The Renew Boston’s Residential Solar Pilot program was announced today in hopes of encouraging Boston homeowners to invest in clean renewable energy.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino announced several facets of the new program, including that Boston Archives Building in West Roxbury is in the design phase of for a 140 kW solar power system.
The program is possible because of a $140,000 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) for small residential solar photovoltaic (PV) installations by providing matching rebates to Massachusetts' Clean Energy Center’s Commonwealth Solar II program. Solar photovoltaic systems are the method that solar power is gathered.
Interested in learning more and applying for the pilot program, click here.
Average residential rebates are expected to range from $1,000 to $3,000, in addition to state and federal incentives. The average payback of a residential solar power installation is expected in less than four years. Participating Boston residents are required to invest in energy efficiency improvements and must also complete an energy assessment from Renew Boston or MassSave.
“Our ambitious climate action strategy requires residents and businesses to do their part in embracing clean energy solutions,” said Menino. “Our new solar incentive program will help residents take the next step in greening their home through solar energy, saving money on utility bills and creating green jobs.”
Menino announced the new program at the home of Jamaica Plain residents Katharine Kilbourn and Scott Shear who installed a solar PV system on their roof this spring. According to a city press release, using Boston-area based SunBug Solar, Katharine and Scott installed a 4.6 kW system which powers 90 percent of their annual home electricity needs. On a sunny day their system supplies additional energy back to the electricity grid.
The new pilot program is a continued effort to make the city save more on energy costs and help the environment. The city has also developed an online Solar Map and released a comprehensive Solar Permitting Guide to streamline the design and permitting process and motivate property owners to install solar systems.
The Solar Map tracks all clean energy projects developed in the city and allows users to estimate the solar potential of their rooftop.
The pilot program will offer a range of ownership options to Boston residents including residential PPAs/leases and direct solar ownership. Final program design parameters and incentive levels are still being developed and will be discussed with "qualified respondents" after the close of this solicitation by the city.
“Incentives at the federal, state, and city level are now putting solar energy within reach of Boston residents, said Jim Hunt, Boston’s Chief of Environment and Energy. “Mayor Menino’s clean energy agenda is not only saving residents money and creating good local jobs, it’s also enhancing Boston’s reputation a global clean tech hub.”