The City of Squares is alight with new clean energy

The state of solar in Cambridge

With an average of 201 days of sunshine per year and an impressive 80% of the rooftops solar viable,* it’s no wonder that more Cambridge residents than ever are making the switch to clean solar energy. Local legislation is also solar-friendly as the city pushes towards its goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

How much solar energy does Cambridge produce?

As of 2019, Cambridge had a solar capacity of 7,746 kW, up 895% from its 2008 capacity of 778 kW! Of that capacity, about 2,520 kW is installed at city facilities, while the other 5,226 kW comes from 700 commercial and residential installations.

What are the advantages of going solar in Cambridge?

Many Cambridge homeowners are initially attracted to the idea of installing a solar energy system for the sake of reducing their carbon footprint and doing their part for the environment. While the ecological benefits are undeniable, solar energy also provides financial benefits.

A 5 kW solar system can offer up to $35,000 in electricity savings in the first 20 years of use. It’s possible to recoup your installation costs in as little as six to seven years.* As energy costs continue to climb, solar power offers a viable option for low-cost electricity.

It’s also worth noting that installing a solar system can significantly increase your home’s value. According to the online real estate site Zillow, homes with solar systems sell for 4.1% more on average compared to homes without.* Even better, the value your solar system adds to your home is property-tax exempt.

How much does solar cost in Cambridge?

cambridge sunpower solar

The cost of a home solar system can vary, even in the same city, due to a range of factors. These include:

  • System size

  • Quality of panels and components

  • Mounting location

  • Type of solar panels

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 Cambridge, we found that the cost of owning a 5 kW solar system ranges from $15,700 to $29,950, or in other words, from $3.14 to $5.99 per watt. And that's before considering the benefits of any available tax credits or incentives.

If you purchase rather than lease your system, you may be able to take advantage of the 26% federal Solar Investment Tax Credit. There’s also Massachusetts’ 15% Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit which applies to your state taxes. Unlike the federal credit, which has no limit, this credit is capped at $1,000.*

Opting for a grid-tied system opens the door for two more savings opportunities: net metering and the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target program. Net metering allows you to earn a credit on your bill for any excess electricity your system produces that you can use in times of low production.*

The Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target program is a per-kWh incentive for systems under 5 MW. This program is on top of the credit for net metering and has a duration of 10 years for systems under 25 kW and 20 years for systems over 25 kW. Incentives rates vary based on numerous factors but range from $0.14288 per kWh to $0.391.

What’s the best way to go solar in Cambridge?

When you’re ready to start looking into solar system systems, it's important to keep in mind that every solar setup will be a bit different. The solar provider you choose will significantly impact your system's quality, durability, and appearance.

The right system for your home depends on a wide range of factors, from available roof space to your budget and total energy needs. You’ll also need to make decisions based on whether you’re willing to pay more upfront for a system that will save you more money in the long run or whether you prefer to keep initial costs to a minimum. Remember that investing in high-efficiency panels can lead to lower upfront costs and minimize your system size.

If you’d like to explore your options, simply request a free solar consultation with our team. We’ll follow up with a quick call to schedule a time that works for you. You can also call us directly at (800) 786-7693.

Looking for commercial solar in Cambridge?

SunPower is the top commercial solar provider in the U.S.* Schedule a commercial solar consultation today.

  • *.

    Best Places. Climate in Cambridge, MA. May 2021.


    Google, Project Sunroof data explorer (November 2018).

  • *. Energy Sage. Solar Panels in Cambridge, MA. May 2021.
  • *. CNBC. Solar power can boost your home’s value — especially in these 10 states. October 2019.
  • *. Local Solar Installers 2020/2021, Solar Reviews 2021, Energy Sage 2021, Wood Mackenzie 2020, National Renewable Energy Laboratory 2020
  • *. The availability of tax credits and incentives are subject to change. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. The availability of net metering varies by location and is subject to change. Please visit the dsireusa.org website for detailed solar policy information.
  • *. Wood Mackenzie, US PV Leaderboard (March 2021). SunPower ranked #1 in cumulative commercial volume 2017-2020.
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