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.
Loans are available to Massachusetts residents purchasing a solar PV system or a share in a behind-the-meter community shared solar system. Third-party owned projects are not eligible to participate in this program. Qualified projects must have a minimum cost of $3,000; the maximum project cost is $60,000.
Projects that have received a rebate through the Commonwealth Solar II Program or Solarize Mass programs are not eligible to participate in the Mass Solar Loan Program. System owners must attest that they have had an energy audit within the past five years or have one scheduled, and projects must be installed by a professional, licensed contractor to be eligible for a loan. More information about project eligibility is available in the Program Manual.
Lenders are required to offer both secured and unsecured loans up to $35,000, but may offer loans up to $60,000 at their discretion. Loans with a 10-year term are required to be offered, but shorter and longer terms may also be offered at the lender's discretion. Program loans have fixed interest rates with a maximum gross rate of the Wall Street Journal Prime + 2.75%. Closing costs must not exceed $500 per loan.
Income-qualified customers are eligible to have a portion of their loan principal paid by the Mass Solar Loan Program, up to $10,500. Income qualified customers may also be eligible for an interest rate buy down of 1.5%. Details on income thresholds by household size and available incentives are available here.