Taunton is one of the oldest municipalities in the USA, founded in 1637 by settlers from Plymouth. As a result, the city has a rich historic legacy; the Taunton Green district is even part of the National Register of Historic Places. Some of the best-known examples of colonial architecture in Taunton are the Pilgrim Congregational Church, the Bristol County Superior Courthouse, and St. Mary’s Church.
Taunton has also been a hub of industrial innovation since its early days. The Taunton Iron Works, the first company of its kind in the region, operated for more than 200 years from 1656 to 1876. Other industries that thrived in Taunton during the 19th century included textile manufacturing, brick making and especially silversmithing – Taunton is nicknamed The Silver City.
With a population of over 55,000, Taunton is one of the largest cities in Massachusetts. And like many cities in Massachusetts, Taunton has carried out significant efforts to become greener through renewable energy generation and energy efficiency:
Unlike most Massachusetts cities, which are served by either Eversource or National Grid, Taunton has its own municipal electric utility – the Taunton Municipal Lighting Plant (TMLP). The average price of electricity for homeowners is around 15 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), which is cheaper than the largest utilities in the state, but is still around 15% higher than the national average. Therefore, there is a significant opportunity to save energy with solar panels. Additionally, utility electricity rates tend to rise over time, which means that utility bill savings from solar increase year after year.
In addition to providing significant energy savings, solar panel systems allow owners to accumulate Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs), at a rate of one SREC per 1,000 kWh of energy generated. The market price for one SREC is around $270 (as of early 2017), which solar panel owners can sell as a source of income in addition to their energy savings.
TMLP is generous with energy consumers who go solar, offering a rebate of $1.50 per watt, to ti a maximum value of $4,500. This program makes solar power an attractive investment in Taunton. In addition to the TMLP rebate, there are many local tax incentives for solar power:
Keep in mind that tax credits are calculated based on the cost of your solar panel system after subtracting the TMLP rebate. For example, if your installation is worth $20,000 and you are awarded the full $4,500 rebate, tax credits are calculated based on a base price of $15,500. Still, home and business owners in Taunton can get a solar panel system for about half price when factoring in all the available incentives! Solar is an excellent investment in Taunton, MA.