Worcester, also known as the, “Heart of the Commonwealth,” has a population exceeding 180,000 and is the second largest city in New England after Boston. The city was a center of industrial activity a century ago, but its economy now focuses on education and healthcare. Worcester is home to the University of Massachusetts Medical School, which has been ranked among the top medical schools in the nation.
Worcester is rich in historic legacy, founded by settlers in 1674 and destroyed twice before it was settled permanently and named in 1713. The city played a crucial role during the American Revolution, and the Declaration of Independence was read for the first time in Massachusetts in its town hall. Victorian style buildings are common in Worcester, adding to its historic and cultural legacy.
Worcester is also one of the major artistic centers in the state of Massachusetts. The city is home to Mechanics Hall, which dates back to 1857 and is among the oldest concert venues in the nation. Worcester is also home to the Hanover Theater for the Performing Arts, which frequently presents Broadway works. In addition, the city is also considered the birthplace of Valentine’s Day cards.
Residents of Worcester are served by National Grid electric utility. Base residential rates increased by 20% in 2016 alone in the National Grid territory. At hours when power grid demand is at its peak, electricity rates reach values close to 20 cents per kWh, which are among the highest in the nation. However, this also represents a great opportunity to save energy with solar panels. Here’s why Worcester is a great place for solar:
The Renewable Portfolio Standard of Massachusetts requires all utilities, including National Grid, to obtain 25% of their energy from renewable sources by 2030 or face considerable fines. For utility companies, purchasing SRECs is a more attractive option than developing all the required renewable energy generation capacity by themselves.
Keep in mind that the yearly increase in electricity rates also drives up the savings achieved by a solar panel system, even if the total amount of energy generated by the solar panel system stays the same each year!
The tax benefits available for home and business owners who deploy solar panels in Worcester are also remarkable. Solar panel systems are exempt from both sales and property taxes. Additionally, home and business owners who install solar can receive a state tax credit for 15% of the installation’s cost, up to a maximum value of $1,000. Keep in mind that this state tax credit is in addition to the 30% federal tax credit, which applies to all US solar installations.