Despite the state’s reputation for its cold, snowy winters, going solar is in fact a great way for Massachusetts residents to save money on their power bills. In this article we take a look at why solar panels are such a great investment for your home or business in Massachusetts.
Why are solar panels so popular in Massachusetts?
2015 was a big year for residential solar power for the USA. Massachusetts is going to be one of the states that leads the way as more and more Massachusetts homeowners and businesses discover the benefits of rooftop solar panels in MA. Once a state filled with underserved renewable demand, Massachusetts is starting to heat up as a leading solar state, according to various data reports.
There are a number of reasons why solar has become so popular in Massachusetts.
- In Massachusetts, solar can help you save money on your power bill: Electricity rates in Massachusetts have been rising steadily in recent years, and they are set continue to increase at a rate of about 3-5% per year. Meanwhile, the cost of solar electricity has been steadily declining. These two trends mean that going solar is a great way to cut your electricity costs – whether you purchase your solar panel system (with cash or with a solar loan) or go solar with a solar lease or power purchase agreement (PPA), solar will help you reduce or eliminate your power bills.
- Solar panels are a high-yielding, secure investment in Massachusetts: In fact, Boston was recently ranked #2 on a list of the top cities for investing in solar in the US. So if you have the cash available, purchasing a solar system is a great way to make your money work for you. In Massachusetts, the average solar power system will pay for itself in 5-8 years, with an internal rate of return (IRR) of up to 22% – better than the average stock market investment, but more secure (as utility electricity rates are highly unlikely to decline in the future). If you know that a cash purchase is not a realistic option for you, consider a $0-down solar loan, which offers comparable returns without the up-front cost.
- Homes with solar panels sell for more: Whether you purchase your system outright or finance it with a loan, you’ll not only be saving money on your power bills – you’ll also be increasing the value of your property. A growing number of studies show that owning a solar panel system will add value to your home. (EnergySage keeps a running list of studies here.) A recent study by Berkley National Laboratory confirms that the nation-wide trend also applies to Massachusetts homes.
- Federal and Massachusetts state subsidies make solar an even sweeter deal: Even without subsidies, solar is becoming competitive with utility electricity rates. On top of the 30% Investment Tax Credit for solar from the federal government (scheduled to expire at the end of 2016), Massachusetts also has a suite of incentives of its own. These include a state-level solar tax credit (15% of what you paid for your system or $1,000 – whichever is greater) and a solar net-metering policy that ensures that your utility pays you a fair rate for your extra solar power. Additionally, Massachusetts has a Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC) market, which means you will earn bonus cash for your solar power every month – above and beyond the money that you will save on your electricity bill.
- Solar helps you cut your greenhouse gas emissions in Massachusetts: Although you may consider the environmental benefits as secondary to the financial ones, by going solar you will also reduce your carbon emissions. Utility electricity in Massachusetts comes primarily from burning natural gas (over 60% of generation in the state), which – while ‘cleaner’ than coal – is still a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions. (Read more about the environmental benefits of going solar.)
Are you interested in learning more about the benefits of going solar? Check out our comprehensive resource on the topic: Why go solar?
Want to go solar in Massachusetts? There’s an option for you
As explained above, going solar is a great way for virtually anyone to save money in Massachusetts. And fortunately, because of the popularity of solar energy systems in the state, there is no shortage of companies competing for your business.
You can access the benefits of solar power in Massachusetts in one of two ways:
- Have a solar energy system installed on the roof of your home or business
- Sign up for a share in a community solar garden (even if you don’t have a roof to call your own)
- Community solar gardens are a great way to go solar if you don’t have a roof to call your own. Fortunately, Massachusetts is one of the hottest markets for community solar in the country, and depending on where you live (and who your electricity company is) you may already have a choice of providers.
Interested in going solar in Massachusetts? We can help you compare options. Get an instant Estimate and join the EnergySage Solar Marketplace to learn about what’s available in your part of the state.