With a population of over 150,000, Springfield is the third largest city in Massachusetts, surpassed only by Boston and Worcester. If the entire metropolitan area around Springfield is counted, the population exceeds 700,000. Settled in 1636 and incorporated in 1852, Springfield is rich in historic legacy and is characterized by its Victorian architecture.
Springfield is part of the Knowledge Corridor, which encompasses the area between it and Hartford, CT. The area has a total of 32 universities and is home to over 150,000 students. Springfield is probably best known for being the birthplace of basketball and home to the Basketball Hall of Fame. For this reason, it has been nicknamed Hoop City.
Additionally, many of the innovations that shaped the modern world also come from Springfield, including the assembly line, the first American English dictionary, vulcanized rubber, and the first American gasoline car. WBZ, one of the oldest radio stations in the country, also comes from Springfield and has been operating since 1921. Some other nicknames of Springfield come from its track record in technological innovation, such as, “The City of Firsts” and, “The City of Progress.”
The electric utility company serving homes and businesses in Springfield is Eversource, which resulted from the merger of Western Massachusetts Electric Company and Connecticut Light and Power. Local electricity rates are among the highest in the nation, sometimes exceeding 20 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). It is also important to note that rates have increased significantly in recent years; in 2010, the average kWh price was 15 cents, which means prices have increased by over 30 percent in just 5 years!
However, expensive electricity rates make installing solar panels even more attractive. The solar energy you generate translates into increased savings on your power bills. Springfield homeowners who go solar can also accumulate Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), at a rate of 1 SREC for every 1,000 kWh of solar energy. All utility companies in Massachusetts are required by law to generate 25% of their energy from renewable sources by 2030, and purchasing SRECs from their customers counts towards their goals. SRECs can represent significant extra income if you have solar panels. Here is how SRECs work in Springfield, Massachusetts:
As if the combination of energy savings and income from SREC sales wasn’t enough, you also get significant tax benefits if you purchase solar panels in Springfield: