Solar Industry News

What You Need to Know About Massachusetts SMART Solar Program

The SMART solar program in Massachusetts compensates homeowners for the clean power their solar array makes!

The S olar MA ssachusetts R enewable T arget solar program (SMART solar program) is here! Massachusetts solar owners are eligible to be paid each month for every kilowatt of clean green electricity produced on your roof, or in your back yard. That is above and beyond the savings from NOT buying electricity from the utility.

What is SMART all about?

For years, Massachusetts has had very popular programs to support solar by rewarding solar generators (both homes and businesses) by added incentive for the solar added to the ground (beyond simply compensating for the rate of electricity).

SMART is the latest evolution of this program - it's 2 years in the making and replaces Massachusetts's Solar Renewable Energy Certificate (SRECs) program, which was more than a little complicated. Under SREC, Solar Champions only received payment once a year, or quarterly (monthly was possible if they were willing to sacrifice a fraction of their SRECs through a couple of different means).

In the new SMART solar program you receive a check from the utility based on a fixed $$$ number paid per kilowatt-hour of solar generated, multiplied by your actual solar generation EVERY month, for 10 years. If you have solar for your business it's 20 years! In many situations, putting solar on roofs and yards will generate more in savings and SMART credit payments than the owners pay out each month for the loans on their solar generation systems. You can be truly cash flow positive from day one - saving the world while saving money.

To encourage more solar investment in the urban dense areas of Massachusetts, SMART offers extra incentives to invest in solar on your roof or to cover your parking with big beautiful solar canopy carports!

SMART Works for Batteries

Additionally, SMART offers incentives for battery storage. The SMART solar program calculates your additional SMART credits for adding a battery depending on the size of the battery, its storage capacity, and the size of your solar array. Combined with the 26% federal tax credit, the additional incentive for installing a battery with your solar system helps pay for anywhere between half to three-quarters of the cost of the battery! With solar + battery backup you can protect your home from power outages and optimize your use of solar electricity .

SMART for Massachusetts

The SMART solar program is combining a lot of the strengths of the old incentive programs while trying to combat some of the weaknesses. We at ReVision Energy are really excited that homeowners and businesses are receiving their incentive payments every month. Combined with a solar loan (we STRONGLY discourage leasing, for most projects, it's just not cost-effective), this means owning your CO2-busting Solar System saves you more money each month than it costs to make payments.

We're also thrilled to see that storage is a major part of this new incentive program. Combined with a recent uptick in Tesla Powerwall II shipments (yes we're a Tesla Powerwall Certified Installer ) means if you look at solar you might as well look at storage too. Keep those clean green electrons at home ready to deploy if the lights go out!

We also feel that the focus on investing in urban dense locations for solar is also a solid step in the right direction. We have plenty of open parking lots and rooftops in Massachusetts that are ideal sites for solar, which reduces the need for expensive transmission infrastructure by putting the solar generation closer to where the electricity is needed... Putting solar where the sun shines? That's just SMART!