Spring is often the time when people go through their home projects list and decide which projects to do this year and which ones will get pushed to the back burner. Maybe looking into solar panels has been on your list for a few years now, but that boiler conversion from oil to natural gas, or that new bathroom, or roof are easier to deal with. After all, you can easily get reliable contractor referrals from friends and neighbors for these common projects, so yet again; the solar system gets moved to the bottom of the list. However, this year is different. For homeowners, business owners, and landlords in Swampscott and Salem, you may want to give your list a second look.
Until June 30th Swampscott and Salem residents and business owners can participate in the Solarize Mass Program, which is a grass roots campaign designed to bring more solar power to 15 communities across Massachusetts. The Solarize Mass Program is a partnership between the towns of Swampscott and Salem, the Mass Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), and the Department of Energy Resources. RGS Energy, the competitively selected installer, was chosen for their low cost, high quality panels and installations, options to purchase or lease panels, and their background of 35 years in the solar industry. This program gives you the reliable referral you have been waiting for.
The pricing of the Solarize program is based on 5 tiers - the more people in the two communities who sign a contract with RGS Energy, the lower the cost is for everyone. The great news is that we have reached tier 5 – the lowest pricing tier! This price point is significantly lower than what many other solar companies can offer and is a price that is only available until June 30th.
A final and significant reason that this may be the year for you to consider solar panels is that some of the incentives that are currently available may not be for much longer. By 2016 the 30% federal tax credit is due to expire for residential projects. This tax credit, currently benefitting homeowners, may also include any site preparation work a homeowner needs to perform to get their property “solar panel ready.” So projects like a installing a new roof, trimming of trees, and updating electrical equipment could be included in the 30% tax credit. That’s right, the federal government will kick in 30% for these projects, some of which may already be on that project list. Imagine next year’s tax bill minus 30% of your solar project cost. That’s big savings.
Also, just recently, we heard that the MassCEC has proposed to reduce the Commonwealth Solar II Rebate Program’s $0.40/watt base incentive to $0.25/watt this July. This incentive currently works out to be on average a $2,000 rebate per project. It is the incentives currently in place, which make the payback period or Return on Investment (ROI) so short, between 5-7 years. Waiting just one more month may make the payback period longer.
For homeowners who would prefer to lease rather than own solar panels, this program is also a great offer for you. Homeowners can immediately save between 10-20% on your electric bill while putting 0% down and locking into this price for 20 years! Typically, the price of electricity doubles every ten years, so a fixed price is very attractive. In addition, because Solarize Swampscott-Salem has reached tier 5 pricing, every homeowner who signs a contract for a lease receives a $250 gift card.
So, as you are considering your projects list this spring, keep in mind that solar panels may never be cheaper because of the Solarize Program tier pricing and the current tax incentives and rebates, and you may never get a better referral. This is the year to go solar.
There are just a few more weeks to go before the June 30th deadline, so contact us today for a free solar audit of your home, business, or rental property. Please contact Brian Szekely, Swampscott Town Planner at 781-596-8829 or send an email request to email@example.com or directly to RGSEnergy.com.