Getting Started with the Massachusetts SMART Solar Program

Written By Sam Henke

On May 20, 2019

At a Glance:

The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program (Solar SMART Program) is a statewide incentive program to help make Massachusetts the most energy-efficient state in the country.

If you live in Massachusetts, you probably already know that the state government has introduced several policies that create a great climate for solar energy investments. As of Q4, 2018, the state has over 10,000 solar industry jobs, has invested more than $6.4 billion in solar, and derives over 10% of its total energy from solar PV panels (over 90,000 installed systems in total). Further building on the success of these efforts, the Massachusetts Department of Energy and Resources has introduced an exciting new catalyst for renewable energy development—The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program, or SMART Program.

How Does the SMART Program Work?

The SMART Program is a statewide incentive program to make it affordable for  Massachusetts homeowners and business owners to invest in solar energy and battery storage technology. In other words, as a Massachusetts resident, you can receive financial incentives above and beyond the federal and state tax incentives already offered to assist with the cost of renewable energy systems.

SMART Program participants receive monthly payments through their utility based on how much energy their system generates, also known as net-metering. The more energy your solar power system produces, the more you will be compensated.

The program is unique in that the payments are based on a “declining block system”, meaning that earlier adopters receive greater payments, and payments decline as more and more participants are accepted to the program. Applications for the program have been accepted since November 28, 2018, so the sooner you start, the quicker your return on investment will be.

The SMART Program has shown to cover the cost of as much as 87% of the price of lithium-ion batteries for the average customer.

Solar alone does not allow you to go ‘off-the-grid’. In fact, when your street loses power, even with solar you’ll lose power too due to utility rules. However, a solar system coupled with batteries will allow you to operate independently. You’ll never have an interruption in power, save money if your utility has implemented or will ever implement time-of-use billing, and be able to view and manage your system right from a smartphone app.

With the new Massachusetts SMART Program incentive, you’ll benefit from a high-quality battery solution at a much lower cost than others outside of your state.

How can I get involved with SMART?

If you happen to already have a solar power system and are part of a previous incentive program such as SREC or SREC II, there is no action you need to take to continue receiving net-metering payments. However, if you would like to take advantage of the new incentives for energy storage, commercial carports, tracker systems, and more, feel free to reach out to us to discuss your project and how much the SMART Program can help you save.

SMART Payments for Solar Energy

Whether you are considering solar for your home or business, Independent Power Systems is a leader in quality design and professional engineering services. As your qualified installer, IPS takes care of the SMART Program application process along with the design and installation of your new solar power system.

If you are ready to invest in renewable energy for the environment and for your bottom line, Independent Power Systems can help you every step of the way, ensuring you get every tax rebate and incentive available to minimize your project’s payback time through the use of superior equipment and unparalleled design.

In just a few years you can recoup your investment, zero out the cost of the electricity you use, and begin to make money from your solar investment.

ground-mounted solar system
Reed Crossley

Guest Blogger

Sam Henke is a writer and sustainability professional living in Boulder, Colorado. He is a recent graduate of a Professional Master's Degree focusing on Sustainable Food Systems, supplementing his broader experience in sustainability consulting, marketing, strategy, and communications. For more information or project proposals, contact Sam at [email protected] or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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