Massachusetts is going solar! In the last year, the state has installed more than 28,000 rooftop solar systems, benefiting tens of thousands of homeowners and businesses. That’s more than one system per day! It’s also a great way for Massachusetts to reduce its carbon footprint, as a third of the state’s electricity comes from fossil fuels.
If you’re interested in investing in solar or want to see how the process works, this article will cover some of the basics on getting started.
Find Out How Much Your State Rebates Offers
One of the most helpful things for new solar customers is Massachusetts’ Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SRECs) program. Thanks to this state-backed incentive, homeowners, businesses, and even farms can get a rebate of up to $5,000 off their solar installation costs.
To be eligible for the rebate, you must satisfy certain requirements. You have to have at least 6,000 square feet of unshaded roof space that gets at least some direct sunlight. (If you have a pool deck or some other outdoor space that gets at least some sunlight, you’re in business!)
You must also connect your solar panel system to the grid. The energy generated by the panels will flow uninterrupted from the moment it is generated, allowing you to sell it to the grid whenever there’s enough solar power. Most states guarantee their residents will have access to a safe and affordable power source, and that’s something you get with solar energy.
Set Up Budget And Timeframe
As with any big purchase, you’ll want to set up a budget and a timeframe for yourself. Before you dive in, it’s important to set a goal and a time frame for yourself. One month? Six months? One year? It’s a good idea to set a timeframe for yourself because, let’s face facts, life happens and there are times when you won’t be able to keep up with your daily routine. For example, if you set a six-month timeframe, you may very well be able to finish the installation within that time frame. However, if you set a one-month timeframe, you may find that you’re still installing a week before deadline.
It’s also important to have a goal in mind when setting your budget. Do you want to just save money? Or do you want to reduce your carbon footprint and be able to power your home with renewable energy? There are plenty of ways to achieve both of these goals, and you’ll only be able to do that with a clear idea of what you’re aiming for.
Get Pre-approved For A Loan
One of the biggest barriers to going solar is the upfront cost. As a new customer, you’ll need to have the cash upfront to make an otherwise high-cost investment. That’s why it’s important to get pre-approved for a loan. A company like SolarCity will walk you through the process and get you the money you need to make the investment.
The key is to find a reputable company that offers affordable loans for solar energy. There are a variety of lenders out there, some with more competitive interest rates than others. You should compare solar loan providers before making a payment decision. It’s also important to read reviews online from previous customers to get an idea of how others rated their services and how much they cost.
If you’re completely confident you’ll be able to connect to the grid and sell your energy as soon as it’s produced, you can go ahead and invest in the biggest and greatest system you can find. (We can’t recommend this approach, though, as bigger isn’t always better. It depends on what you want out of your energy system. If you want consistent power production, go for the smallest system you can find.
If, on the other hand, you want to save money, go for the biggest system you can find because it will make a significant difference. It’s a good idea to start small and then expand as you become more confident. (For more information on this, read our guide to solar installation basics.)
Pay Attention To Sustainability
One of the biggest benefits of going solar is how much less you’ll be paying in the long run for electricity. With the cost of fuel increasing and climate change creating its own set of problems, it’s more important than ever to look for sustainable ways to power our homes. Solar energy is a sustainable way to power your home. Not only does it generate its own energy source, but when the Sun isn’t shining, you’ll only be consuming what’s freely available from the air.
If you’re interested in installing solar across the U.S., check out these 10 states that got it done. Thanks to their existing solar policies, residents there can get a cash rebate to help cover the cost of going solar. Find out how much rebates your state offers by entering your ZIP code here.
If you’re interested in installing solar energy at home, you’re in the right place. We’ve covered the basics on how to get started. Now, it’s up to you to figure out how much you can afford and when you can feasibly install the system.