Save with solar in Lawrence, Massachusetts

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Lawrence, Massachusetts

Lawrence, MA has a population of nearly 80,000 and has been an industrial center since the 19th century. Its location on the Merrimack River made it an attractive spot for the textile industry, and as a result the city experienced significant economic growth and immigration in the 1800’s.

Today, Lawrence is still a center of industrial activity with a strong focus on textiles, paper, footwear, and electronics. Most of the old industrial buildings have been dismantled, but a few remain as part of the city’s historic legacy, such as the Ayer Mill and the Wood Mill. The High Service Water Tower and Reservoir, which were built more than a century ago, are still operational and have been listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Following the city’s tradition of industrial development and innovation, Lawrence’s municipal authorities and the private sector have implemented several solar projects to save money and promote a clean energy future:

  • The City of Lawrence Water and Sewer Department completed a 300-kilowatt solar panel system in 2014. The installation can generate 15% of the energy consumed by the department, and saves them over $100,000 per year!
  • Key Polymer, a chemicals and adhesives company, has a 761-kilowatt solar panel system at its headquarters and manufacturing facility in Lawrence.
  • Greater Lawrence Technical School meets 100% of its energy demand with a 3.6-megawatt solar farm. All surplus energy is sold, providing extra income for the institution.

Is Solar Power a Good Investment in Lawrence, MA?

The city of Lawrence is served by National Grid, whose electricity rates reach up to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh). This is bad news if you purchase all your energy from the power grid, because that rate is 67% higher than the national average. However, solar panel owners in Lawrence, MA can save $200 on their electricity bill for every 1,000 kWh of energy their solar panel systems produce. Keep in mind that utility companies tend to raise their rate on a yearly basis. For example, electricity rates in National Grid’s service territory increased by around 10% during 2016.

In addition to saving on your power bills, solar panels provide owners with an extra stream of income in the form of Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). In simple terms, you are granted one SREC each time your solar panels generate 1,000 kWh, and as of early 2017, each SREC can be sold for around $270 in Massachusetts. Thus, the economic benefit of solar energy is significant:

  • Each time your system generates 1,000 kWh of solar energy, you save $200 on your National Grid utility bills.
  • When your system generates 1,000 kWh, you earn one SREC worth an additional $270.

As if the energy savings and SREC sales were not enough, Lawrence home and business owners also receive tax breaks for going solar:

  • You can waive the sales tax when you first purchase your solar panel system.
  • After installation, your home value increases by $20,000 to $30,000, but your property taxes stay the same!
  • 15% of your investment can be claimed as a credit against your state tax burden, with a maximum value of $1,000.
  • All of this is complemented by a 30% federal tax credit, which is a nationwide benefit.

Up to 45% of the upfront cost of a solar panel system installed in Lawrence is returned to home and business owners in the form of a tax credit. These tax credits are in addition to the energy savings and SREC income described above! When you add all the benefits available for installing solar, it is among the best investments available for a residential or commercial property in Lawrence. If you cannot afford to pay for solar panels upfront, qualified home and business owners can take advantage of low-interest loan plans. With a loan, you don’t need to put any money down and can start saving with solar from the very first day.