2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Leicester, MA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Leicester.
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 Leicester?
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 mitigate the cost of installing a solar panel system on your home. This category of financial incentives is intended to encourage more homeowners to switch to renewable energy. Incentives could include things like discounts, cash back or credit on your utility bill each month. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, while others are offered by the state of Massachusetts or your utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Rebates: Rebates, or partial refunds after a purchase, are usually applied prior to any solar tax credits being calculated. Rebates may be provided by your local utility company, by your state or by your county.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are effective at the point of sale for your solar system. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the value that your solar panels add when calculating how much property tax you need to pay on your home.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and other performance-based incentives are usually handled by your state government. Once your solar system meets the threshold (typically a small amount of energy production), you can receive SRECs that can then be sold to your utility company or other buyers. The money you receive from the sale is generally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the government.
- Net Metering: Net metering becomes relevant once your solar system is up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Leicester utility company, it will subtract the value of the excess energy produced by your solar system from your utility bill each month. In some areas, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in others you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal incentives are the type of incentives that you are most likely to have some knowledge of. 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 percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC applies to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Originally, the tax credit was for 30% of the total cost — for panels, equipment, accessories and labor — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar system was installed. There is no cap on the amount you can claim.
To understand exactly how much money the ITC could save you, speak with your local Leicester solar panel installation expert.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act laid out new provisions for the ITC, now called the Clean Energy Credit. The Clean Energy Credit re-raises the credit up to 30% for solar installation projects started after January 1, 2022 and completed by the end of 2032. After this, the credit percentage will decrease slightly each year until the end of the program in 2035. Starting in 2023, the program expansion will also make it easier to get credit for energy storage systems.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. Your local Leicester solar panel company can answer any questions you have and explain how the new Clean Energy Credit may apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
In addition to federal solar incentives, there are often also state ones. Tax credits, rebates and more may be available at a more local level. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are only available for a limited time. Incentives might be provided by your county or municipality, or by the Massachusetts government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Leicester
The variety of available solar incentives has contributed greatly to the increase in the use of solar power nationwide over the past 15 years. You may receive solar incentives from the Massachusetts government, the federal government or your local utility company. Your local Leicester solar panel installation company can give you more information about which incentives you can apply for, and get you started on the path to switching to renewable energy today.
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EcoWatch's Leicester, MA Solar Incentives FAQs
How can I find out if I qualify for specific solar incentives?
Typically, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on property that you own
- within the U.S.
- 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 Leicester solar installer to find out what incentives your project may qualify for.
If I already have solar panels, can I still claim incentives?
If your solar panels were installed after January 1, 2022, you may qualify for the newly increased 30% tax credit under the Inflation Reduction Act. If you installed your system between 2006 and 2021, you might qualify for a tax credit between 26% and 30%, depending on the date of installation. Speaking with the company that installed your system, or any local Leicester solar installer, can help you understand what incentives you qualify for.
Who installs solar panels near me?
To discover the top solar panel installers near you, read our article on Leicester's top solar panel companies.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The federal solar tax credit, previously called the ITC and now titled the Clean Energy Credit, is slated to end January 1, 2035. The current 30% credit will end in 2032, replaced by a 26% credit in 2033 and a 22% credit in 2034.
Can I claim incentives both towards the initial cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order that incentives will be applied in might vary depending on which incentives you are claiming but typically yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Talk with your solar installer or a local tax professional to be sure 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.