of Wind Energy Facilities

Summary

Note: This model ordinance was designed to provide guidance to local governments seeking to develop their own siting rules for wind turbines. While it was developed as part of a cooperative effort involving several state agencies, the model itself has no legal or regulatory authority. 

In 2007, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs (EOEA) issued a model ordinance or by-law that may be modified and adopted, as necessary, by local governments that want to promote wind-energy development. In 2009, DOER and EOEA

Net Metering

Summary

Eligibility and Availability

In Massachusetts, the state's investor-owned utilities are required to offer net metering. Municipal utilities are not obligated to offer net metering, but they may do so voluntarily. (There are no electric cooperatives in Massachusetts.) 

Massachusetts has three categories of net metering facilities:

  • Class I Facilities: any type of generating systems up to 60 kilowatts (kW) in capacity. 
  • Class II Facilities: systems greater than 60 kW and up to 1 megawatt (MW) in capacity that generate electricity from agricultural products, solar energy, or wind energy. 
  • Class III

Renewable Energy Equipment Sales Tax Exemption

Summary

Massachusetts law exempts from the state's sales tax "equipment directly relating to any solar, windpowered; or heat pump system, which is being utilized as a primary or auxiliary power system for the purpose of heating or otherwise supplying the energy needs of an individual's principal residence in the commonwealth."

Massachusetts Tax Form ST-12 is available on the Massachusetts Department of Revenue web site. The form may be completed and presented to the vendor at the time of purchase.

Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption

Summary

Massachusetts law provides that solar energy systems and wind energy systems used as a primary or auxiliary power system for the purpose of heating or otherwise supplying the energy needs of taxable property are exempt from local property tax for a 20-year period.* Hydropower facilities are also exempt from local property tax for a 20-year period if a system owner enters into an agreement with the city or town to make a payment (in lieu of taxes) of at least 5% of its gross income in the preceding calendar year.

This incentive applies only to the value added to a property by an eligible

Renewable Energy Trust Fund

Summary

The renewable energy fund, known as the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust Fund, is supported by a non-bypassable surcharge of $0.0005 per kilowatt-hour (0.5 mill/kWh), imposed on customers of all investor-owned electric utilities and competitive municipal utilities in Massachusetts. (Non-competitive municipal utilities generally may opt into the Fund by agreeing to the same provisions that apply to investor-owned utilities and competitive municipal utilities.) 

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a quasi-public research and development entity, administers the Fund with oversight and

Residential & Small-Scale Air-Source Heat Pump Program

Summary

Massachusetts offers rebates for the installation of small-scale, high-efficiency, cold-climate air-source heat pumps (ASHPs) in residential, commercial, public, and non-profit buildings.

Project sites must be located in a utility territory that contributes to the Renewable Energy Trust Fund (National Grid, Eversource, Unitil, and municipal light plants that have agreed to pay into the fund). Alternatively, the project may be located in the territory of a municipal light plant that does not pay into the fund if the project will be replacing an existing (non-ASHP) electric heating system.

Residential & Small-Scale Biomass Heating Program

Summary

The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center offers rebates for installing small-scale central wood pellet heating systems in residential, commercial, public, and non-profit buildings.

Project sites must be located in a utility territory that contributes to the Renewable Energy Trust Fund (National Grid, Eversource, Unitil, and municipal light plants that have agreed to pay into the fund). Project sites must also be occupied year-round.

Rebates amounts vary by type of project. A thermal storage adder is also available for the lesser of 100% of thermal storage system installation costs or $2,000

Residential & Small-Scale Ground-Source Heat Pump Program

Summary

Massachusetts offers rebates for the installation of new, small-scale high-efficiency ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs) in residential, multi-family, commercial, institutional, and non-profit buildings. 

Project sites must be located in a utility territory that contributes to the Renewable Energy Trust Fund (National Grid, Eversource, Unitil, and municipal light plants that have agreed to pay into the fund). Project sites must also be occupied year-round.

Rebate amount varies by the size of the system(s) installed. Efficiency adders are available and are based on the system's Coefficient

Residential & Small-Scale Solar Hot Water Program

Summary

Eligibility

Since February 2011, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) has provided rebates for the installation of residential and small commercial solar hot water systems through the Residential and Small-Scale Solar Hot Water Program. Rebates are available to electricity customers served by the following Massachusetts investor-owned electric utilities: Fitchburg Gas and Electric Light (Unitil), National Grid, and Eversource. In addition, customers of certain municipal lighting plants (MLPs) are eligible. Only residents that live in territories that contribute to the MassCEC

Residential New Construction Program

Summary

In Massachusetts, home builders constructing new homes in territories of sponsoring utilities and energy efficiency service providers* can receive up to $7,000 in incentives for building a home more efficient than the typical Massachusetts home.

The incentives offered in the Massachusetts program vary depending on the tier level achieved and the type of housing. The incentives listed here are for single-family (detached or up to 4-attached units) homes. For the multi-family incentives, see the MassSave website.

There are two options for participation in the program: the prescriptive path

Solar Easements & Rights Laws

Summary

Solar access provisions in Massachusetts allow for the creation of voluntary solar easements to protect solar exposure and authorizes zoning rules that prohibit unreasonable restrictions on solar access. Similar to solar easement provisions in many other states, solar easements in Massachusetts allow for the voluntary creation of solar access contracts, but do not make solar access an automatic right. In addition, the statutes allow for communities to authorize zoning boards to issue permits creating solar rights.

Massachusetts also prohibits restrictions on solar devices, voiding "any

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC-II)

Summary

Note: Massachusetts is in the process of implementing a new solar incentive program - the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program - to follow the SREC II program. 

Massachusetts' renewable portfolio standard (RPS) requires each regulated electricity supplier/provider serving retail customers in the state* to include in the electricity it sells 15% qualifying renewables by December 31, 2020. Legislation enacted in July 2008 (S.B. 2768) significantly expanded the RPS, establishing two separate renewable standards -- a standard for “Class I” renewables and a standard for “Class II”