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 means you're less dependent on fossil fuels, which emit harmful greenhouse gasses.
- Better energy independence: Solar systems with battery storage function through power outages and emergencies, and you won't have to depend on the power grid for your safety and comfort.
- Lower utility costs: Producing some or all of your own power will cut power costs long-term.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to Newton Homeowners?
Massachusetts homeowners who upgrade to solar could qualify for rebates, reimbursements, special financing and tax credits. Here are just a few of the region's incentive programs.
Incentive Type: Property Tax IncentiveWebsite: in.gov
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 Type: Industry Recruitment/Support
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: capelightcompact.org
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
Incentive Type: Performance-Based IncentiveWebsite: masmartsolar.com
(Base compensation rate + compensation rate adders - greenfield subtractor) * total kWh generated - value of energy generated
Incentive Type: Loan ProgramWebsite: masssolarloan.com
Maximum required: $35,000; maximum possible: $60,000
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: masscec.com
New GSHP Rebate: $2,000 per ton with adders to eligible applicants
Retrofit Existing GSHP Rebate: varies with installation costs
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: masscec.com
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
Incentive Type: PACE Financing
Financing amount locally determined; 20-year financing term
Incentive Type: Solar Renewable Energy Credit ProgramWebsite: mass.gov
Varies, depending on market supply and demand
Incentive Type: Personal Tax CreditWebsite: ecowatch.com
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 Newton
The more comprehensive your company research is, the better your solar panels will ultimately perform. Make your choice based on the following crucial aspects.
Your solar modules' type will affect how much power you can generate. Monocrystalline panels cost more than other options, but they generate the most power. Polycrystalline panels provide a lower price point but produce less power. Thin-film panels have a low cost and are excellent for non-traditional roofs, but aren't recommended for large home installations.
You can also add battery backups and electric vehicle (EV) chargers. These upgrades extend your system's efficiency while adding more conveniences to your home. Not every solar company offers these additional features, so look for a provider that has them if it's a priority for you.
Licensing and Training
Massachusetts requires new solar PV systems in the Commonwealth to be installed by a licensed electrician and new solar water heaters to be installed by a construction supervisor. Solar companies can also earn certificates from trade groups and standards organizations. The most prestigious ones in the industry come from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners. Most company websites will prominently display earned credentials, but you should also ask your estimator for more information.
There are a plethora of ways to pay for a solar energy system, and the right one will lower your costs. A few of the most common options include loans, power purchase agreements (PPAs), cash payments, and leases. We suggest making a cash payment or using a solar loan for the best return on investment (ROI). Cash payments require a hefty sum up-front, but you'll pay the least long-term by avoiding interest. You'll also have full ownership of your system and can apply for solar incentives to minimize your total costs. Solar loans are another good option if you don't want to make a big initial investment. You can pay for your system in monthly installments while still enjoying energy bill savings and solar incentives. However, you'll spend more in total due to accruing interest. Solar leases involve paying a set monthly rate to use rooftop panels. A PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) lets you pay a monthly rate based only on the energy you use, similar to an electric bill. We typically don't recommend these two options because you won't own the panels and are disqualified from using solar incentives. We advise working with a contractor that offers multiple financing options. Ask each consultant about what's available, and obtain more than one estimate for the best odds of keeping within your budget.
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.
Newton Solar FAQ
How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?
Most Newton homeowners spend about $1,047 on energy each year. Your costs could drop by $1,173.52 for each kilowatt you generate after you pay off a solar array.
Is solar energy readily available in Newton?
Yes, solar energy is spreading quickly in Newton. 7,895 homes benefit from solar power, backed by a state solar economy with 10,400 job opportunities and counting.
Should I expect a property value increase after installing solar panels?
Yes, new solar systems lead to higher property values according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL.) Homeowners could project a $20 property value increase for each dollar they save on energy. Therefore, $600 in energy savings could increase your home's value by $12,000.
What if I live in a rainy or dark
A solar system could still operate in dark areas. Your installer will position your panels to absorb the most sunlight possible. They might also recommend a backup battery to keep your system working at its best.
How long does the photovoltaic installation process require?
There's no universal answer for how long a solar project might take. Ultimately, it depends on panel model, array size, Newton's permitting and inspection process, necessary prework, and local weather. Many homeowners can be solar-ready within a few months from their initial estimate visit.
How do I care for my new solar system?
Solar panels don't require much upkeep to keep working well. All you'll need to do is clean and inspect the panels every six months or as necessary in dusty seasons. Solar installers frequently offer maintenance packages to assist in your system's care.
How does "net metering" work, and do I need to participate?
Most states and utilities run net metering programs, and some mandate homeowners to join. Once you register, you can get a bill credit or check for any surplus electricity you produce and send to the grid. Generally, power companies reimburse solar homeowners at a wholesale or "avoided-cost" rate.
How are a solar lease and PPA different?
Choosing a leasing option means your solar company will handle panel maintenance while you make fixed monthly payments. PPAs differ slightly because you only pay for the electricity you produce.
You don't own the panels with either option, though you can choose to opt out of the contract for a fee.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at email@example.com.