Founded back to 1629, Salem is a city rich in historic legacy. Salem has been an important seaport since the colonial era and is considered the birthplace of the US National Guard. Known for the witch trials of 1692, many of the local schools, athletic teams, and tourism businesses use witchcraft themes for their names. The city draws more than a million tourists each year, especially around Halloween.
While tourism remains a significant part of the local economy, solar power has experienced significant growth in Salem in recent years. For example, the municipal government is installing two large solar panel systems on public school rooftops:
These are just a few of the initiatives aimed at reducing the environmental footprint of Salem. The municipality has created a Renewable Energy Task Force to identify and promote clean energy opportunities in the city. In 2014, a 740-megawatt (MW) oil and coal power plant was decommissioned and replaced with a 674 MW natural gas power plant, which releases fewer emissions.
National Grid, the electric utility company serving the city of Salem, charges up to 20 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) and has been increasing its rates significantly in recent years. The power bills of most National Grid customers increased by more than 10% between 2016 and 2017, and another tariff hike is being discussed for 2018. One of the best way to avoid paying for expensive electricity is to generate your own energy with solar panels. In addition to being a cleaner source of energy, electricity produced by solar panels can save you money on your electric bills.
If you live in Salem, solar panels can also provide an extra source of income through the Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program in Massachusetts. Here’s how the program works:
In addition to saving on power bills and selling SRECs, you can also receive several tax benefits when you purchase a solar panel system in Salem:
With so many tax benefits, the total cost of owning a solar panel system in Salem can be less than 50% of the retail price of the panels. For those you can’t afford to pay for solar upfront, there are several financing options available, and many that don’t require a down payment. With energy savings and SREC sales, you can cover your monthly loan payments and enjoy FREE solar energy once your loan is paid off.