2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Bellingham, MA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Bellingham.
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.
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By EcoWatch Local Advisors
Data Analysis: James Savino
Ranking Methodology: Karsten Neumeister
Updated May 04, 2023
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What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Bellingham?
Renewable Energy Property Tax Exemption
Wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, solar thermal, solar PV, and other solar energy systems: the assessed value of the system
Residential Renewable Energy Income Tax Credit
Renewable Energy Equipment Sales Tax Exemption
Alternative Energy and Energy Conservation Patent Income Tax Deduction (Personal)
Cape Light Compact- Residential Energy Efficiency Rebate Program
Refrigerator and Freezer Recycling: $125
Electric Clothes Dryers: $50
Clothes Washer: $350
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
Advanced Power Strips: Varies
Limited Time Enhanced Incentive: 75%
Year-Round Tenant Incentive: 100%
Enhanced Residential Program: 100%
Home Energy Assessment: Free
Mass Save - HEAT Loan Program
Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program
Mass Solar Loan Program
Residential and Small-Scale Ground-Source Heat Pump Rebate Program
Retrofit Existing GSHP Rebate: varies with installation costs
Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out Program
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
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
Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SREC-II)
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are meant to encourage homeowners to make the switch to renewable energy by providing financial incentives meant to lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. Incentives can include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are handled federally, while others are handled by the Massachusetts government or your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are normally given before any solar tax credits are calculated. Solar rebates may be given by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In general, solar systems that produce over a specific (normally small) amount of electricity qualify for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and performance-based incentives in general are typically offered by your state government. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or another buyer, and the money you receive is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Net Metering: Make sure you talk with your Bellingham utility company about signing a net metering contract. This will allow you to receive credit towards your utility bill every month for the value of excess energy your solar panels generate. You might receive either a dollar-for-dollar credit or a percentage of the value.
- Tax Exemptions: These may come in the form of property tax exemptions, which can let you ignore the value added by your solar panels when paying property tax on your home. You could also look for exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that you think of when thinking about solar incentives. The solar incentive that you're most familiar with is probably the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which gives you a credit on your taxes equal to a certain percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and under this program you can deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, equipment, accessories and labor. You can receive this credit for a solar panel system installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. The original amount you could claim was 30% of the total cost, although the amount you can claim may range between 26-30%. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
To understand exactly how much the ITC could save you, contact your local Bellingham solar panel installer.
In August 2022, the ITC (now called the Clean Energy Credit) was bolstered by the passing of the Inflation Reduction Act. Homeowners can now qualify for a credit equal to 30% of the total costs of solar system installation for projects that began after January 1, 2022 and will be finished by the end of 2032. This percentage will then begin to decrease on a yearly basis until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. The expansion also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, starting in 2023.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The easiest way to learn more about how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you is to speak with your local Bellingham solar panel installers directly.
State & Local Solar Incentives
In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often also state ones. Tax credits, rebates and more might be available at a more local level. Some incentives are offered for only a limited time, while others are ongoing. Local solar incentives may come from the Massachusetts government, or from your specific county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Bellingham
The expanding number of solar incentives available has contributed greatly to the increase in the adoption of solar energy nationwide over the last 15 years. You can get solar incentives from the federal government, the Massachusetts government or from your local utility company. Your local Bellingham solar panel installation expert can give you more information about which incentives you might qualify for, and get you on track to switch to renewable energy today.
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EcoWatch's Bellingham, MA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Can I still qualify for incentives?
Many solar incentives apply to a property you own that is located within the United States, and most secondary residences fall under this distinction. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend reaching out to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what incentives may apply to your specific situation.
How can I learn if I qualify for specific solar incentives?
It's a smart idea to get in touch with your local Bellingham solar installer to get an understanding of which incentives your project will qualify for. Generally, solar incentives apply to new solar systems installed on a property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, such as those given by the state of Massachusetts, may have additional requirements.
Who installs solar panels near me?
To discover the best solar panel installation companies near you, read our article on Bellingham's best solar panel companies.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously called the federal solar tax credit, or the ITC), currently ends on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
If I change out my appliances for ones that can use solar energy, are there any credits I can claim?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act provides multiple incentives meant to reward homeowners for making eco-friendly upgrades. Some incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
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.