For those asking themselves “should I go solar”, the cost of solar installation has fallen every year, and 2017 was no different. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), installing a residential solar energy system cost 1.6 percent less than in 2016, which is great news for today’s solar shoppers. But the ever-decreasing costs of solar create a conundrum: should I go solar now or wait? For many, daily headlines that declare lower and lower prices can stir them to action. For others though, these same headlines can cause them to wait a few more years in hopes of saving even more money. So who’s right?
If you’ve been researching the best solar energy incentives available in 2018, you have likely heard something about solar renewable energy credits (SRECs). SRECs are a tradable commodity that you obtain from owning a solar panel system and producing clean energy. Because of a common state requirement known as the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), utilities in 38 different states must generate a certain percentage of their energy from renewable sources, typically at least 20 percent. In 6 states and Washington D.C., the RPS specifies that a certain percentage of the renewable energy produced must come from solar power. States with this type of “solar carve out” are willing to pay significant amounts of money to take credit for the power generated by solar homeowners.
When you think of Massachusetts, you may think of the historical city of Boston, its championship sports teams, or distinctive pronunciation of the letter “R”. Now, it’s time to add a new association to the list because Massachusetts solar incentives and programs are now considered some of the best in the country. In this article, we break down these incentives and explain why solar panels are such a great investment in Massachusetts in 2018.
Solar energy renewable certificates (SRECs) are some of the most attractive solar incentives available in the United States. Many states with renewable portfolio standards (RPS) have special “solar carve outs” that require a certain amount of energy production to come from solar. These states use SRECs as a way to promote solar installations and compensate system owners for the energy their panels generate.
Massachusetts has always been one of the best states for solar. Not only does the Bay State have the high electricity rates that lead to a short payback period for your solar investment – it also has a history of having strong solar incentives for property owners looking to own a solar panel system.
The best states to go solar aren’t always the sunniest; those who benefit the most from installing a solar PV system for their home spend a lot in electricity, and live in a state with good solar incentives.
Illinois may not have the year-round sunshine of of the Southwest, but it does have a great solar market because of the available financial incentives. In addition to the 30 percent federal solar tax credit for solar system owners, Illinois residents can receive additional financial benefits through the state’s solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) market.
The New Jersey solar renewable energy certificate (SREC) program is one of the most lucrative financial incentives for solar available at the state level. New Jersey property owners who buy and install a solar panel system can earn hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars a year by selling the SRECs the system generates.
Community solar has gained traction recently, and is a great way to go solar without having to install panels on your property. When you participate in a community solar project, you can get clean energy to your home. In the state of Massachusetts, there are several options for homeowners looking to get involved in a community solar project.
People often think SRECs and net-metering are the same thing, but really, the comparison is like apples to oranges. It’s true that they are both important to getting the best financial results from your solar PV system, but SRECs and solar net-metering actually have very different, distinct functions.
SRECs are a way to put cash in your pockets while net-metering is an efficient way to manage the finances related to your utility bill. Both can have positive financial effects and understanding the difference between the two can help you, as the owner of a solar PV system, to maximize the benefits of both. Here’s how it all works: Continue reading →
You don’t need optimal conditions for your solar power system to be a great investment. One of the biggest myths about the financial viability of solar is that it requires a really sunny location and a south facing roof. While these may be ideal conditions, folks outside of Southern California with roofs that face other points on the compass, such as east to west-facing roofs, can still satisfy most of their electricity needs and reap significant financial returns when they adopt solar power systems.