Solar by State


Incentives Make Solar More Affordable Than Ever

The combination of government and utility incentives can drive down the cost of your solar installation by more than 50%! Federal, State, and Local governments, along with utilities, are pitching in to lower the cost of home solar power because solar is a great investment for them as well as for you. If you choose to lease your solar system, you still benefit because most of these incentives transfer to your system owner. The incentives require some paperwork, which Astrum Solar will take care of for you.

Federal, State and Local Rebates

Federal Rebate

The Federal rebate is very straightforward. It is 30% off your installation price. It’s a simple one page form that attaches to your Federal tax return and you will get your money as a tax rebate. There is no risk money will run out.

Commonwealth Solar Program

The current Massachusetts grant is $.40 per watt for the first 5 kW of installed capacity, with a maximum grant of $2,000. Since 2006, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center’s Renewable Energy Trust has helped install over 30 MW of solar electric power systems in the state. In order to receive a Massachusetts state solar grant your residence must be connected to an investor-owned electric utility. Solar installations greater than 15kW in size are not eligible.

System owners with moderate income or home values are eligible for an additional $.40 per watt grant adder ($.80 per watt total grant). To qualify system owners must meet one of the following requirements:

  • Moderate Home Value
    Must be the owner and resident of the home, and the most recent assessed home value (land and building(s)) of the owner’s primary residence, must be less than or equal to the value established for their county.

    Berkshire, Franklin, Hampden, and Hampshire ≤ $300,000
    Bristol, Suffolk, and Worcester ≤ $350,000
    Barnstable, Duke, Essex, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, and Plymouth ≤ $400,000

  • Moderate Income
    The gross income of the system owner as documented in their most recent IRS filing, must be less than or equal to the values established for Individual Income (for single-person households) or for Domestic Unit Income (for households of two or more individuals).

    Individual Income ≤ $75,810 (120% of median household income)
    Domestic Unit Income ≤ $95,420 (120% of median family income)

Astrum Solar is an approved Commonwealth Solar Program Expedited Installer partner. For more information on the program see the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center website.

Residential State Income Tax Credit

Massachusetts residents are offered a personal income tax credit equal to 15% of the total installation and labor costs, with a maximum credit of $1,000.

Solar Renewable Energy Credits

Most states have laws requiring utilities to produce a percentage of their electricity using renewable sources of energy (or pay a fine to the state). The utility can meet this requirement by buying Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) from solar homeowners. It’s a win-win-win situation! You get money from the utility for putting up solar panels, the utilities don’t need to become experts in adding solar to roofs, and the state gets more solar installations.

What is one SREC Worth?

When you use our Solar Calculator to get an estimate for a solar installation for your home, it will show you the price we can offer you for your SRECs. You can also visit Astrum SRECs to learn more.

In 2012, the utility companies pay a fine of $550 for each SREC that they are missing from their required portfolio at the end of the year. Therefore, the utility should be willing to pay a homeowner somewhere between this ceiling price and $285, the floor price set at auction, for each SREC so that they don’t have to pay the state $550 for each missing SREC. The fine, called the Alternative Compliance Penalty (ACP) is reviewed each year by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and may decline over time as the SREC supply increases. The Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard is 6% in 2011 and is set to increase by 1% each year, reaching 15% by 2020, and continuing until the DOER suspends the annual increase.