2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Rochester, MA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Rochester.
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 Rochester?
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)
Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit
Solar incentives help mitigate the cost of installing solar panels on your home. This category of financial incentives is intended to encourage more people to switch their home over to renewable energy. These incentives can include upfront discounts, cash back or credit towards your monthly utility bill. Some incentives are provided by the federal government, some by the state of Massachusetts and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Some solar incentives you might qualify for are:
- Tax Exemptions: These might come in the form of property tax exemptions, which allow you to ignore the value of your solar system when paying property tax on your house. You could also look for exemptions on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions (not deductions) in how much in taxes you owe the government.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund after the purchase of your solar panels. These may be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The cash back that you get from the rebates is normally applied before calculating tax credits.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for cash that normally counts as part of your taxable income. Generally, there is a small threshold of energy production to meet before your solar system is eligible for SRECs or similar performance-based incentives. Incentives like these are typically handled at the state level.
- Net Metering: Don't forget to talk with your Rochester utility company about signing a net metering contract. This will allow 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.
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely to be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about solar incentives. An incentive that most people are probably familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is a tax credit for a predetermined percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC initially applied to 30% of the cost of solar panel installation, and has fluctuated slightly over the years between 26-30%. The percentage you qualify for will depend on when your solar system was installed. The total installation cost includes the panels themselves as well as the cost of equipment, labor and accessories. There is no maximum claim amount. The ITC can be applied to solar panels installed after January 1, 2006 on your primary or secondary residence. The residence must be in the United States and owned by you.
Have questions about how the ITC applies to your specific situation? Reach out to your local Rochester solar panel installer to get more information.
The ITC was both renewed and expanded by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act in August 2022. It's also now called the Clean Energy Credit. Under the new program, solar installation projects that are completed between 2022 and 2032 may be eligible for a 30% tax credit. This percentage will then see a slight annual decrease until the current Clean Energy Credit expires in 2035. Starting in 2023, the expansion will also make claiming credit for energy storage systems easier than ever before.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. Your local Rochester solar panel company is the best resource for answering your questions about the new Clean Energy Credit and how it will apply to you.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Not all solar incentives are federal; tax credits, rebates and more might also be offered at the state and local level. These incentives may be offered by your county or municipality, or by the Massachusetts government. Certain incentives are ongoing, while others are available for a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Rochester
Nationwide solar energy use has gone up significantly in the last 15 years, in part due to the growth in the number of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from the federal government, the Massachusetts government or your local utility company. Your local Rochester solar panel installation expert can give you more information about which incentives you may qualify for, and get you on track to switch to renewable energy today.
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EcoWatch's Rochester, 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 speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to best understand what solar incentives apply to you, many apply to a second home, so long as that home is in the United States and owned by you. There may be additional incentives available specifically for commercial properties, depending on the specifics.
What are some environmental benefits of adding solar panels to my home?
You can decrease your carbon footprint by 200 pounds of CO2 a year when you install solar panels. This adds up to around 4,000 pounds over 20 years. In addition, solar power is a renewable energy source, meaning that switching your home over lessens the drain on our planet's resources.
When does the federal solar tax credit end?
The Clean Energy Credit (previously called the federal solar tax credit, or ITC), is slated to end on January 1, 2035. Currently set at 30%, the credit will drop to 26% in 2033 and to 22% in 2034.
If I trade in my appliances for ones that can use solar energy, are there any benefits I can claim?
The recently passed Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions for multiple incentives designed to reward homeowners for making eco-friendly upgrades. Some of these incentives include rebates and tax credits for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
Can I apply for 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 eligible for but typically yes, you can receive multiple types of incentives for your solar project. Check with your solar installer or a local tax professional to confirm you are claiming all possible incentives 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.