2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Reading, MA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Reading.
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.
Get a free quote from one of our trusted Reading solar installers to see how much you can save.
Please enter a valid 5-digit zip code!
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 Reading?
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
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
Reading Municipal Light Department - Residential Renewable Energy Rebates
Residential Renewable Energy Rebate Program: $1.00 per watt
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
The term "solar incentives" covers a range of financial incentives put in place to make installing and using solar panels more affordable. This is done to encourage people to switch to renewable energy. You might be eligible for several kinds of incentives, including cash back, discounts or monthly utility bill credits, depending on your situation. Some incentives come from your specific utility company, county or municipality, some from the state of Massachusetts and others from the federal government. Types of solar incentives might include:
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): In general, solar systems that produce more than a predetermined (generally small) amount of electricity can qualify for SRECs or other similar performance-based incentives. SRECs and similar incentives are typically provided by your state government. When you receive an SREC, you can sell it to your utility company or another buyer, and generally the money you make is normally considered part of your taxable income.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar system. Rebates could be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The cash back that you get from the rebates is normally applied before tax credits are calculated.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the government. (A tax credit is different from a tax deduction.)
- Tax Exemptions: These may come in the form of property tax exemptions, which can let you ignore the value of your solar system when paying taxes on your house. They may also include exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in after your solar panels are up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Reading utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your utility bill each month. In some places, this is a dollar-for-dollar credit, while in other places you may receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, you probably think of federal incentives first. An incentive many people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). The ITC is a tax credit for a specific percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC applies to the total cost of installing a solar system, including the panels themselves as well as equipment, labor and accessories. This credit can be claimed for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own, as long as it is located in the United States. The tax credit ranges from 26-30% of total costs depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
Your local Reading solar panel installation expert can offer more information about the ITC and how it might apply to your situation.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act expanded and extended the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. Now, solar installation projects that are completed between 2022 and 2032 can qualify for a 30% tax credit. The amount of the credit will then see a slight annual decrease until the current Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Beginning in 2023, it will also be easier to qualify for credits for energy storage systems under this new program.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To best understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, speak with your local Reading solar installation company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also provided by state and local governments. Similar to federal incentives, these may include rebates, tax credits and more. The incentives — which may be given by the state of Massachusetts, or by your county or municipality — might be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Reading
The expanding number of solar incentives available has enormously increased the nationwide adoption of solar energy over the last 15 years. You might qualify for solar incentives from the Massachusetts government, the federal government or your local utility company. Your local Reading solar panel installation company can give you more information about which incentives you can apply for, and get you on track to switch to renewable energy today.
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 Reading, MA Solar Incentives FAQs
How do I learn if I qualify for specific solar incentives?
It's a smart idea to get in touch with your local Reading solar installer for a better understanding of which incentives your project may qualify for. Usually, solar incentives apply to new solar systems installed on a property you own (in the U.S.) between the dates specified by the incentive. Some incentives, like those offered by the government of Massachusetts, might have additional requirements.
What are the highest-rated solar panel installation companies near me?
To find the best solar panel installation companies near you, take a look at our article on Reading's best solar panel companies.
If I trade in my appliances for ones that can utilize solar energy, are there any benefits I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act creates several new financial incentives to encourage you to make eco-friendly improvements to your home. More details regarding these incentives, including information about incentives for purchasing new appliances, can be found here.
Can I qualify for incentives both towards the up-front cost of solar panels, and later as reimbursement?
The order in which incentives are applied could vary depending on which incentives you are eligible for but generally yes, you can claim multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Speak to your solar installer or a local tax professional to confirm you are claiming all possible incentives and applying them in the correct order.
Can I use a combination of solar and another type of renewable energy to power my home?
You can power your home with multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy. Make sure you discuss your ideas with your local Reading solar installation expert. They can help you with the plan for your project and educate you on the various incentives that 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.