Boston goes solar with SunPower®
Beantown elevates itself with solar energy
The state of solar in Boston
Boston has diverse weather conditions, but it is still a front-runner for solar energy production. The annual sunny day average for Boston is five days shy of the national average of 205 days.* About 81% of buildings in the city have solar viability that could produce up to 1.5 million megawatt-hours of electricity per year—that’s an amazing 1.5 trillion watts!*
How much solar energy does Boston produce?
According to the Shining Cities report of 2020, Boston is the 25th city in the country for solar installations per capita. The city’s solar energy capacity per person is 55.51 watts, with 38.56 megawatts of total installed solar energy panels (a megawatt is one million watts).
What are the advantages of going solar in Boston?
It pays to go solar in Boston. The average payback time for a 5 kilowatt (kW) solar system is only about seven years.*
A kilowatt (kW) is 1,000 watts of power. A measure of energy output, a kWh (kilowatt-hour) is 1,000 watts (a kilowatt) producing energy for one hour. The average U.S. household uses just over 900 kWh per month.*
The average residential electricity rate for the city is 14.91¢ per kWh, but rates can go as high as 15.2¢ in the metro Boston area.* At those rates, you could potentially save up to $890 a year on electricity bills with solar panels.*
Going solar also positively impacts the environment. Solar energy is clean and sustainable, so you can enjoy a greener lifestyle and reduce your household’s dependence on fossil fuels. Solar panels generate no greenhouse gas emissions and contribute nothing to air pollution.
How much does solar cost in Boston?
The cost of a home solar system can vary, even in the same city, due to a range of factors. These include:
Household energy needsWeather
Solar panel qualityThe angle of the roof
To help you understand the price of going solar in your area, we’ve analyzed SunPower price quotes, as well as quotes gathered by third-party sources,* for thousands of homeowners across the country.
In Boston, we found that the average investment to own a 5 kW solar system ranges from $15,050 to $29,950, or, in other words, from $3.01 to $5.99 per watt—and that’s before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.
Massachusetts has several incentives in place to encourage residents to go solar. A popular option is the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) program.*
The state also has a tax credit for residents who use solar energy. It will cover 15% of the cost of the solar system, with a cap of $1,000.* MA residents can also benefit from a 100% property tax exemption on your solar system that’s good for up to 20 years, and that’s on top of a $100 sales tax exemption, which makes purchasing equipment more affordable.*
On the federal level, you can take advantage of the solar tax credit. You can receive a 26% credit on a new solar PV system installation when filing your federal income taxes.
Tax credits and incentives are subject to change. Similarly, the availability of net metering varies by location and is subject to change. Visit dsireusa.org for detailed solar policy information.
- *. Local Solar Installers 2020/2021, Solar Reviews 2021, Energy Sage 2021, Wood Mackenzie 2020, National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2020.
- *. Solar Reviews, 2021 Massachusetts SMART program explained (updated 1/8/2021)
- *. Solar-Nation, Solar Power in Boston, MA: See Your Benefits! (accessed 8/26/2021)
- *. Solar-Nation, Solar power in Boston MA: See Your Benefits! (accessed 8/26/2021)
What’s the best way to go solar in Boston?
Going solar in Boston requires a personalized approach that considers several factors, such as your home’s energy objectives, roof size, the durability of solar panels, solar storage solutions, and solar system attractiveness. What works well for one household may not be ideal for yours, even in the same city.
Before meeting with a solar contractor, it’s worth using a solar savings estimator to quickly build an initial custom solar system design for your roof with an estimate of how much money you’ll save on electric bills and the amount of power it will produce.
Working with a reputable solar provider will help you navigate the solar power production process. These professionals have ample experience matching households with appropriate high-efficiency solar panels that complement the property’s aesthetics. Solar contractors also have plenty of industry knowledge, including local and federal incentives that will reduce the cost of going solar.
SunPower® Design Studio
See what your home looks like with solar
SunPower currently creates thousands of solar designs per week for our customers. Now we can create thousands per second.