Prior to the close of 2015, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) announced their launch of the Mass Solar Loan program. The program is intended to encourage solar development by offering low-interest loans to residents and property owners. Mass Solar Loan provides access to financing options for homeowners and renters with moderate incomes or low credit scores. The DOER will provide policy and program oversight of the program, and the MassCEC will serve as the program’s Central Administrator. The Mass Solar Loan program is funded by $30 million of alternative compliance payments (ACPs) from the state’s Renewable Energy Credit (REC and SREC) programs. The Mass Solar Loan Program Manual provides a comprehensive description of the program.
The program offers three primary financial incentives for Massachusetts residents to go solar. One of these incentives is a three percent reduction in the standard annual interest rate charged by participating lenders. This “Interest Rate Buy Down” is offered to all solar system owners, regardless of income. Another feature is the “Loan Loss Reserve”, which gives lenders additional motivation to work with system owners who have a low credit score. The third primary incentive is income-based loan support for consumers with annual household incomes at or below $80,240. Qualifying consumers can have the solar loan program pay a percentage of their loan principal upon project completion. Incentive rates are 30% of the loan value for annual household incomes below $66,866 and 20% of the loan value for household incomes between $66,866 and $80,240.
The MassCEC provides information pertinent to consumers and homeowners, solar installers, and banks and credit unions. This information details how all interested parties can apply for participation in the Mass Solar Loan program.