Category Archives: The Policy Front

Solar in a Muni Town – Feast or Famine

March 29, 2017

If you live in Massachusetts and your electricity is provided by your town’s “municipal utility,” then now would be a good time to go solar. Why? Starting in 2018, the SREC solar incentive program will end and the new SMART program will start. However, the SMART program will only be available to customers of Investor…  Read the entire post »

New Solar Incentive Prices in Rhode Island

March 27, 2017

The payments new solar owners get through the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Growth (REG) program change on April 1. (Need background on the “REG” program? Click here to read my article explaining the REG and the REF Grant.) Note that prices do not change if you are already enrolled in the program; you continue to…  Read the entire post »

From SREC to SMART: How Massachusetts Solar Incentives are Changing

March 15, 2017

IMPORTANT NOTE: If you are already in the SREC I or SREC II program, nothing changes. You will continue to earn SRECs for the remainder of your 10-year period. People signing up for solar in 2018 will not get SRECs; they will be eligible for the SMART program instead. For the past seven years, Massachusetts…  Read the entire post »

1,000 by ’20 in Rhode Island — Here Comes the Clean Energy Economy

March 3, 2017

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo has announced a goal of increasing the state’s clean energy capacity by 10 times by the end of 2020. That’s a very impressive and ambitious goal, and we commend her for the commitment to the environment and to the economic growth that comes with a flourishing renewable energy industry. The Governor’s…  Read the entire post »

N.E. Clean Energy Installs its 5th System at Non-Profit Nature’s Classroom

March 1, 2017

This post has two parts: The feel-good main story, and a tough but true statement on how Massachusetts solar policy is stifling commercial solar development, which I’ve restricted to the inset box. On to the fun stuff. You’ve heard the saying “practice what you preach.” At Nature’s Classroom, they practice what they teach. If you’re…  Read the entire post »

Mass Solar Loan Funds Almost Gone

February 7, 2017

So long, Mass Solar Loan. It was fun while it lasted. This state-sponsored program, which makes solar accessible to more Massachusetts homeowners, including those with low credit scores and low income levels, has been hugely successful. So successful, in fact, that more than 70% of the available funds* had been used as of January 19,…  Read the entire post »

It’s Settled: Solar Does Not Harm Non-Solar Owners

February 2, 2017

Solar is under fire from many utilities and many special interest groups linked — visibly or not-so-visibly — to utilities. The most effective bit of propaganda in their arsenal is the mistruth (can we say “lie”?) that electricity ratepayers without solar subsidize those ratepayers with solar. They often paint those without solar as poor and…  Read the entire post »

Comparing Rhode Island Solar Incentives

September 6, 2016

Homeowners installing a solar electric system in Rhode Island have two pretty amazing choices when it comes to picking a state program to defray the cost. Fondly known as “REF” and “REG”, they can be a tad confusing. Here’s an explanation of how each works, and a comparison of the two. REF  (Renewable Energy Fund)…  Read the entire post »

Mass Solar Loan Terms Adjusted to Benefit More Families

June 2, 2016

I was skeptical about the Mass Solar Loan when it was first announced by the Clean Energy Center and the Department of Energy Resources. The loan program, intended to replace the Commonwealth Solar II rebate, had been delayed and delayed again for nearly two years. In the meantime, many strong solar loans emerged to fill…  Read the entire post »

Massachusetts Solar Prices as Good as Ever

May 25, 2016

What do you get when you mix months of uncertainty and doubt with a day of positive news? Lots more uncertainty and doubt, with some confusion thrown in. That’s the state of solar in Massachusetts. After months – no, more than a year – of legislative haggling over whether or not to increase the Net…  Read the entire post »