In recent years, Massachusetts has become a pretty good place to install a solar home energy system. The reason? A number of factors — a statewide solar rebate program, a market for solar renewable energy credits, and relatively high conventional electricity prices — combine to make a good financial proposition out of installing solar panels.
To help things along further, Boston last week launched a program toencourage residents to install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems.
“Solar panels provide up to 90 percent of the annual electric usageand in days like today, with the longest period of daylight, the meteris running backwards, selling power back to the grid and to me that’sincredible,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino.
The Boston Herald has more:
The mayor joined Katharine Kilbourn and Scott Shear whorecently installed 22 solar panels on the south-facing roof of their1860s farm house in Jamaica Plain. A comparable system costs about$25,000. But with the federal tax credit of $7,500, the state cleanenergy credit of $5,000 and the city’s rebate of $3,000, the initialcosts can be cut by as much as 62 percent. In addition, the excesselectricity is sold back to the power company.
“We are taking what has been a five-and-one-half yearpayback and reducing it to less than four years,” said James Hunt, thecity’s chief of environment and energy. “This is one of the mostcost-effective things that all residents can do.”
Boston’s program is being made possible thanks to a $140,000 grantfrom the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which authorized thecreation of the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant for small residential solar PV installations. Assuming each Boston applicant gets the maximum allowable solar rebate of $3,000, the program will haveenough funding for about 45 projects. Don’t expect the funds to last too long, in other words…
For more information on the Boston solar rebate program, visit www.renewboston.org.
Photo credit: Renew Boston