Massachusetts solar power users are ready for winter

Massachusetts solar power users are ready for winterWinter 2015 was the snowiest on record in Massachusetts, and that made it cold. Installing a solar photovoltaic (PV) system will keep your home or business warm and dry this winter, no matter how cold it might get.

Purchase (only) your power

For homeowners who aren’t in a position to purchase a solar energy system, RGS Energy offers a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) that provides the home with PV power through RGS sources. Qualified homeowners can have it installed at $0 down, and they will pay only their low fixed-rate monthly electric bill. The rate can be locked in for 20 years, and the system is completely maintained by RGS over its lifetime. Non-owners can access similar opportunities through RGS’s “Community Solar” program.

Purchase your system

Purchasing a PV system outright offers the best long-term value and, therefore, the highest return on investment. There are several tax incentives that reduce the initial costs, and subsequent incentives that reduce your costs over time. After the system is paid off, the electricity generated is free.

Tax incentives:

The Federal Government offers an Incentive Tax Credit for up to 30% of the cost of purchasing and installing a solar energy system.

Massachusetts offers a personal tax credit that provides “energy credits” that are generated when purchasing a PV system. The credits are valued at 15 percent of the price of the system, with a cap of $1,000. An additional 100 percent Sales Tax exemption is allowed for the purchase of PV system equipment. And 100 percent of the increased property value attributed to the PV system installation is exempted for 20 years.

Long Term Savings:

Net Metering — When your PV system generates more electricity than you use, the excess electricity is sent back to the grid. Each month, your utility bill will reflect that excess electricity as a credit on your account. Those credits will reduce your costs for grid-driven power. When you are providing power to the grid, you are part of the “distributed generation” power system.

Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) — These certificates are earned for each 1,000 kWh of electricity generated by your solar energy systems and are salable on the open market. The certificates are usually purchased by utilities that must demonstrate that a portion of their generated electricity is powered by PV systems. Long term income from these certificates also reduces the overall cost of the system.

Massachusetts is working hard to achieve its goal of 250 MW of PV generated electricity by 2017. Since that goal was set in 2007, thousands of solar PV projects have been installed around the state, and the state has developed a positive reputation for its excellent regulatory and incentive climates for PV power.

To learn more about how solar can be right for your home or business, visit

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