Boston Launches Residential Solar Incentive Program

Boston's mayor, Thomas M. Menino, has announced the launch of the city's new solar pilot program, which is designed to encourage Boston homeowners to invest in renewable energy.

The program is possible due to a $140,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant for small residential solar photovoltaic installations by providing matching rebates to the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's Commonwealth Solar II program.

Average residential rebates are expected to range from $1,000 to $3,000, in addition to state and federal incentives, and will bring average payback of a residential PV installation to less than four years, according to a statement from the mayor's office. Residents participating in the program are required to invest in energy-efficiency improvements and must also complete an energy assessment from the city's Renew Boston or MassSave programs.

The program will provide Boston residents a mix of solar options, including residential power purchase agreements or leases and direct solar ownership. Final program design parameters and incentive levels are under development and will be discussed with qualified respondents after the close of this solicitation.

"Incentives at the federal, state, and city level are now putting solar energy within reach of Boston residents,’ says Jim Hunt, Boston's chief of environment and energy." Mayor Menino's clean energy agenda is not only saving residents money and creating good local jobs; it's also enhancing Boston's reputation as a global cleantech hub."

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