2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Essex, MA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Essex.
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 March 14, 2023
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Essex?
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)
MuniHELPS - Offered by 17 Utilities through the MMWEC
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The term "solar incentives" refers to financial incentives that are in place to encourage the adoption and use renewable energy by making solar panels more affordable. Solar incentives might include cash back, upfront discounts or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the state of Massachusetts and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Rebates: Solar companies may help you claim a rebate, or partial refund after purchase, for your solar panels. States or counties will also sometimes offer limited-time rebates. If you receive a rebate, that amount will usually be deducted from your total price before any tax credits are calculated.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): Generally, solar systems that produce more than a specified (generally small) amount of electricity can qualify for SRECs or other similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and performance-based incentives in general are typically provided at the state level. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and this is usually considered part of your taxable income.
- 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.)
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get after your solar system is up and running. If you have in place a net metering agreement with your Essex utility company, the company 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 others you might get refunded a percentage of the value.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are effective at the point of sale for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the value added by your solar system when you calculate how much property tax you need to pay.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the kind of incentives that you are most likely to have some familiarity with. A federal incentive that most people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This incentive is a tax credit for a specified percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC is applied to the total cost of installing solar panels, including the panels themselves as well as equipment, labor and accessories. You can claim this credit for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own and that is located in the United States. Originally set at 30% of total costs, the credit has fluctuated over time, and you may qualify for different amounts depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
To understand exactly how much money the ITC could save you, contact your local Essex solar panel installer.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act laid out new provisions for the ITC, now dubbed the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit now runs until 2035. American homeowners can now receive a 30% credit for solar systems that began installation on or after January 1, 2022 and will be done by December 31, 2032. The total credit will then see a slight annual decrease until it expires. Starting in 2023, it will also be easier to qualify for credits for energy storage systems under the new laws.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Essex solar panel installation experts can answer your questions and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives may be provided by state and local governments. Similar to federal incentives, these could include tax credits, rebates and more. Incentives may be provided by your county or municipality, or by the state of Massachusetts. Certain incentives might only be available for a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Essex
Solar incentives may be provided by your local utility company, the federal government or the Massachusetts government. The growing number of available incentives has helped nationwide use of solar energy increase greatly in the last 15 years. If you're prepared to make the switch to solar energy, getting in touch with your local Essex solar panel installation expert is a great first step.
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EcoWatch's Essex, MA Solar Incentives FAQs
How do I know if I qualify for solar incentives?
It's best to speak with your local Essex solar installer to get an understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. Typically, solar incentives apply to new solar panel systems installed on property you own (in the U.S.) between the dates specified by the incentive. Some incentives, like those given by the state of Massachusetts, may have other requirements.
How much will a solar system save me annually on my electric bill in Essex?
Once you add solar panels to your home in Essex, you can anticipate savings of around $1,174.73 per year, or around $22,319.83 over 20 years.
What are the best solar panel installation companies near me?
To find the right solar panel installer for you, check out our guide to the top solar companies in Essex.
If I change out my appliances for ones that utilize solar energy, are there credits I can claim?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act provides a number of incentives designed to reward homeowners who make eco-friendly upgrades. Some of these incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
Can I claim incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
Yes, you can claim both tax credits and rebates towards the cost of your solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are receiving, they may apply in a different order. Be sure to speak with your solar installer or a local tax professional to verify that you are claiming incentives correctly and that you're getting the most money you can.
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.