There are still a lot of homeowners and small business owners who are unaware of energy rebates and incentives available to them – not only in Massachusetts but also nationwide. While green initiatives are better marketed and known in 2023, it’s not always easy to take the first few steps. In this Beginners Guide to Massachusetts Energy Rebates and Incentives, I help you prioritize the top energy rebates and incentives available, along with my first-hand experience, so you can make decisions with ease.
Why? Green initiatives can be confusing because environmental issues are complex, involve scientific terms, and are impacted by misinformation. Lack of education, rapid changes, and different contexts add to the confusion. Balancing priorities, fear of change, and limited resources also contribute. Clear communication and relatable examples are essential to make sustainability understandable and accessible.
To help break the barrier, I want to walk you through the process of key rebates and incentives in layman’s terms, adding my own experience to provide more relevant information about what it’s really like as a homeowner, a creator, and a small business owner.
Trusted Key Resources You Should Know
Don’t trust the first person who turned up at your door. In Massachusetts, for example, there are a lot of solar salespeople who are pushing for “free solar”. Is it truly free? If it sounds too good to be sure, chances are that they probably are. With that said, what are some of the trusted resources you should be aware of:
- MassSave: https://www.masssave.com/en
- Massachusetts Energy Rebates and Incentives: https://www.mass.gov/guides/massachusetts-energy-rebates-incentives
- MOR-EV: Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles: https://mor-ev.org/
These are the two key resources you should start with as a beginner. The two sites often reference each other when it comes to specific incentives, such as air source heat pump rebates.
Home Energy Assessment
MassSave offers no-cost home energy assessment for MA-based homes. This program is often offered through your energy companies such as National Grid or Eversource.
What is Weatherization?
Weatherization is the process of protecting a building’s interior from the elements, such as sunlight, precipitation, and wind. Weatherization also involves modifying a building to reduce energy consumption and optimize energy efficiency.
Weatherization can help a house stay warmer in the cold weather and cooler in the hot weather while reducing energy usage. It can also improve the comfort of your home.
Examples of weatherization include improved air sealing, insulation, moisture controls, and ventilation. A weatherized home will be healthier, safer, and more comfortable for living.
Households may also be eligible for a variety of utility-funded energy efficiency programs that vary by utility service area. The most common measures are:
- Air sealing to reduce infiltration
- Attic Insulation
- Sidewall Insulation
- Floor Insulation
- Pipe and/or Duct insulation
- Limited Energy Related Repairs.
The process of Home energy assessment
To get started, schedule your no-cost Home Energy Assessment, call 1-866-527-SAVE (7283).
|Step 1||Schedule an appointment and provide basic information about your home.|
|Step 2||An Energy Specialist will assess your home’s current energy use, in person or virtually, and will provide personalized energy-efficiency recommendations.*|
|Step 3||Get no-cost energy-efficient products.|
|Step 4||Receive up to 100% off approved insulation, no-cost air sealing and additional rebates toward qualifying energy-efficient equipment.|
Weatherization Assistant Program (WAP)
WAP is the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) which provides eligible households with full-scale home energy efficiency services. An average of $4,725 in allowable energy efficiency measures is available for eligible households.
WAP is a nationwide program in the US. To find out if you quality in Massachusetts, visit the program details.
Air Source heat pump rebates (up to $16,000)
A heat pump is a device that transfers heat energy from one location to another using mechanical work. It’s a versatile technology commonly used for both heating and cooling purposes in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. The best thing about heat pumps is that they can work as both heaters and air conditioners (ACs). Instead of maintaining both heaters and ACs for your home, heat pumps can be your only source of energy that isn’t dependent on raging oil prices.
But these rebates don’t stop short of air-sourced heat pumps, MassSave heating and cooling rebates also include ground-source heat pumps, water heaters, gas heating and water heaters, oil heating, propane heating, smart and programmable thermostats. Learn more about the full list and rebate details.
Tax incentives for heat pumps
Starting in 2023, you can claim a federal tax credit of up to $2,000 for the cost of buying and installing a heat pump. The credit covers 30% of the cost of the heat pump, including labor and any electric system upgrades needed to make the home heat-pump-ready. The credit is available through the end of 2032.
Home appliances rebates
Massachusetts energy incentives also include home appliances, such as:
- Advanced power strips
- Clothes dryers and washers
- Induction Stove
- Lawn equipment
- Pool pumps
- Room air cleaners and conditioners
- and more…
For a full list of current home appliances and rebate amounts, visit MassSave, where you will find a list of rebates and instant discounts.
electric vehicle (EV) incentives in Massachusetts
- Battery electric vehicles: You can get a $3,500 rebate for a new battery electric vehicle that costs less than $55,000
- Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles: You can get a $1,500 rebate for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that has at least 25 miles of electric range and costs less than $50,000
- Federal tax credit: You can save up to $7,500 on most plug-in electric vehicles through the Federal Tax Credit
For the latest updates on EV incentives in Massachusetts, visit https://mor-ev.org/
My Experience with EV Tax Incentives in MA
I purchased my Tesla Y in October 2022 and found my tax deduction to be fairly straightforward. I simply followed the questionnaire from TaxAct and was able to claim my deduction without any additional paperwork. The tax incentives for EV does change frequently at the federal and state level.
Different EV incentives programs available in Massachusetts
- MOR-EV: Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles program offers rebates to residents, corporations, and other entities
- MOR-EV+: Income-qualifying residents can receive an additional $1,500 rebate on top of the standard rebate for new or used electric vehicles
- MassEVIP: The Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program provides grants for 60% of the cost of Level 1 or Level 2 EV charging stations, up to $50,000
- Used EVs: You can apply for a $3,500 rebate for qualifying used EV purchased between November 10, 2022 and August 8, 2023
- Gas-powered cars: You can receive an extra $1,000 if you turn in a gas-powered car with your EV purchase
Before purchasing an electric vehicle, it helps to understand the incentives available at the federal and state level. You can combine both incentives to receive the most benefits available for EV purchases.
Solar Incentives in Massachusetts
Here are some solar incentives in Massachusetts in 2023:
- State tax credit: 15% of the price of a solar system, or $1,000, whichever is less
- Federal tax credit: 30% of the total cost of installing solar panels or solar batteries
- Sales tax exemption: 6.25% savings on eligible purchases of equipment related to a solar system
- Property tax exemption: Available for solar purchases
You can combine the state and federal tax credits to reduce the cost of going solar by up to 45%.
In addition, you can also receive a cash payment per kilowatt-hour generated.
My Experience with Solar Tax Incentives in MA
Our solar system was installed in April 2023 after many delays (i.e. generator upgrades), so I won’t be able to see the details of my solar tax incentives until January 2024 when I file for 2023 taxes. However, the math should be straightforward based on the calculation above. Our two-floor home solar system cost just under $50,000. Based on the calculation above, I should expect to see a $1,000 deduction from the state of Massachusetts, and about $15,000 tax credit for federal. This brings my cost down from the original $50,000 to about $34,000. As for the tax credit, you can only claim as much as your revenue/income allows for that given year. Say if you can only claim $10,000 tax credit, the remaining $5,000 can be rolled over to the following year.
Conclusion: Are Massachusetts Energy Rebates and Incentives worth it?
Yes absolutely! Before you consider big or small home improvement projects, be sure to check out MassSave and Massachusetts Energy Rebates and Incentives. Often times a simple Google search such as “Mass rebates for ______” will go a long way and save you a ton of money and headache. Alternatively, your local HVAC companies should also remind you of current incentives and helps you understand if and how much you may qualify.
I was quite skeptical of rebates and incentives at first. Remember that you can always ask Google, a neighbor, or contact a few local HVAC companies to find out more about your options.
Did I miss something? What else would you like to learn as a MA resident and small business owner? Please let me know in the comments below. I’m so excited to share this journey of Mass Green with you.