2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Northampton, MA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Northampton.
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
Why you can trust EcoWatch
What Solar Tax Credits, Incentives, and Rebates are Available in Northampton?
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
Holyoke Gas & Electric - Residential Energy Conservation Loan Program
Owner-Occupied Multi-Family Dwellings: $10,000 (maximum of $5,000 per unit)
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 are intended to encourage homeowners to switch to renewable energy by providing incentives meant to lower the financial burden of solar panel installation and use. You might be eligible for different kinds of incentives, including cash back, discounts 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. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Rebates: Rebates, or cash back after a purchase, are normally given before any solar tax credits are calculated. Rebates might be provided by your local utility company, by your county or by your state.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In general, solar systems that produce more than a specified (usually small) amount of electricity can qualify for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically given at the state level. You can sell SRECs to your utility company or another buyer, and the money you receive is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are applied at the point of sale for your solar system. Property tax exemptions let you exclude the added value of your solar system when you're calculating how much property tax you need to pay on your home.
- Net Metering: Don't forget to speak with your Northampton utility company about signing a net metering agreement. This allows you to receive credit towards your monthly utility bill 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 Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in the amount of tax that you owe the federal government.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that comes to mind 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 percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC can be applied to solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence in the United States that you own. Initially, the credit applied to 30% of the total cost — for panels, accessories, equipment and labor — although that amount may range from 26-30%, depending on when your solar project was undertaken. There is no cap on the claim amount.
To find out exactly how much money the ITC could save you, talk to your local Northampton solar panel installation expert.
The ITC was renewed and increased in scope after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. For solar systems installed between January 1, 2022 and December 31, 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 expires in 2035. The program expansion also makes claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before, starting in 2023.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. To best understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you, get in touch with your local Northampton solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Not all solar incentives are federal; tax credits, rebates and more may be offered at the local or state level. Some incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time. They might be given by the Massachusetts government, or by your county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Northampton
The nationwide use of solar energy has gone up significantly in the last 15 years, in part thanks to the growth in the number of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from the Massachusetts government, the federal government or your local utility company. We recommend talking to your local Northampton solar installation expert to learn more 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 Northampton, MA Solar Incentives FAQs
I already have solar panels. Are there any incentives that I qualify for?
Your best bet is to talk to someone from the company that installed your solar system — or speak to a local Northampton solar installer — to learn about which incentives you may 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. Solar panels 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 Northampton?
On average, homeowners in Northampton who install solar panels save around $1,087.18 per year, or around $20,656.46 over 20 years after making the switch.
What are some of the environmental benefits of switching to solar?
You can lower your carbon footprint by 200 pounds of CO2 annually when you install solar panels. This adds up to approximately 4,000 pounds over 20 years. Solar is also a renewable energy source, meaning that switching your home over reduces the drain on our planet's resources.
I want to trade in my old appliances for ones that are more energy-efficient. Are there any credits I can get?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act introduces multiple incentives that 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.
Can I use a combination of multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
Yes, you can use multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of solar and geothermal. You can also combine renewable energy generation with a backup source of non-renewable energy. Be sure to discuss the details of your plan with your local Northampton solar panel installer, to get an understanding of what will be needed and what kinds of incentives you might or might not qualify for.
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.