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