2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Harvard, MA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Harvard.
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 Harvard?
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)
Hudson Light & Power - Photovoltaic Incentive Program
Range 2: $1.25/watt
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. You may qualify for different kinds of incentives, such as discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill, depending on your situation. Certain incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the Massachusetts government and others from the federal government. You might qualify for any of the following types of solar incentives:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that typically becomes part of your taxable income. Typically, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system qualifies for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. Incentives like these are typically handled at the state level.
- Net Metering: You may be able to sign a net metering agreement with your Harvard utility company, that may apply to all or a percentage of the excess electricity that is generated by your solar panels. They will then subtract this value from your utility bill each month.
- Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are normally applied prior to any solar tax credits being calculated. Solar rebates may be offered by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
- Tax Exemptions: These could come in the form of property tax exemptions, which allow you to exclude the value added by your solar panels when calculating the taxes you pay on your house. They may also include exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Tax Credits: These credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in the amount of tax that you owe the government.
Federal Solar Incentives
When people think of solar incentives, federal incentives might be the first thing that comes to mind. One of the incentives many people are likely to be familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a tax credit for a given percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and allows you to deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, labor, accessories and equipment. You can receive this credit for solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. The original claim amount was 30% of the total cost, although depending on when the project was completed, your credit may range from 26-30%. There is no maximum claim amount.
Your local Harvard solar panel installation expert can provide more information about the ITC and how it applies to your situation.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act laid out new provisions for the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. For solar system installations that begin after January 1, 2022 and are completed by the end of 2032, homeowners may be eligible for a credit for 30% of the total cost. This percentage will decrease annually after 2032 until the Clean Energy Credit ends in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion to the program will also make credits for energy storage systems even easier to claim.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To fully understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, talk to your local Harvard solar installation company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more can be claimed at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. These incentives may be provided by the Massachusetts government, or by your county or municipality. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Harvard
Nationwide solar energy use has increased enormously in the past 15 years, in part thanks to the increase in availability of solar incentives. You can obtain these incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the Massachusetts government. We suggest talking to your local Harvard solar installation company to learn more about these incentives and to be sure that you're getting all of the money you can for your solar system.
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EcoWatch's Harvard, MA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I claim incentives for adding solar panels to a rental property, vacation home or commercial property?
Many solar incentives are intended to apply to a property you own that is located within the United States; most secondary residences fall into this category. There may be other solar incentives available for commercial properties, depending on the details. We recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what incentives apply to your specific situation.
How can I learn if I qualify for solar incentives?
Broadly, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on property you own
- within the U.S.
- between the dates specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including ones handled by the Massachusetts government or by your county/municipality, sometimes have additional qualifications. Get in touch with your local Harvard solar installer to learn more about what incentives your project will qualify for.
If I installed solar panels on my house a few years ago, can I still claim incentives?
Your best bet is to talk to the company that installed your solar system — or call a local Harvard solar installer — to learn about which incentives you might qualify for. If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. 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 Harvard?
Generally, Harvard homeowners who install solar panels save approximately $1,066.39 per year, or approximately $20,261.32 over 20 years after they make the switch.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my home?
You can lower your carbon footprint by 200 pounds of CO2 annually by installing solar panels. This adds up to roughly 4,000 pounds in 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, which means that making the switch lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
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.