Is Now The Time For Solar Panels?


If you live in Massachusetts, the answer is a resounding yes!

Due to the many incentives at both the state and federal level to purchase solar (photovoltaic) panels, there has never been a better time to go green with solar energy.  Most residential systems can pay for themselves in less than 5 years.  

The sticker price on a 5 kW solar panel system is around $25,000.  This system will produce about 6,000 kWh annually in Massachusetts and supply around 60% of the average residential household’s energy needs.

There is a Commonwealth Rebate that will deduct $2,000 off the top of that price.  Additionally, if you live in a moderate home or have a moderate income, you will receive another $2,000 off.  Or if you happen to have been unfortunate enough to have your home damaged in last year’s tornadoes, you’ll receive an additional $5,000 off.

There are also both federal and state tax credits. The federal tax credit sits at a whopping 30% while the state credit is for $1,000.  After the rebates and tax credits, you should be able to purchase a 5kW solar panel system for about $16,000, less if you qualify for the moderate income or moderate home value adders.

A system of that size in Massachusetts should provide about $80 dollars of electricity monthly for an annual savings of $1,000.

But the lion’s share of profits come from selling your SRECs. Each megawatt hour (1,000 kWh) earns you 1 SREC and a 5kW system should produce about 6,000 kWh annually.  Since the state has forced the utility companies to generate a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources, they will pay you about $400 for each of your SRECs to say that you’re generating electricity for them.  So that’s another $2,400 in income right into your pocket.

So you can see how a $16,000 solar panel array can be paid off in less than 5 years when it brings in $3,400 annually between electricity savings and SREC income.

Solar panels are also one of the best home improvement options available to the Mass. resident.  For a cost of $16,000, it will increase the value of your home by $20,000.  That’s a 125% ROI.  Most home improvement projects never pay for themselves fully.  Solar panels not only increase the value of your home more than they cost, they will make you money every year as well.  They are even exempt from property taxes for 20 years.

And let’s not forget the main reason these incentives exist in the first place – to save our planet.  A 5 kW solar panel system will reduce your carbon footprint by over 100 tons of carbon dioxide over 25 years, the equivalent of planting 800 trees.  Each year, it will prevent the equivalent of 3 tons of coal or 20,000 cubic feet of natural gas from being burned to generate electricity.

As you can see from the all the incentives currently available that now truly is the right time for solar panels.  The Commonwealth Rebate and the federal and state tax credits reduce your initial expenses.  And the electricity savings and SREC program add significant income and boost your home’s resale value.

Plus there’s no telling how much longer these incentives will be around.  The Commonwealth rebate has already been reduced once and the federal tax credit gets threatened every year.

Lastly, as this market matures, more and more financing options are becoming available to homeowners, making solar panels affordable for everyone. If you’ve always wanted to get solar panels, there has never been a better time than the present!

For up to $500 in additional savings from referral discounts check out the solar company referrals page on our website.

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