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Best 5 Solar Companies in Cambridge, MA

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Written By Max Peterson | Last Updated: February 05, 2024

With Cambridge's clear skies and little rainfall, it's an excellent area for homeowners and businesses aiming to harness the added sunlight. 10,717 homes in the area already use a solar PV or water heating system. Skilled installers will therefore have the precise experience you need to join the solar trend with confidence. Discover Cambridge's top-rated solar companies and learn essential decision-making tips on this page.

Best High-Efficiency System
4.8
  • Builds custom, high-efficiency solar systems suited to each home
  • Extensive coverage area throughout the country
  • Offers energy storage and EV charger add-ons
Best Solar Panel Leasing
4.4
  • Provides system monitoring
  • Offers diverse financing options for various budgets
  • Provides EV and solar battery solutions
Best Solar Panel Installation
4.4
  • Offers 7 panel brand options
  • 25-year workmanship warranty
  • Offers battery options

Top Cambridge Solar Companies

Sunrun Fusion New England Logo

Sunrun Fusion New England

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4.7/5
Based on 16 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Residential Panels Solar Panel Upgrades

Highlights

  • Free quotes
  • Clear pricing policy
  • Reliable customer support
420 S Washington St Suite 6, North Attleborough, MA 508-372-8582 risolarexperts.com
EnergySage Logo

EnergySage

5/5
Based on 950 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Residential Panels Financing Assistance Tesla Powerwall Community Solar Projects Battery Storage

Highlights

  • Clear pricing policy
  • Informative resources
  • Free quotes
1 Center Plz, Boston, MA 888-838-4638 energysage.com
Boston Solar Logo

Boston Solar

5/5
Based on 11,000 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Residential Panels Battery Storage Commercial Panels Financing Assistance Consultation

Highlights

  • Informative resources
  • Reliable customer support
  • Free quotes
12 Gill St #5650, Woburn, MA 617-648-5601 bostonsolar.us
Team Sunshine Construction, LLC. Logo

Team Sunshine Construction

4.7/5
Based on 30 customer reviews.

Services Offered

Residential Panels Financing Assistance Commercial Panels

Highlights

  • Prompt service delivery
  • Reliable customer support
  • Clear pricing policy
24 Spice St, Boston, MA 617-580-8649 teamsunshine.solar

More Local Solar Companies

Brightway Energy

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

165 Middlesex Ave
Somerville, MA 02145

Kind Heart Solar Solutions

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

59 Bowker St
Boston, MA 02114

GOSO Technologies

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

75 State St Suite 100
Boston, MA 02109

Great Sky Solar

User Reviews: 4.6/5 

29 Mill St
Arlington, MA 02476

Future Energy Solar

User Reviews: 4.6/5 

5 Short St
Melrose, MA 02176

Sunbug Solar

User Reviews: 4.5/5 

2A Draper St
Woburn, MA 01801

NuWatt Energy

User Reviews: 4.2/5 

400 Tradecenter Dr Ste 5900
Woburn, MA 01801

CommonWealth Energy

User Reviews: 4.4/5 

84 Newbury St
Peabody, MA 01960

Bright Home Solutions, Inc.

User Reviews: 4.7/5 

240 Andover St 2nd Floor
Wilmington, MA 01887

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

Ranking Methodology

Our team used the following criteria to determine the best Cambridge solar companies.

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Facts about Cambridge
Average Max Temp: 56°F
Solar Payback Period: 9.8 years
Average Daily Sunlight: 52%
Homes Powered by Solar: 10,717
Average Annual Energy Bill: $1,601
Solar Power per Capita Percentile: 48.0%

Expert Tips By

This Old House empowers homeowners with the knowledge and tools they need to tackle various projects and navigate the complexities of homeownership.

Benefits of Solar Energy

Solar energy has multiple advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.

  • Reduced carbon footprint: Using clean solar power reduces your dependence on fossil fuels, which release greenhouse gases that damage the environment.
  • Better energy independence: Solar panels can keep your home functioning through emergencies and blackouts, giving you additional security. You can use your solar energy anytime with an optional battery storage system.
  • Lower utility costs: Producing some or all of your own electricity will save you money on your electric bills long-term.

What Solar Incentives Are Available to Cambridge Homeowners?

Massachusetts homeowners who decide on solar could qualify for rebates, tax credits, reimbursements and special financing. Here are just a few of the area's incentive offerings.

Incentive Type: Property Tax Incentive

Website: in.gov

Incentive Amount:

Solar energy systems used for heating or cooling: out-of-pocket expenditures by the owner for the components and labor
Wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, solar thermal, solar PV, and other solar energy systems: the assessed value of the system

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit

Incentive Amount:

15%

Incentive Type: Sales Tax Incentive

Website: mass.gov

Incentive Amount:

100% exemption

Incentive Type: Industry Recruitment/Support

Incentive Amount:

100% deduction

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: capelightcompact.org

Incentive Amount:

Appliances
Refrigerator and Freezer Recycling: $125
Electric Clothes Dryers: $50
Clothes Washer: $350
Dehumidifiers: $30
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

Home Electronics
Advanced Power Strips: Varies

Home Insulation
Limited Time Enhanced Incentive: 75%
Year-Round Tenant Incentive: 100%
Enhanced Residential Program: 100%

Lighting
LEDs: Varies

Home Energy Assessment: Free

Incentive Type: Performance-Based Incentive

Website: masmartsolar.com

Incentive Amount:

(Base compensation rate + compensation rate adders - greenfield subtractor) * total kWh generated - value of energy generated

Incentive Type: Loan Program

Website: masssolarloan.com

Incentive Amount:

Maximum required: $35,000; maximum possible: $60,000

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: masscec.com

Incentive Amount:

New GSHP Rebate: $2,000 per ton with adders to eligible applicants
Retrofit Existing GSHP Rebate: varies with installation costs

Incentive Type: Rebate Program

Website: masscec.com

Incentive Amount:

Standard Residential:
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
Low-Income Residential:
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

Incentive Type: PACE Financing

Incentive Amount:

Financing amount locally determined; 20-year financing term

Incentive Type: Solar Renewable Energy Credit Program

Website: mass.gov

Incentive Amount:

Varies, depending on market supply and demand

Incentive Type: Personal Tax Credit

Website: ecowatch.com

Incentive Amount:

30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.

How To Choose the Best Solar Company in Cambridge

The more informed your company investigation is, the better your solar installation will ultimately operate. Here are some important factors to keep in mind while shopping for a solar provider.

Licensing and Training

Massachusetts requires new solar photovoltaic systems in the Commonwealth to be installed by a licensed electrician and new solar water heaters to be installed by a construction supervisor. Check for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), one of the solar sector's most respected trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.

Cost of Solar Panels in Cambridge

Your photovoltaic panels' model will influence how much energy you can generate. Monocrystalline panels perform the best but cost the most. Polycrystalline panels generate less, but they're a great traditional option for low budgets. Thin-film panels are excellent for non-traditional roof shapes and cost the least, but don't work well for large residential installations.

You can also add electric vehicle (EV) chargers and battery backup systems. These will increase your total project price, but they can enhance your solar system's performance. Not every solar company includes these extras, so look for a provider that installs them if it's crucial for you.

Most Cambridge homeowners opt for solar systems sized for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems cost about $20,300 to set up, considering both materials and labor. You can see more specific cost information in the table.

Solar Panel Cost Average Cost
Solar Monocrystalline $1,241
Solar Polycrystalline $968
Thin-Film $566
Solar Battery $794
Solar Home EV Charger $2,978

Financing Solar Energy in Cambridge

Solar providers use multiple different financing options to increase your savings and lower your costs. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are cash payments, solar loans, solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Though it requires a large up-front payment, cash is the most cost-effective choice because it doesn't accrue interest and qualifies you for incentives. Solar loans are the runner-up option. As with a home or auto loan, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for money-saving solar incentives, and depending on your lender, you could put as little as $0 down. Solar leases let you rent your panels for a set monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay only for the energy you use, akin to an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and don't grant you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. Look for contractors that offer several payment plans to find the right fit for your financial needs.

The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in Cambridge.

The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal tax credit on your new solar panels, so long as you purchase it before 2032. City and state governments and utilities might also offer their own incentives, financing programs, and rebates that could save you more money.

Solar System Capacity Estimated Payback period
1 kW 2.0 years
2 kW 3.9 years
5 kW 9.8 years
10 kW 19.6 years

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Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in Cambridge

How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?

Most Cambridge homeowners spend about $1,601 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $1,234.13 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.

How popular is solar energy in Cambridge?

Yes, solar energy is spreading quickly in Cambridge. Some homes already use solar power on-site or through utility grids, and they're fortified by a state solar economy with 10400 workers and counting.

Will a solar PV system improve my Cambridge home worth?

Yes, a solar PV system will boost your property value. According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), for every dollar you reduce on energy bills, your home value rises by $20. So, if your panels save you $600 per year on energy costs, your property could appreciate $12,000.

What if I live in a heavily-wooded or dark

A solar system could still operate in cloudy conditions. Your installer will orient your panels to capture the most sunlight possible. They might also recommend a battery backup system to keep your system performing at its best.

What can I do to predict my home's solar potential?

To determine your home's solar readiness, nothing substitutes for a comprehensive estimate from a local solar provider. However, you can use the PVWatts tool for a simple solar viability prediction based on public data, including tree cover, local weather and topography, panel efficiency, and system size.

What is the average payback period for Cambridge solar panels?

Most Cambridge homeowners pay back a solar loan in 11.5 years. You can shorten the payback period by paying off extra loan principal each month.

How are a solar lease and PPA different?

Choosing a leasing option means your solar provider will handle panel maintenance while you make fixed monthly payments. Power Purchase Agreements differ slightly because you pay for just the electricity you produce.

You don't own the panels with either option, though you can choose to "buy out" of the contract for a fee.

How are traditional solar loans and PPAs different?

A power purchase agreement is a contract between you and your contractor. They set up, own, and care for the panels, and you buy the generated electricity from them for 10–25 years. There will usually be options to buy out early to own your system and extend the agreement.

In contrast, solar loans can come from specialty lenders, installer, the government and local banks. You'll need to pass a credit check to qualify for most of them. While the upfront costs are larger, and you'll be responsible for upkeep, you'll also have total ownership and can apply for many more incentives.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviewsteam@thisoldhousereviews.com.

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