2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Auburn, MA - Tax Credits & Rebates

In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Auburn.

You'll learn about:

  • Local & State Solar Incentives
  • Federal Tax Credits (Updated for 2023 and beyond)
  • Ways to optimize your solar investment

Solar installers are experts in maximizing your solar tax credits and rebates.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Auburn solar installers to see how much you can save.

By EcoWatch Local Advisors

Data Analysis: James Savino

Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister

Updated January 20, 2023

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We work with a panel of solar experts to create unbiased reviews that empower you to make the right choice for your home. No other site has covered renewables as long as us, which means we have more data and insider information than other sites. Our rankings are never affected by revenue or partnerships.

What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Auburn?

Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption

Incentive Type:
Property Tax Incentive
Solar energy systems used for heating or cooling: out-of-pocket expenditures by the owner for the components and labor
Wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, solar thermal, solar PV, and other solar energy systems: the assessed value of the system

Residential Renewable Energy Income Tax Credit

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit

Renewable Energy Equipment Sales Tax Exemption

Incentive Type:
Sales Tax Incentive
100% exemption

Alternative Energy and Energy Conservation Patent Income Tax Deduction (Personal)

Incentive Type:
Industry Recruitment/Support
100% deduction

Cape Light Compact- Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Appliances
Refrigerator and Freezer Recycling: $125
Electric Clothes Dryers: $50
Clothes Washer: $350
Dehumidifiers: $30
Room Air Purifiers: $40
Room Air Conditioner: $40

Heating & Cooling
Oil Heating System: Up to $800
Propane Heating Equipment: Up to $2,300
Oil Water Heater: Up to $400
Propane Water Heater: Up to $800
Heat Pump Water Heater: Up to $600
Central AC/Heat Pump: Up to $250/ton
Mini-Split Heat Pump: Up to $250/ton
Programmable Thermostats: Up to $25
WiFi Thermostat: Up to $100
Solar Domestic Hot Water heater: $500 - $1,500

Home Electronics
Advanced Power Strips: Varies

Home Insulation
Limited Time Enhanced Incentive: 75%
Year-Round Tenant Incentive: 100%
Enhanced Residential Program: 100%

Lighting
LEDs: Varies

Home Energy Assessment: Free

Mass Save - HEAT Loan Program

Incentive Type:
Loan Program
$25,000 ($50,000 for some expanded HEAT offerings)

Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program

Incentive Type:
Performance-Based Incentive
(Base compensation rate + compensation rate adders - greenfield subtractor) * total kWh generated - value of energy generated

Mass Solar Loan Program

Incentive Type:
Loan Program
Maximum required: $35,000; maximum possible: $60,000

Residential and Small-Scale Ground-Source Heat Pump Rebate Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
New GSHP Rebate: $2,000 per ton with adders to eligible applicants
Retrofit Existing GSHP Rebate: varies with installation costs

Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Program

Incentive Type:
Rebate Program
Standard Residential:
Pellet Stove: $1,000 - $1,750
Catalytic Woodstove: $750 - $1,250
Non-Catalytic Woodstove: $500-$1,250

Fully Automated Wood Stove: $1,500 - $1,750
Low-Income Residential:
Pellet Stove: $2,500 - $3,250
Catalytic Woodstove: $2,250 - $2,750
Non-Catalytic Woodstove: $2,000-$2,750
Fully Automated Wood Stove: $2,750 - $3,250

Local Option - Energy Revolving Loan Fund

Incentive Type:
PACE Financing
Financing amount locally determined; 20-year financing term

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC-II)

Incentive Type:
Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program
Varies, depending on market supply and demand

Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

Incentive Type:
Personal Tax Credit
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

Source: https://www.dsireusa.org/


Solar incentives mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. This category of financial incentives is intended to encourage more homeowners to convert their home partially or fully to renewable energy. Incentives could include things like discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are offered federally, while others are provided by the Massachusetts government or by your specific utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:

  • Tax Credits: Different from tax deductions, tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government.
  • Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement in place with your Auburn utility company, they will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your monthly utility bill. In some areas, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other areas you may make back a percentage of the value.
  • Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are effective at the point of sale for your solar system. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the added value of your solar system when you calculate the amount of property tax you need to pay.
  • Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives may be available to you if your solar system produces over a specified (typically small) amount of electricity. Performance-based incentives are typically handled at the state level. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you receive in return is usually considered part of your taxable income.
  • Rebates: Your solar installer might help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar system. States or counties will also sometimes offer limited-time rebates. Any rebates you receive will usually come off your total price before tax credits are calculated.

Federal Solar Incentives

Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking about solar incentives. The solar incentive that you're most familiar with is probably the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which provides a credit on your taxes equal to a percentage of the cost of your solar system.

The ITC initially applied to 30% of the cost of solar system installation, although that number has fluctuated slightly over time between 26-30%. The installation date of your solar system will determine what percentage you qualify for. The total installation cost includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of labor, equipment and accessories. There is no maximum amount you can claim. The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be in the United States and owned by you.

To better understand how the ITC might apply to your situation, reach out to your local Auburn solar panel installation expert and request more information.

The ITC was renewed and increased in scope after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit lasts until 2035. Solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032 may qualify for a 30% tax credit. This amount will be decreased slightly each year until the current program ends. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to claim credits for energy storage systems with the new act.

Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To better understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you, speak with your local Auburn solar installation expert.

State & Local Solar Incentives

Some solar incentives may be offered at the local or state level. Like with federal incentives, these may include rebates, tax credits and more. These incentives might be provided by the Massachusetts government, or by your county or municipality. Some incentives may be available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.

Next Steps for Installing Solar in Auburn

There are many kinds of solar incentives: those provided by local utility companies, those provided by the federal government and those provided by the Massachusetts government, to name a few. Solar energy utilization has grown enormously in the last 15 years, partially due to these incentives. When you're prepared to make the change to solar energy, calling your local Auburn solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.

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SunPower

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EcoWatch's Auburn, MA Solar Incentives FAQs

How can I find out if I qualify for specific solar incentives?

Typically, solar incentives apply to:

  1. a new solar panel system
  2. installed on a property that you own
  3. within the U.S.
  4. within the date range specified by a particular incentive.

Specific incentives, including ones handled by the Massachusetts government or by your county/municipality, could have additional qualifications. Talk to your local Auburn solar installer to discover what incentives your project may qualify for.

My home already has solar panels. Does my system qualify for any incentives?

Your best bet is to talk to a representative from the company that installed your system — or reach out to a local Auburn solar installer — to clarify which incentives you may qualify for. If your system was installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. Solar systems installed between 2006 and 2021 may qualify for a tax credit of 26-30%.

How much will a solar system save me annually on my electric bill in Auburn?

When you add solar panels to your Auburn home, you can expect to save around $1,157.90 per year, or around $22,000.07 over 20 years.

When does the federal solar tax credit end?

The Clean Energy Credit (previously referred to as the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), is slated to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.

Can I qualify for incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?

The order that incentives will be applied in could vary depending on which incentives you are eligible for but generally yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Check with your solar installer or a local tax professional to confirm you are claiming all the incentives you are eligible for and applying them in the correct order.

Our goal is to reach as many people as we can with sensible solutions like solar energy. Our team of full-time local researchers collects solar price and installation data for every city in America then compiles it to create these digestible city guides. If you want to read our solar expert's opinion on the top solar companies featured here, follow this link.

Solar incentive research was conducted by Melissa Smith and Karsten Neumeister. Local data analysis was conducted by James Savino. See something we missed or could do better? Email the editor.

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