Massachusetts (MA) Solar Incentives Programs: Cost of Solar Panels MA Credits

Georgette Kilgore headshot, wearing 8 Billion Trees shirt with forest in the background.Written by Georgette Kilgore

Solar Panels | March 18, 2024

Man holding a solar panel collects cash from Massachusetts solar incentives after learning how to lower the cost of solar panels in Massachusetts using state rebates, programs, solar tax credits and other solar energy programs.

If you are looking into reducing the cost of solar panels in Massachusetts, solar incentives programs can help.

Both the federal solar tax investment credit and various rebates programs are available to residents and business owners, that are designed to reduce the dependence on fossil fuel based electricity.

The overburdened electrical grid needs help in this Northern U.S. state, and solar panels can be used, especially on existing structures to help mitigate the energy needs of the state.

This guide explains how Massachusetts solar incentives can lower the cost of solar panel installation and help you reduce your energy bills and lower your household carbon footprint.

Cost of Solar Panels in Massachusetts (How Much Are Solar Panels in Massachusetts?)

Understandably, from your point of view, how much it is going to cost you is going to be your main concern.

You many have heard that the cost of solar panels in Massachusetts starts from $15,000 but can climb beyond $20,000 if more panels need to be fitted. But there are many other factors that influence solar panel cost.

Graphics of cost of solar panel installation in Massachusetts showing technicians installing a solar panel system on a house atop a cutout map of the state of Massachusetts and the average cost at the bottom.

And that’s when the doubts and confusion begin to set in, not sure where to start, who to ask, and which company to choose can make the process seem overwhelming.

But by understanding the options, you will be able to evaluate the different styles and quality of the solar panels, what equipment you will need, and what Massachusetts solar incentives you can apply for that will save you thousands.

Solar Panels for Home in Massachusetts With the Federal Solar Tax Credit

After selecting the company, and calculating the number of panels needed so you know how much do solar panels cost, the next stage is to apply for programs that will financially help you to either go off-grid to rely solely on the new solar system for electricity or just use it to reduce your energy bills.

The Federal energy credits program, known as the Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC),1 is the government’s way of giving all Americans the opportunity to adopt clean solar energy. But only if you pay taxes.

So how does it work?

Solar Investment Tax Credit

In exchange for switching to solar power, the Solar Tax Credit lowers your income tax payment by 30%, not just on the array itself, but on the installation charges, additional components, fees, and everything.

In other words, if your solar (Photovoltaic) system amounts to $20,000, your annual income tax liability will be cut by $6,000, bringing the true cost of solar panels in Massachusetts down to a more manageable $14,000.

And even if your income tax only comes to $3,000 for that year, the remaining $3,000 will be deducted the following, or even the year after that as it keeps rolling over until it is completed.

This program is open until 2034, but in 2033 the 30% discount will be reduced to 26% and then 22% for the last year.

If you’re eligible, complete and submit Form 5695 with your tax return.

Massachusetts Solar Tax Credit (Massachusetts Solar Incentives Programs)

Not to be outdone, despite being the 7th smallest state by size, Massachusetts has a wide range of solar incentive programs to cater to interested home and business owners from all walks of life, and in varied financial situations.

One of the first tax breaks was the sales tax exemption on solar panels and other associated equipment which saves 6.25% on the sales price straight away.

Not every one of the other incentives will be applicable to you, but your installation company will be able to point you in the right direction, and the list below might just help a little bit, too.

State Sales and Property Tax Exemption

Along with the savings on the sales tax, another of the Massachusetts solar incentives alleviates you of any extra property taxes due to the increase in value of your house because of the new solar array.

They add value to your home, but rather than being penalized for it, for the next 20 years they will not be assessed in any valuations.

Residential Renewable Energy Credits

To accompany the assistance from the Federal government of a 30% tax credit, Massachusetts has a limited credit program of 15% up to a $1,000 maximum tax credit that you are able to claim up to 3 years after installation.2

Massachusetts ConnectedSolutions Program (National Grid Solar Incentives Massachusetts)

Integrating a battery pack to store excess energy will add an extra cost of solar panels in Massachusetts, but it can work out to be in your favor.

As a customer of National Grid, you can enroll in a program that will give the utility company the ability to remotely access the stored electricity in your batteries during peak usage times.

It’s good for the grid as it is constantly straining at the seams when the demand for electricity shoots up at times of high demand, and it’s a bonus for you when hundreds of dollars a year come back your way either in the form of credits or cash.

Local Utility Rebates (Solar Rebates Massachusetts)

Depending on the location of your property, there are a range of solar installation subsidies in Massachusetts that will vary in value across the state, and apply to different segments of the solar installation.

Two notable examples are a one-off reimbursement of $650 per kW for setting up solar panels and connecting them to the grid in Concord for a maximum payout of $3,125 and a rebate of $4,500 for battery storage access by the local utility company in Bristol County.

If you are in either of those municipalities definitely enquire. Even if you’re not, your area may well have the same or similar rebate programs.

Massachusetts Net Energy Metering

Net metering is similar to the agreement reached between the utility provider and the solar owner who has batteries installed and allows them access in times of peak demand.3

The main difference is that the house solar system is permanently connected via a smart meter, and there are no batteries involved. All the electricity created by your panels is funneled back to the grid and you are credited against the electricity you have consumed.

This method saves you money from not having to buy a battery system, and your bills will be cheaper from the credits deducted.

And if your solar system produces more electricity than your household uses, the excess is rolled over and deducted from the following month’s bill, and so on and so on.  Definitely a beneficial arrangement for both parties.

New solar rebates from the government are being instigated regularly, as well as old ones closing their doors, so always ask your installer, check online, or ask your utility providers what is currently available.

Community Solar Massachusetts (Solar Panels Massachusetts)

The sun is the driving force behind solar energy.

No sun, no energy. Not enough solar irradiation, not enough electricity.

Currently, the number of daily sunlight hours can be a determent to solar energy systems. As innovation increases, however, that factor could change.

Map of the state of Massachusetts with each county colored to show the daily peak sun hours in each Massachusetts county ranging from 3.97 to 4.19 daily hours of sunlight.

There are parts of Massachusetts that receive barely 3 hours of peak sunlight a day like Worcester, while Boston is blessed with 4.7 hours a day. One way to exceed even that number and get the most from solar is by using solar farms Massachusetts that have been established to serve the community.

The advantage of enrolling or subscribing to one of these cooperative schemes is that even if you do not have sufficient roof space, are in a blackspot where the sun doesn’t shine, or there is no land space for mounting solar panels, then this could well be an option for you.

These solar gardens Massachusetts are normally installed in areas where there is maximum sun exposure every day, but they capitalize even further on this by having tracking modules installed.

They move incrementally as the sun moves across the sky to increase the length of time the front face of the panel is facing the sun so the cells can capture the most sunlight during the day, and that is sometimes up to 5.9 hours instead of 4.7.

The level of your subscription will reflect in the kWh credited to your account and deducted from your utility bill.

Projects such as this may not be for everyone, but a community solar program may be a way for you to test the potential of solar energy in your home miles away without too much of a financial commitment or long-term contract.4

And then, when you’re more financially able to do so, a full photovoltaic system can be erected on your very own rooftop.

Free Solar Panels Massachusetts With Massachusetts Solar Incentives Programs

Although there are no free solar panels for Massachusetts residents, the state does boast a number of solar farms which provide clean energy.

Of course, it’s important to remember that there are currently heavy eco costs associated with solar panel production. The mining, manufacturing and disposal of both solar panels and batteries needed to store the electrical charge have a heavy carbon footprint.

Map showing locations of solar plants in Massachusetts using yellow markers and Massachusetts solar panels with a US cut out showing the location of the state of Massachusetts.

The carbon footprint solar panels does exist, but it is lower than using fossil fuels for energy by a fraction.

Many advertisements that claim homeowners can qualify for a program that will show you how to get solar panels for free with no upfront fees and discount the credits from your utility bill, aren’t usually accurate. Installing solar panels on your home will cost something.

However those costs can be reduced using various programs, tax credits and net metering options.

Massachusetts Solar: Recycling Solar Panels

Even though the solar panels in Massachusetts are not nearing their useful end-of-life for another decade or so when they are ready to be decommissioned, the state has put a set of rules in place that would require that their disposal is “properly managed.”

Several solar companies are starting to recycle on a voluntary basis, with some of them realizing that this unexplored section of the solar industry could reap rich rewards in the near future as more and more PV systems are approaching their end-of-life recycling.

Separating all the components and materials within is far from easy, but simply because it has the possibility to be an extremely profitable business.

With this in mind, companies in Massachusetts are investing more in recycling as the deluge of solar panels,5 batteries, and other accessories that are ready to be decommissioned is going to be tremendous, and possibly there will soon be Massachusetts solar incentives to assist in this new endeavor.

Related Reading: Solar Panel Recycling vs Reuse? How Disposal Works (Problems Explained)

Cost of Solar Panels in Massachusetts: MA Credits

Across the United States electricity rates are rising at ridiculous rates, and Massachusetts is suffering under the same increases.

In an effort to combat that, many of them are exploring alternative sources to reduce their monthly bills.

Currently Massachusetts employs both biomass and solar energy to help reduce dependence on fossil fuels.

Pie chart showing Massachusetts renewable energy consumption including Massachusetts wind energy, biomass energy, geothermal energy, hydroelectric energy and solar energy in the state of Massachusetts for 2022.

Although the cost of solar panels in Massachusetts is a bit off-putting at first, the programs available to mitigate that expense are making solar a more affordable and sustainable option.

Understanding how to lower the cost of solar panels in Massachusetts just requires learning about the Massachusetts solar incentives available, which can significantly reduce the price of solar panel installation.

Frequently Asked Questions About Massachusetts Solar Incentives

Are Solar Panels Worth It in Massachusetts When There Are Community Farms?

The short answer is yes.

Installing a solar array on your rooftop is going to have greater rewards, and once the payback period has passed, all the electricity produced will be free from thereon.

Does Solar Increase Home Value?

Does solar increase home value? Absolutely. Despite the cost of solar panels in Massachusetts, when the value of your house is assessed, an extra 4% or more can be added into the plus column of what your property is worth after installation.

Are Solar Panel Cost Calculator Massachusetts Worthwhile?

Online solar calculators are excellent tools to estimate the cost of your solar installation project, and also to be able to factor in available Massachusetts solar incentives before calling in the professionals.

What Is the Cost of Solar Panels in Massachusetts?

The average cost of solar panel system in Massachusetts is $17,500.


1IRS. (2023). Residential Clean Energy Credit. IRS. Retrieved June 3, 2023, from <>

2Massachusetts Department of Revenue. (2023). 830 CMR 62.6.1: Residential Energy Credit. Mass Gov. Retrieved June 3, 2023, from <>

3CR Middlebury. (2023). Vermont Net Metering Information. CR Middlebury. Retrieved June 3, 2023, from <>

4U.S. Department of Energy. (2023). National Community Solar Partnership. Department of Energy. Retrieved June 3, 2023, from <>

5National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2021, September 15). To Toss, Repair, or Recycle? How Human Behavior Affects the Fate of Aging Solar Panels. NREL. Retrieved June 3, 2023, from <>

6National Renewable Energy Laboratory. (2023). Solar Photovoltaic Technology Basics. NREL. Retrieved June 3, 2023, from <>