Incentives

Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART): 

Since its launch in November 2018, SMART has been the primary incentive program for solar electric projects in areas served by National Grid, Eversource, and Unitil. When your system is approved for participation, you can receive incentive payments for 10 years, based on both energy value and the program funding block that’s open when you apply.

You can use the Value of Energy workbook on the SMART administrator’s website to estimate your annual incentive payment. One of the inputs for the workbook is the capacity block that your solar electric system will be assigned to. Consult the table titled “SMART Solar Block Status Update – Expanded Capacity” on this page of updates about the SMART program to find the current block number for your utility. As shown in the Value of Energy workbook, you may also receive extra incentives for including battery storage or for qualifying with a low-income utility rate code.

It’s important to note that SMART incentive rates have been decreasing in certain utility territories. For customers receiving low incentive payments due to higher electricity rates and the changing SMART program structure, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) suggests considering participation in the Renewable Energy Portfolio (RPS) market.

Residents of towns with a Municipal Light Plant (MLP) are unable to participate in SMART. Check if your utility offers a separate incentive.

Massachusetts Personal Income Tax Credit

For most homeowners installing new residential solar electric systems at their primary residence in Massachusetts, a state personal income tax credit is available. This credit covers 15% of the total solar electric system cost, up to a maximum of $1,000 (830 CMR 62.6.1: Residential Energy Credit).

Massachusetts Sales Tax Exemption

Usually, equipment purchased for a residential solar electric system in Massachusetts is exempt from state sales tax (M.G.L. c. 64H, sec. 6(dd)).

Massachusetts Property Tax Exemption

You might qualify for a property tax exemption based on the value added by your solar energy system. To explore this, discuss with your installer and the local tax assessor’s office (M.G.L. ch. 59 § 5 (45, 45A)).

Federal Tax Credit

Most homeowners with new residential solar electric systems can benefit from the Federal Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit, covering 30% of total system costs.

When considering installing a solar electric system, talk to your installer and tax advisor regarding your eligibility for rebates, incentives, and tax credits.

Ownership and Financing Options

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