Save with solar in Peabody, Massachusetts

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Peabody, Massachusetts

Originally part of Salem, Peabody became an independent community in 1855. Peabody is rich in historic legacy with several landmark buildings, such as the Peabody City Hall and the St. John the Baptist Roman Catholic Church. Originally an agricultural community, Peabody later became a hub for the leather industry, which benefited from plentiful hydroelectric power. Today, the city has thriving technology and the medical sciences sectors, and has a population of over 52,000.

The Peabody Municipal Light Plant (PMLP) provides electricity to the city. They utility has recently been working on projects to reduce their energy footprint:

  • The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has given PMLP a grant of over $770,000 to upgrade all street lighting to LED fixtures with automatic controls.
  • PMLP has been deploying smart meters to provide improved visibility of energy consumption. Energy consumers will have an enhanced snapshot of their energy bill, allowing them to take better decisions regarding their consumption.
  • In addition, PMLP offers grants for homeowners who purchase Energy Star appliances.

Is Solar Power a Good Investment in Peabody, MA?

Unlike most cities in Massachusetts, Peabody is served by a municipal utility, PMLP. They charge 16.6 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) for the first 100 kWh of consumption, and 14.51 cents per kWh for all consumption above than value. These rates are significantly lower than the surrounding investor-owned utilities, who charge up to 20 cents per kWh. However, PMLP rates are still higher than the national average price of electricity, which means residents of Peabody can save a significant amount of money by switching to solar power.

If you install solar panels in Peabody, you can also earn Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) at a rate of one credit per megawatt-hour (1,000 kWh). In the first months of 2017, SRECs were traded for around $270 each, which represents a source of income in addition to your normal energy savings:

  • You can expect to save over $140 in PMLP power bills by generating 1,000 kWh of clean energy from solar panels.
  • Generating 1,000 kWh of solar power allows owners to claim a SREC, which can be sold for $270 each.
  • Combined the total economic benefit of solar power is $410 per megawatt-hour, or 41 cents per kWh.

Additionally, residents of Peabody are eligible for tax incentives that make solar more affordable:

  • Tax exemptions: Solar panels in Peabody are exempt from the sales tax, which represents immediate upfront savings. In addition, your property tax stays the same even though a solar panel system can increase your home value by over $20,000.
  • Tax credits: You can deduct 15% of your investment in solar from your state tax burden, up to a maximum value of $1,000. There is also a 30% federal tax credit for all solar panel systems deployed before 2020. When both benefits are combined, the potential tax deduction becomes 45% of the total cost!

If you are unable to assume the full upfront cost of your solar panel system, there are still plenty of financing options available. Purchasing solar panels through a loan allows you to take advantage of the financial benefits described above without having to put any money down. The combination of energy savings, SREC income, and tax benefits is normally enough to cover loan payments completely, allowing you to start saving money immediately.