2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Northborough, MA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Northborough.
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 Northborough?
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
Solar incentives are intended to make renewable energy usage more affordable via financial incentives for individuals who install solar panels on their homes. Solar incentives could include cash back, upfront discounts or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are given by the federal government, some by the Massachusetts government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs and similar performance-based incentives might be available to you if your solar system produces over a specified (usually small) amount of electricity. These types of incentives are usually handled by the state government. You can sell any SRECs you have to your utility company or other buyers, and the money you make 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. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Northborough 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 credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in other areas you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund credited to your account after you've paid for your solar panels. Rebates might be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The rebates are usually applied before calculating tax credits.
- Tax Exemptions: Tax exemptions may come in one of two forms. First, there is sales tax exemption, which is applied when you purchase solar panels. The second is property tax exemption, which allows you to ignore the added value of your solar system when calculating property tax for your house.
Federal Solar Incentives
When someone says "solar incentives," you probably think of federal incentives first. The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit, or ITC, is probably the most commonly known federal solar incentive. The ITC provides a tax credit for a set percentage of the cost of your solar system.
The ITC applies towards solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and under this program you can deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, equipment, labor and accessories. You can claim this credit for solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. Originally, you could claim 30% of the total cost, although the amount you can claim may range between 26-30%. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
To better understand how the ITC might apply to you, call your local Northborough solar panel installer and request more information.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, made some changes to the ITC (as well as renaming it to the Clean Energy Credit). The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. 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. This credit will then be decreased by a few percentage points every year until it expires. The program expansion also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, beginning in 2023.
Click here to learn more about the new Inflation Reduction Act. The easiest way to understand how the new Clean Energy Credit applies to you is to talk with your local Northborough solar panel company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Tax credits, rebates and more might be provided at multiple levels. On top of federal solar incentives, there are often state and local ones as well. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time. Incentives may be given by the Massachusetts government, or by your county or municipality.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Northborough
Solar incentives may be provided by your local utlity company, the Massachusetts government or the federal government. The growing number of incentives available has helped nationwide use of solar energy increase greatly in the last 15 years. We suggest talking to your local Northborough solar installation company for more information about these incentives and to be sure that you're getting the largest number possible for your solar panels.
Best Regional Coverage
- Great warranty coverage
- Representatives are experts on local policies
- Concierge service ensures steady communication
- Slightly limited service offerings
- Price-match guarantee
- Sleek, efficient, and durable solar panels
- Best solar battery on the market
- Some reported issues with customer service
- Customer service varies by local dealer
EcoWatch's Northborough, MA Solar Incentives FAQs
Can I get any financial incentives when I add solar panels to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property?
While we recommend talking to your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what solar incentives apply to you, many will apply to a second home, as long as it is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available for commercial properties specifically, depending on the specifics.
How do I know if I qualify for solar incentives?
Typically, solar incentives apply to:
- a new solar panel system
- installed on a property that you own
- within the U.S.
- within the date range specified by a particular incentive.
Specific incentives, including those given out by the Massachusetts government or by your county/municipality, sometimes have additional qualifications. Speak with your local Northborough solar installer to discover what incentives your project will qualify for.
Who installs solar panel systems near me?
To find a top-rated solar panel installer, check out our guide to Northborough's top solar panel companies.
What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my home?
Solar energy is renewable — by changing where you get your energy, you can help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. A solar system can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 200 pounds a year, or around 4,000 pounds over 20 years.
Can I use solar and another type of renewable energy in combination to power my home?
Yes, you can use multiple types of renewable energy to power your home — for example, a combination of wind and solar. You can also use both renewable energy sources and a backup source of non-renewable energy. Make sure that you discuss your proposed plan with your local Northborough solar panel installer, to get an understanding of what will be needed and what types of incentives you will or won't 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.