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Renewable Energy for Customers

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Would you like to learn more about installing renewable energy generation at your home or business?  HG&E can answer your questions related to your home energy system such as general feasibility, system potential developers/installers and available incentives, and even provide a free technical review of projected system revenues provided by developers to ensure that their projections are realistic.  Just contact us for additional information.

Holyoke is a great place for renewable energy!  HG&E has various sensors and communications located throughout its network, which allows for constant monitoring and load balancing.  This enables higher penetration of renewable systems without power quality concerns on HG&E’s system.  In addition, HG&E can perform system impact studies and integrate your system to our grid in a matter of days whereas typical private utilities may take months.  Furthermore, HG&E provides its customers with complimentary technical services such as a review of projected revenues and advice/support with regards to systems integration.  HG&E will even compensate you for energy your solar facility produces at the wholesale peak rate!  For more information please review our rates.

As an HG&E customer, there are multiple incentives available to you to help get your project going.  To learn more, review the applicable sections below or contact us. 

HG&E Solar Incentive

HG&E residential customers can take advantage of the Residential Energy Conservation Program for solar installations.

Massachusetts Solar Incentives

As of November 26, 2018 the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) ended its Solar Carve-Out II (SREC II) Program and launched its new phase for solar – the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program.  Under this new program, systems built within Municipal Light Plant territories (i.e. HG&E) after November 26, 2018 are not eligible to participate and receive financial incentives offered.  Customers who had systems operational before this date will still be able to continue to participate in previous programs (SREC I or SREC II) depending on commercial operation date. HG&E will continue to monitor the Commonwealth’s solar programs and update customers if any incentives become available in the future.  For more detail, please visit the DOER’s SMART Program website.

Mass Solar Loan

Mass Solar Loan is a $30 million program administered in partnership between the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC).  Mass Solar Loan connects homeowners interested in solar electricity to solar installers and lenders that have available financing options. Through the program, lenders offer low-interest loans for Massachusetts residents and property owners, including renters and those with moderate incomes or low credit scores. The program is financed through $30 million of Alternative Compliance Payments from the Department of Energy Resources.

While terms may vary, lenders will offer 10-year fixed-rate loans between $3,000 and $35,000. Lenders also have the discretion of offering loans up to $60,000. As of December 16, 2015, the maximum interest rate for a Mass Solar Loan is 3.25 percent. As you close a loan with your preferred lender, the lender will reserve support funds in the Mass Solar Loan portal. The lender will then disburse 35 percent of your loan amount, at which point an interest-only period begins (up to 12 months) while your solar system is being constructed

For more information on Mass Solar Loan visit

Renewable Energy Charge

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) programs provide HG&E with access to financial incentives that can be used to construct and upgrade utility-scale renewable generation.  Since HG&E’s renewable generation provides over 65% of Holyoke’s annual electric supply, MassCEC incentives benefit all customers by ensuring that HG&E’s rates remain low.

In order for HG&E and its customers to have continued access to MassCEC programs, customers must pay into the Renewable Energy Fund.  This translates to a Renewable Energy Charge of $0.0005 (one-twentieth of a cent) per kilowatt hour (kWh) of electricity consumed on your monthly bill.  For the average customer who consumes 500 kWh of electricity each month, this translates to an approximate $0.25 increase per bill.  Please note that due to MassCEC regulations, the Renewable Energy Charge is not subject to HG&E’s 10% prompt payment discount. 

For additional information, please refer to HG&E’s Renewable Energy Charge Rate Schedule.

Tax Incentives

The State offers a variety of financial incentives to aid the installation of renewable energy projects. Please consult your accountant or tax advisor regarding your eligibility for these incentives, and visit the database of state incentives and rebates.

Personal Tax Credit - Massachusetts allows a 15% credit (up to $1,000) against the State income tax for the net expenditure of a renewable energy system (including installation costs) that is installed on an individual’s primary residence.  See MGL C.62 §6(d).

Property Tax Exemption - Massachusetts law provides that solar-energy systems and wind-energy systems used as a primary or auxiliary power system for the purpose of heating or otherwise supplying the energy needs of taxable property are exempt from local property tax for a 20-year period.   See MGL C.59 §5(45, 45A) .

Sales Tax Exemption - Massachusetts law exempts from the state’s sales tax equipment directly relating to any solar or wind-powered system that supplies the energy needs of an individual’s principal residence.  See MGL C.64H §6(dd).

Compensation from HG&E

In addition to complimentary technical advice and fast systems integration, HG&E compensates customers for the electricity that their renewable energy systems produce at peak wholesale rates.  For additional information or a program application, please refer to our Distributed Generation Policy and Tariff.  Compensation at wholesale prices prevents HG&E’s ratepayers from having to pay a premium for renewable energy, and therefore ensures that electricity rates in Holyoke remain low.

Financial Assistance

HG&E provides financial assistance for the installation of a solar facility at 0% interest for our customers through our Energy Conservation Loan Program.

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