2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Waltham, MA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Waltham.
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 Waltham?
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 are intended to encourage people to switch to renewable energy by offering financial incentives that lower the burden of solar panel installation and use. Solar incentives may 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 utility company, county or municipality. Some broad categories of solar incentives include:
- 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. You may also qualify for an exemption on sales tax at the time of purchase.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs are credits that can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for money that is generally considered part of your taxable income. Generally, you must meet a certain (small) threshold of energy production before your solar system is eligible for SRECs or other performance-based incentives. These kinds of incentives are generally handled at the state level.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions in the amount of income tax that you owe the federal government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar panels. These may be offered by your local utility company, your county or your state. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before calculating tax credits.
- Net Metering: Net metering is an incentive you can get once your solar system is up and running. If you've signed a net metering agreement with your Waltham utility company, the company will subtract the value of the excess energy your solar system produces from your monthly utility bill. In some areas, this credit is dollar-for-dollar, while in others you might receive a refund equivalent to a percentage of the value.
Federal Solar Incentives
When thinking about solar incentives, federal incentives are likely the first thing that comes to mind. One of the incentives that most people are likely familiar with is the Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC). This is a tax credit for a specified percentage of your solar system's cost.
The ITC applies towards solar systems installed after January 1, 2006 and lets you deduct from your taxes a percentage of the total cost of solar panels, labor, equipment and accessories. This credit can apply towards solar panels installed on a primary or secondary residence that you own in the United States. The original amount you could claim was 30% of the total cost, although depending on when the project was completed, your credit may range from 26-30%. There is no maximum amount you can claim.
Speaking with your local Waltham solar panel installation expert is the best way to understand how the ITC applies to you.
The Inflation Reduction Act, passed in August 2022, expanded and extended the ITC (as well as retitling it the Clean Energy Credit). The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. You can now apply for 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 decrease annually until the date of expiration. The program expansion also makes it easier to get credit for energy storage systems, beginning in 2023.
More information about the new Inflation Reduction Act can be found here. To better understand how the new Clean Energy Credit will apply to you, talk to your local Waltham solar installers.
State & Local Solar Incentives
In addition to those provided at the federal level, there are often also state solar incentives. Rebates, tax credits and more may be available at a more local level. These incentives — which may be handled by your county or municipality, or by the state of Massachusetts — might be offered on an ongoing basis, or for only a limited time.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Waltham
The variety of solar incentives available has contributed greatly to the increase in the adoption of solar energy nationwide over the past 15 years. You might qualify for solar incentives from your local utility company, the federal government or the Massachusetts government. If you're prepared to make the switch to solar energy, getting in touch with your local Waltham solar panel installation expert is an excellent place to start.
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 Waltham, 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 Waltham solar installer to get an understanding of which incentives your project will qualify for. Typically, solar incentives apply to new solar panel systems installed on a property you own (in the U.S.) within a specified date range. Some incentives, like those provided at the level of the Massachusetts government, might have other requirements.
If I already have a solar system installed on my house, can I still claim incentives?
Your best bet is to talk to someone from the company that installed your solar system — or reach out to a local Waltham solar installer — to learn about which incentives you may qualify for. If your system was installed after January 1, 2022, you likely qualify for the recently 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 can I save annually on my electric bill if I add solar panels to my house in Waltham?
Typically, homeowners in Waltham who install solar panels save approximately $1,198.51 per year, or approximately $22,771.77 over 20 years after making the switch.
How long until the federal solar tax credit ends?
The federal solar tax credit, formerly known as the ITC and now titled the Clean Energy Credit, is slated to end on 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 use multiple types of renewable energy to power my home?
You can use multiple types of renewable energy, or a combination of renewable and non-renewable energy, to power your home. Make sure you discuss your ideas with your local Waltham solar installation expert. They can help you plan your project and give you an understanding of various incentives that you may or may 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.