2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Fitchburg, MA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Fitchburg.
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 Fitchburg?
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)
Residential & Small-Scale Solar Hot Water Program
Additional $500/system for metering installation
Additional $500/system for participants that have also installed solar PV on the same facility
80%-120% Income-Based Rebate Adder: $125 multiplier in formula (as opposed to $100)
Less than 80% of SMI Income-Based Rebate Adder: $150 multiplier in formula (as opposed to $100)
Non-Profit/Public Entity Adder: $150 in formula (as opposed to $100)
Affordable Housing Adder: $200 in formula (as opposed to $100)
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives mitigate the cost of installing solar panels on your home. Financial incentives like these are designed to encourage more Americans to convert their home partially or fully to renewable energy. Different types of incentives, like discounts, cash back or monthly utility bill credits, might be available to you. Certain incentives may be offered by the state of Massachusetts, by your utility company or by county or municipality, while other incentives are federal. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Tax Credits: Tax credits reduce, dollar-for-dollar, the amount of income tax you owe the federal government. These differ from tax deductions.
- Rebates: A solar rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar system. These might be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The rebates are usually applied before tax credits are calculated.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar panels are up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Fitchburg utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some areas, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other areas you might get refunded a percentage of the value.
- Tax Exemptions: Your solar panels might qualify for exemptions on both sales and property tax. Sales tax exemptions are effective at the time of purchase. Property tax exemptions allow you to ignore the added value of the solar panels when you are calculating property taxes on your home.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives are typically handled at the state level. Once your solar panel system meets a certain threshold (normally a small amount of energy production), you are eligible to receive SRECs that you can then sell to your utility company or other buyers. The money you make is generally considered part of your taxable income.
Federal Solar Incentives
When you think about solar incentives, you likely think of federal incentives first. You've likely heard of the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC. The ITC is a tax credit that reduces your taxes by a certain percentage of the money you spend on your solar system.
The ITC applies to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. The credit initially covered 30% of the total cost — for panels, labor, accessories and equipment — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
To best understand how the ITC could apply to your situation, contact your local Fitchburg solar panel installation expert and ask for more information.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). Now, solar installation projects begun after January 1, 2022 and finished by December 31, 2032 may be eligible for a 30% tax credit. This credit amount will then decrease slightly each year until the current Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. The expansion also makes credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim, starting in 2023.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Fitchburg solar panel installation experts can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also provided by state and local governments. As with federal incentives, these can include tax credits, rebates and more. Incentives may be given by your county or municipality, or by the state of Massachusetts. Some incentives may be available for only a limited time, while others are ongoing.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Fitchburg
The large number of available solar incentives has helped tremendously increase the use of solar power nationwide over the past 15 years. You can get solar incentives from the federal government, the Massachusetts government or from your local utility company. We recommend talking to your local Fitchburg solar installation expert for more information about these incentives and to make sure that you're getting the largest number possible for your solar panels.
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EcoWatch's Fitchburg, MA Solar Incentives FAQs
How do I learn if I qualify for specific solar incentives?
It's a good idea to talk to your local Fitchburg solar installer to get an understanding of which incentives your project will qualify for. In most cases, solar incentives apply to new solar systems installed on property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, such as those provided at the level of the Massachusetts government, may have other requirements.
How much will solar panels save me annually on my electric bill in Fitchburg?
Typically, homeowners in Fitchburg who install solar panels save approximately $1,236.09 per year, or approximately $23,485.64 over 20 years after they make the switch.
What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?
To discover the top solar panel installation companies near you, take a look at our article on the top solar companies in Fitchburg.
I want to switch my appliances out for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can claim?
Under the new Inflation Reduction Act, there are a variety of new financial incentives for making eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details about these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I receive 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 solar panels. Depending on which incentives you are eligible for, they may apply in a different order. Be sure to speak with your solar installer or a local tax professional to confirm that you are claiming the correct incentives and that you're getting the most money possible.
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.