2023 Solar Incentives Guide for Worcester, MA - Tax Credits & Rebates
In this guide, we'll cover the latest solar incentives and rebates available in Worcester.
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 Worcester?
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
The term "solar incentives" refers to financial incentives implemented by the government and by solar companies to encourage increased use of renewable energy by making solar panels more affordable. Solar incentives can include upfront discounts, cash back or monthly credits towards your utility bill. Some incentives are offered by the federal government, some by the Massachusetts government and some by your specific utility company, county or municipality. Categories of solar incentives include:
- Net Metering: Net metering factors in once your solar panels are up and running. If you have a net metering agreement with your Worcester 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 be refunded a percentage of the value.
- Rebates: A rebate is a partial refund given after you've purchased your solar system. These might be offered by your local utility company, your state or your county. The discount that rebates offer is normally applied to the price of solar panels before calculating tax credits.
- Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SREC): SRECs can be sold to your utility company (or other buyers) for money that typically becomes part of your taxable income. In most cases, 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 typically handled by your state government.
- Tax Exemptions: Sales tax exemptions are effective at the point of sale for your solar panels. Property tax exemptions let you ignore the added value of your solar system when calculating the amount of property tax you need to pay on your house.
- Tax Credits: Tax credits are dollar-for-dollar reductions that lower the amount of income tax you owe the federal government. (This is different from a tax deduction.)
Federal Solar Incentives
Federal solar incentives are likely the first thing that you think of when you think about solar incentives. A federal incentive that most 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 can be applied to the total cost of installing solar panels, including the panels themselves as well as labor, accessories and equipment. You can claim this credit for panels installed after January 1, 2006 on a primary or secondary residence that you own and that is located in the United States. From its original value of 30% of the total cost, the credit has fluctuated slightly between 26-30%, and you may qualify for varying percentages depending on when your project was completed. There is no maximum claim amount.
Your local Worcester solar panel installation expert can offer more information about the ITC and how it applies to your situation.
In August 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act made revisions to the ITC, now referred to as the Clean Energy Credit. The new Clean Energy Credit is valid until 2035. Homeowners are now eligible for a 30% credit for solar systems installed between 2022 and 2032. This new credit will then be decreased by a few percentage points every year until its expiration. The 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 best understand how the new Clean Energy Credit might apply to you, speak with your local Worcester solar installation company.
State & Local Solar Incentives
Some solar incentives are often also offered at the local or state level. As with federal incentives, these can include tax credits, rebates and more. Certain incentives are offered for only a limited time, while others are ongoing. Your local incentives could come from your county or municipality, or from the Massachusetts government.
Next Steps for Installing Solar in Worcester
The nationwide use of solar energy has gone up significantly in the last 15 years, in part thanks to the increase in availability of solar incentives. You may get these incentives from your local utility company, the Massachusetts government or the federal government. If you're prepared to make the change to solar energy, calling your local Worcester 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 Worcester, MA Solar Incentives FAQs
What if I add a solar system to a vacation home, rental property or commercial property? Will I still qualify for incentives?
Many solar incentives apply to a property you own that is located within the United States, and most secondary residences fall under this distinction. Other solar incentives may be available for commercial properties, depending on the specifics. We recommend speaking with your local solar installer and/or tax professional to fully understand what incentives apply to your specific situation.
How can I learn if I qualify for solar incentives?
In most cases, 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 ones handled by the Massachusetts government or by your county/municipality, may have additional qualifications. Talk to your local Worcester solar installer to find out what incentives your project will qualify for.
What are some environmental benefits of installing solar panels on my home?
Solar energy is a renewable energy source — by changing where you get your energy, you can help lessen the strain on our planet's resources. Solar panels can also lower the CO2 emissions from your home by 200 pounds a year, or roughly 4,000 pounds in 20 years.
If I trade in my appliances for ones that can utilize solar energy, are there incentives I can claim?
The new Inflation Reduction Act includes provisions for multiple incentives meant to reward homeowners who make eco-friendly upgrades. Some of these incentives include tax credits and rebates for installing new electric appliances. You can find more details about these incentives here.
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. Be sure to discuss your ideas with your local Worcester solar installer. They can help you with the plan for 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.