Medford was originally part of Charlestown, founded in 1630, but later separated to form its own municipality. At first, Medford was an agricultural community where most of the land was owned by a few families with large farms. Over the 18th century, land was sold for the development of residential and commercial buildings. They city also shifted its economic activity from agriculture to industry, and was well-known for the manufacture of bricks, tiles, rum and clipper ships.
Medford contains a large part of the Middlesex Fells Reservation, a public park with many historic buildings and landmarks. The city is also home to Tufts University, founded back in 1852.
Today, the city once full of farmland is using that land to deploy a new technology: renewable energy. The city has been promoting energy efficiency and clean energy for nearly two decades. In fact, the city has won many grants for its sustainability efforts. The following are some of the largest energy efficiency and clean energy projects in Medford:
Medford is in the National Grid service territory, and has very high electricity rates. For example, homeowners in Medford can expect to pay up to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) during peak demand hours compared to the national average of 13 cents per kWh. Additionally, National Grid energy rates have increased significantly over recent years. The base rate increased by 21% just in 2016. This makes solar an attractive investment for both home and business owners. solar panel owners can save $200 for every 1,000 kWh of solar energy that their system produces. As utility rates continue to increase, annual electricity savings from your solar system are expected increase so you will actually save more money the longer you have solar.
In addition to being able to generate significant savings, solar panel systems in Medford accrue Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs). One SREC is credited for every 1,000 kWh of clean energy generated, and each can then be sold for around $270 (as of early 2017). When this is added to the power bill savings, the total economic benefit for every 1,000 kWh your system produces is $470!
As a complement to energy savings and SREC income, the state government has made solar panels fully exempt from sales taxes; you are not charged any sales taxes when you first purchase solar panels. You are also exempt from a property tax increase even though installing a solar panel system can increase your home value by over $20,000.
Purchasing a solar panel system also gives you two tax credits that you can claim against your normal tax burden. When you add these benefits, the net cost of a solar panel system in Medford is only 55% of the total cost. Here are the tax credits:
Many home and business owners choose to purchase their solar panel systems with a low-interest loan. This allows system owners to take advantage of energy savings, SREC income, and tax benefits to start saving with solar power immediately with no upfront cost. The combination of these benefits can more than cover the cost of your solar loan payments. For those unable to pay for a solar panel system upfront, buying the system through a loan is the best option.