Clean Energy Incentives and Rebates for Mass Residents

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1) Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit:

A taxpayer may claim a credit of up to 30% of qualified expenditures for a renewable energy system that serves their residence. Expenditures with respect to the equipment are treated as made when the installation is completed. Expenditures include labor costs for on-site preparation, assembly or original system installation, and for piping or wiring to interconnect a system to the home. If the federal tax credit exceeds tax liability, the excess amount may be carried forward to the succeeding taxable year.

This credit now features a gradual step down in credit over time and will expire 12/31/2021.

The Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit is available for:

  • Solar electricity
  • Solar water-heating
  • Fuel cell technology
  • Small scale wind-energy
  • Geothermal heat pumps

Additional Information:

Energy.gov: Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Energy Star: Federal Tax Credits

2) Massachusetts Personal Income Tax Credit:

A resident or tenant of a residential property in the commonwealth is allowed a energy credit against personal income equal to 15% of the net expenditure for the renewable energy source, or $1,000 – whichever is less.

Only net expenditures paid with respect to renewable energy source property used in connection with the taxpayer’s principal residence may be used to compute the amount of the credit. The term “in connection with” includes, but is not limited to, renewable energy source property in or on a principal residence or residential property.

Principle Residence Eligibility

  • A taxpayer must be a resident of Massachusetts for his or her principal residence to be in Massachusetts. If a taxpayer is resident in Massachusetts and has only one place of residence, that place of residence is the taxpayer’s principal residence.
  • If an owner or tenant changes his or her principal place of residence within a taxable year an energy credit may be claimed for each principal residence of the taxpayer, subject to the maximum credit amount of $1000. Subject to the requirements of this regulation, joint owners of residential property may share any energy credit claimed for renewable energy source property expenditures in the same proportion as their ownership interest in the residential property.
  • A cooperative housing or condominium unit may be treated as a “principal residence” for purposes of the $1000 credit limitation.

Renewable Energy Source Property Eligibility

  • Only renewable energy source property used for residential purposes qualifies for the energy credit. When at least eighty percent of the use of such property is for residential purposes, the entire amount of the renewable energy source expenditure may be used to compute the credit.
  • joint owners of renewable energy source property may share any energy credit claimed for renewable energy source property expenditures in the same proportion as their expenditures for that property. Joint owners are subject to the maximum credit amount of $1000 per principal residence.
  • A renewable energy source expenditure does not include any expenditure for any energy storage medium if the primary function of that medium is not the storage of energy.

Additional Information:

830 CMR 62.6.1: Residential Energy Credit (Mass.gov)

Solar and Wind Energy Credit Tax Form

3) Mass Solar Loan:

Mass Solar Loan connects homeowners interested in solar electricity to solar installers and lenders that have available financing options. Through the program, lenders offer low-interest loans for Massachusetts residents and property owners, including renters and those with moderate incomes or low credit scores. 

Loans for Consumer Residents

  • While terms may vary, lenders will offer 10-year fixed-rate loans between $3,000 and $35,000. Lenders also have the discretion of offering loans up to $60,000. For Non-Income Qualified customers and Moderate Income customers, the maximum market interest rate from lenders is 7.5 percent. For Low Income customers eligible for the Interest Rate Buy Down, the maximum interest rate is 6%.
  • As you close a loan with your preferred lender, the lender will reserve support funds (if applicable) in the Mass Solar Loan portal. The lender will then disburse 35 percent of your loan amount, at which point an interest-only period begins (up to 12 months) while your solar system is being constructed.
  • After your solar system has been connected to the electric grid, your installer will file project completion documents. Upon approval of those documents, the remaining 65 percent of your loan will be disbursed.
  • If you qualified for Income Based Loan Support, this will be paid to your lender in our monthly payment cycle, in the month following your project’s completion approval.

Additional Information

Mass Solar Loan

Mass Solar Loan FAQ

Mass Solar Loan Program Performance

4) Mass Net Metering Program:

Allows customers to offset their energy use and transfer energy back to their electric companies in exchange for credit, thereby decreasing their monthly energy bill.

General Information

  • Regulated electric companies: Eversource, National Grid, Unitil
  • How it works: once you are connected to a meter it will measure the net quantity of electricity that you use, 
    • Using electricity from the company causes the meter to spin forward
    • Generating excess electricity (which is exported back to the grid) causes the meter to spin backward
  • Net Metering Caps:
    • Separated by public and private net metering facilities in general net metering program (GP)
    • Cap load = a percentage of an electric company’s highest historical peak load
      1. Private Cap: 7%
      2. Public Cap: 8%
    • Once the GP cap is filled, new customers require space under that cap cannot participate (does not apply to cap exempt facilities – facilities with nameplate ratings that are less than 10 kw single phase and 25 kw on three-phase circuit)
    • Separate Caps for those participating in the small hydroelectric power net metering program (SHP) – new customers must obtain a cap allocation to participate
  • Eligibility:
    • Must be interconnected by your electric company
    • Must meet electric company’s requirements
    • Must meet rules and regulations
    • May need to apply for cap allocation

Additional Information

Net Metering Guide (Mass.gov)

For additional questions, please email our representative at logan@thebeatnews.org

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