Going Solar in MA: A Step-by-Step Guide

If you are thinking of joining the 3 million US homeowners who have gone solar, here’s a guide to help you navigate the process.

Interested in going solar for your MA home?

There are many things to consider when thinking about going solar in MA. Cost, energy usage, construction…these are only a few factors. We’ve put together a helpful step by step guide to navigate you through the process of going solar for your home.

Solar panels in MA home.Going Solar in MA - A step by step guide.

1. Do a little research on going solar in MA.

How much electricity do you use each month? Review your electric bills and energy usage. What is your current price per kilowatt hour? Take stock of your roof. You’ll need to evaluate the condition of your roof. How old is it? Have you had repairs to missing or damaged shingles? Have you experienced leaks following a New England storm? A professional roofing company will assess the roof’s condition and orientation to the sun to gauge its suitability for going solar in MA. This brings us to step 2.

2. Select a professional solar installer. 

Research professional, licensed solar installer like Golden Group Solar. Choosing a solar installer who is also an expert roofer is a double benefit. If your roof needs repairs or is ready for replacement, installing solar at the same time as a new roof is more efficient. This can prevent some of the problems that can happen when solar is installed on an existing roof.

You want to hire a reputable roofing company that is trained in fully integrated solar and roof installations, like Golden Group Roofing. We invest in premium grade materials or both roofing and solar panels. We provide extensive training for our year-round crew.

Close up view of a contractor measuring for solar panel installation. Going Solar in MA - A step by step guide.

At Golden Group Roofing and Solar, we will come to your home for an initial consultation. Our representative will help you analyze the key figures on your electricity bill. We’ll also evaluate  your roof and determine your home’s solar potential.  

We’ll take care of everything from the site evaluations, the energy analysis, the roofing plan, permit applications, and working with the utility company. We are responsible for the entire roofing and solar system, giving you one point of contact and excellent customer service. We’ll give you all the return on investment (ROI) details so you can make an informed decision based on your objectives or your home. Every project is different! Read on to Step 3.

3. Determine your home’s solar potential

Is your Greater Boston home a good candidate for installing solar panels? Your home’s solar rooftop potential depends in large part on your geographic location, the position of your home in relation to the sun. How much shade do you have? What photovoltaic (PV) solar system will you and your installer choose? Golden Group uses online mapping services and tools that utilize remote data sources, like satellite data, to assist in making these decisions.

Since solar panels use energy from the sun, some homeowners wonder how effective solar panels are. This is especially true for those in northern climates such as Massachusetts and the Greater Boston area. It may be surprising to learn that solar panels work well in cooler climates and are relatively unaffected by snow. The panels are installed at an angle to catch the sun’s radiation and helps prevent snow buildup on the panel array. This makes solar panels an excellent choice for Boston area homes.

Once you decide to move forward, a Golden Group site surveyor will inspect your roof and attic components. The plywood and beams will be examined to ensure that your structure can handle the load of solar panels.

4. Calculate your future electricity needs.

This is a good time to do a home energy audit to determine whether energy-saving home improvements are needed. 

Is your family expecting any changes that will affect your energy use in the future?  A new baby? A highschooler going off to college? New, more efficient appliances? Expanding your home with an addition? Buying an electric vehicle that will require charging? Adding a heated pool or installing central air conditioning?

Do you intend to sell your home in the next few years? Do you consider a solar system an investment for decades to come? 

Our Golden Group team will make sure that both your current and long-term energy needs are considered when planning your solar panel installation.

Are Solar Power Systems Worth the Investment?

5. Evaluate your finance options for going solar in MA.

You can purchase or lease a solar system. When you own a system, you may receive solar tax credits and incentives, but you are not eligible if you lease.

Federal Income Tax Credit

Massachusetts has one of the most robust incentive programs for installing solar power. It includes lower taxes, rebates, and net metering. Also known as ITC, the Federal income tax credit is available for installing solar power in Massachusetts. It is equivalent to 30% of the total cost of the solar panel system. This clean energy credit can be claimed on your Federal Income Tax return. Tax credits help reduce the amount you owe in taxes. It is not a tax deduction. It is a reduction in the taxable income on which the taxes are calculated. In Massachusetts, the ITC is typically around a $5,733 credit.

SMART Program

The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program provides a rebate for every kilowatt-hour you produce with your solar power system. This Net Metering rebate program is an ongoing benefit that can help pay off your solar equipment and maximize your return on investment (ROI). Net Metering is especially crucial because the electricity rates are nearly double the national average. The Massachusetts Net Metering policy helps you to minimize your electric bills and maximize your savings. This is a significant savings in real dollars.

The Massachusetts Department of Energy and MassCEC offers a Solar Loan Program that operates through local banks to provide low-cost loans for the purchase of residential solar PV systems. This program helps to reduce the costs of ownership and expands homeowner access to loans.

Contact Golden Group Solar today to consider your options for going solar in MA.

If you have questions or are thinking about adding a solar system to your roof, call us at 508-873-1884. Or schedule a one-hour solar consultation with one of our roofing experts.