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Incentives & Programs

Below, you will find the programs available in your state. Discuss these with your installer to see what you are eligible for and what makes the most sense for you financially.

Net Metering

Net Energy Metering, or Net Metering, is a solar incentive that allows you to send any excess electricity your solar panels produce back to the grid for credits. You can draw electricity from the grid and use these credits at night when your solar panel system is not generating energy. If your solar panel system produces more than you used in each billing cycle, we will add credits to use on a future electric bill. Alternatively, if you use more electricity than your solar panel system generates in a billing cycle, we will charge you standard electricity rates for the “net” energy you used from the grid that month.

The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program was established to support the wider development of solar in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) regulations, 225 CMR 20.00, set the framework for the program and determine eligibility. The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) oversees the statewide adherence to the tariffs, and the program is provided to customers of one of three investor-owned electric utility companies in Massachusetts—Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil. The electric utility companies provide incentives directly to the system owner, each billing period, following the approval of the project’s SMART application by the DOER’s Solar Program Administrator.

  • MA SMART Net Metering
  • MA SMART Market Net Metering
  • MA SMART Qualifying Facility
  • MA SMART Alternative On Bill Credits (behind the meter)

Participation in MA SMART runs parallel with other incentive programs.  You can read more about the parallel incentive program you are participating in below.

Net Metering
Net Energy Metering, or Net Metering, is another utility-offered program that allows you to use your solar-generated energy in “real time” and export any excess electricity to the electric grid in exchange for credits that are nearly equal to retail rates on your electric bill. These bill credits will reduce charges on your bill whenever your solar panels are not generating energy to offset your cost of drawing electricity from the grid, or you can allocate them to electric accounts of other customers taking service from the same company, and in the same load zone. If not completely used, net metering credits will roll forward to future electric bills. However, whenever you use more electricity than your solar panels generate during a billing cycle, the utility will charge you standard electricity customer rates for the “net” energy that you used from the grid.

Learn more about Net Metering

Market Net Metering
If it meets the definition of a "New Solar Net Metering Facility," per 220 CMR 18.00, or if 25 years have elapsed from the date that the Solar Net Metering Facility was first authorized to interconnect to the electric distribution system, a net metering facility will receive Market Net Metering Credits for its net excess generation during a billing period.  Market Net Metering Credits will be calculated differently for: (1) a Class I, II, or III facility within the private net metering cap; (2) a public net metering facility; (3) a Neighborhood Net Metering Facility; or (4) an Agricultural net metering facility.  Please refer to our net metering tariff for more details. 

Learn more about Net Metering

Qualifying Facility (QF)
Renewable energy systems may also take service from investor-owned utilities as Qualifying Facilities, instead of net metering.  This is often when solar projects either do not have a net metering cap allocation from the Mass ACA or are otherwise not eligible under the rules of the net metering program.  QFs have several options for metering and billing.

  • QF Systems 60 kW or less typically have a net meter installed.  When you generate more power than you use in a billing cycle, you will receive bill credits that are equal to wholesale rates (i.e., the ISO-NE Clearing Price). Please note, this could delay your billing. These credits will apply to a future electric bill. Alternatively, if you use more electricity than your solar panel system generates during a billing cycle, we will charge you standard electricity rates for the net energy you used from the grid that month.

  • QF systems over 60 kW have an interval meter installed in order to capture their hourly data. These systems are paid for the energy that they export to the electric grid at the hourly wholesale rate determined by ISO-NE.  No bill credits will appear on your monthly bills.