Haverhill, MA started as a small settlement on the Merrimack River where initial industrial activity focused on sawmills and flour mills running on renewable hydroelectric power. Industrial activity eventually expanded to other sectors such as wool, tanneries, shipbuilding, and footwear. The shoe industry was so successful that in 1913 Haverhill was producing 10% of all shoes used in the USA, earning it the nickname of “Queen Slipper City.” The current population of Haverhill exceeds 60,000. Haverhill is rich in historic buildings, many of them concentrated in the Main Street Historic District. The Haverhill Historical Society, which has existed for more than a century, preserves the legacy of the city.
In recent years, Haverhill has expanded its use of renewable energy beyond hydroelectric, and has installed several large solar projects. These solar panel installations are part of a larger effort to reduce the environmental footprint of Haverhill. Here are some of the largest solar projects:
National Grid, the electric utility company servicing Haverhill, has electricity rates that exceed 20 cents per kilowatt (kWh) during periods of peak demand. Electricity rates in the National Grid service territory are over 66% higher than the national average and increasing; since the beginning of 2016, National Grid’s electricity rates have increased by around 10%. High electricity bills and increasing rates make solar an attractive investment in Haverhill, MA.
Solar panel owners can not only reduce their power bills, but they can also earn Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SREC). Eligible solar panel owners are granted one SREC for every 1,000 kWh generated by their solar power installation. The SREC market price in 2017 is around $270, which is in addition to the $200 of expected energy savings from 1,000 kWh of solar energy. This translates to a total economic benefit of $470 per 1,000 kWh of solar produced.
The SREC program is complemented by solid tax incentives for solar panel owners in Haverhill, MA. Solar panel systems are exempt from sales taxes. Also, installing solar panels is expected to increase the property value, but you are exempt from a property tax hike. In addition, you can claim two tax credits after installing solar panels:
Using a loan to finance your solar panel system can also be a smart move if you have a solid credit record and are offered favorable terms. Even if the solar panel system is purchased through financing, you can still accumulate SRECs and claim the tax incentives. Home and business owners in Haverhill can more than offset their monthly loan payments with energy savings, SREC income, and tax benefits. A low-interest loan allows you to install solar panels at zero upfront cost and start saving money with clean energy immediately.