Solar electricity can provide you with lower cost electricity. Follow the steps below to get started.
- Learn about solar electricity.
- Use the Mass Solar Loan consumer dashboard to learn about solar costs and loan interest rates under the Mass Solar Loan program.
- Receive a price quote from a pre-qualified Mass Solar Loan installer (Downloadable List).
- Select an installer and sign a solar system installation contract. The contract should be contingent on receiving a loan from a participating Mass Solar Loan lender (Downloadable List). Assist your installer in completing the Mass Solar Loan technical application in the Mass Solar Loan online portal. Your installer will help you determine if you are eligible for income-based loan support.
- Provide your tax information to the third-party income verifier via their secure online form, if you are applying for income-based loan support. You will receive an email providing instructions for filing the right forms.
- After your installer completes the technical application for your project in the online portal, you will receive a technical confirmation document via email. Provide the Technical Confirmation to a participating bank or credit union. 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. For loans closed prior to 10/17/16, the maximum interest rate for a Mass Solar Loan is 3.25 percent. For loans closed on or after Oct. 17, 2016, the maximum interest rate for a Mass Solar Loan will be 5.50 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.
- After your solar system has been connected to the electric grid, your installer will file project completion documents. Upon approval of those documents, the remaining 65 percent of your loan will be disbursed.
- If you qualified for Income Based Loan Support, this will be paid to your lender in our monthly payment cycle, in the month following your project’s completion approval. Once received, your lender will apply this incentive to your loan principal. Please see the FAQ for more detail
Note: Solar projects that have received a rebate as part of the Commonwealth Solar program are not eligible to participate in the Mass Solar Loan program.
Additional Program Resources for Consumers:
- Consumer Frequently Asked Questions
- Webinar Overview of the Application Process
- Mass Solar Loan Program Overview
- Mass Solar Loan Program Manual
- Solar PV Inspection Overview
Additional Solar Resources for Consumers:
Installers must meet MassCEC guidelines to participate in the Mass Solar Loan program. Contractors who have previously attained Expedited status under the Commonwealth Solar II rebate program are automatically eligible to participate in the program.
If you are a solar installer interested in Mass Solar Loan, please complete your eligibility application in the Mass Solar Loan Application Portal to receive login information.
Additionally, new installers looking to become eligible to participate in the program must complete a pre-qualification process, as described in Attachment D of the Mass Solar Loan program manual.
For more details on program eligibility, please consult the Mass Solar Loan program manual.
Once eligibility is confirmed, installers should follow the steps below:
- Inform potential participating residents about the Mass Solar Loan program. This flyer may be helpful in educating consumers on how the program works.
- Sign a turnkey solar contract, which must be contingent on the resident receiving a loan from an approved Mass Solar Loan lender. The anticipated project cost included in this contract should be as accurate a representation of this system as possible, as the customer’s loan and potential loan support provided by MassCEC will be based on the expected system costs. Increased system costs after loan support is reserved will not be eligible for additional loan support.
- Submit a technical application through the Mass Solar Loan application portal. See Installer Portal Step-by-Step Instructions in the Installer Quick Start Guide for a detailed review of using the portal and this webinar overview of the application process.
- Once the technical application has been approved, a technical confirmation document will be sent via email. The resident should present the technical confirmation to one or more participating lenders to apply for a Mass Solar Loan.
- After the lender reserves program loan support in the portal and closes the loan, the lender will disburse 35 percent of the loan funds via a two-party check, to both the resident and the installer.
- Installers should proceed with constructing the solar project. Once the system is interconnected to the grid, installers will upload project completion documents to the Solar Loan Portal. Detailed instructions can be found in the Installer Portal Step-by-Step Instructions in the Installer Quick Start Guide.
- After final review and approval of the project completion documents, MassCEC will inform the lender to proceed with the final disbursement of the loan amount via a two-party check.
For more information, please see these installer frequently asked questions.
Additional Resources for Installers:
- MassCEC's Code of Conduct
- Example Solmetric SunEye Report
- Example Solar Pathfinder Report
- Example Aurora Report
- Example Brightharvest Report
MassCEC Quality Assurance / Inspection Process:
Participation in the Mass Solar Loan program is an opportunity for lenders to become a part of the growing Massachusetts residential solar market. Interested lenders should email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
While terms may vary, participating lenders are required to offer fixed-rate, 10-year loans between $3,000 and $35,000. Lenders may also choose to offer loans of up to $60,000. For loans closed prior to Oct 17, 2016, Mass Solar Loan will provide a 3 percent interest rate buy down as an upfront payment for qualifying program loans. For loans closed on or after Oct. 17, 2016, Mass Solar Loan will provide a 1.5 percent interest rate buy down as an upfront payment for qualifying program loans. Lenders may charge a maximum, pre-subsidy interest rate for program loans of Wall Street Journal prime rate + 2.75 percent (currently 7.00 percent).
In addition to the interest rate buy-down described above, lenders will receive direct payments from Mass Solar Loan to reduce loan principal for loans provided to income-eligible residents. The program also provides a loan loss reserve to assist lenders in providing loans to borrowers whose credit score may not typically meet lender eligibility requirements. More information about the specifics of these subsidies can be found in the program manual.
Lenders interested in the program must verify their eligibility and ability to offer a loan that meets program requirements as described in the financing program agreement. Lenders can also familiarize themselves with the annual and monthly reporting templates.
To participate in the program, please follow these steps.
- Review and sign the financing program agreement and return it to email@example.com along with a complete Financing Program Agreement Cover Sheet, as found in the Lender Quick Start Guide.
- MassCEC will provide you with a login and password for the Mass Solar Loan Portal, the central location where lenders can reserve program loan support.
- Prepare internal processes to receive loan applications. This can include:
- Developing a dedicated webpage,
- Creating customized marketing materials,
- Providing internal staff trainings on the solar loan product, and
- Setting up systems to track and report on solar loans.
- When you are prepared to start making loans, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be added to the list of qualified lenders.
- Residents and installers will sign turnkey solar installation contracts. Once proposed solar system designs have been reviewed and approved by MassCEC, residents will receive a technical confirmation document that they must provide to participating lenders. Only residents presenting MassCEC’s technical confirmation are eligible to participate in Mass Solar Loan.
- Use the Loan Support Calculator to determine the amounts of support a particular loan will receive. Once a lender and a resident have agreed to terms and are ready to close a loan, the lender will log in to the Mass Solar Loan Portal and claim the customer’s approved project to reserve loan support funds (the loan must close within one business day of submitting the loan support application in the portal). Review the Lender Portal Step-by-Step Instructions found in the Lender Quick Start Guide for more information about using the portal.
- Disburse 35 percent of the loan through a two-party check to the resident and the solar installer.
- List the loan on your next monthly report to MassCEC to receive disbursement of the interest rate buy down for the loan’s interest-only period.
- Once the project has been completed, MassCEC will notify you via email that the final 65 percent of the loan may be disbursed. This email will also alert you if any changes have been made to the project that may reduce loan support amounts.
- List the final disbursement on your next monthly report to MassCEC and receive the remaining interest rate buy down and any applicable income based loan support.
For more information, view these lender frequently asked questions.