Incentive Information and Resource Archive

Loan Support Incentives

The Mass Solar Loan program closed to new applications December 31, 2020. The below information clarifies the incentives that were available during program operation or for existing loans that closed under the program.

For loans that closed on or after September 13, 2019, program incentives are focused on low-income qualified customers who fall within the income-based threshold indicated below. Non-income qualified customers were not eligible for the below incentives, but could still take advantage of the technical project approval and program structure to seek market rate loans from participating lenders. Eligibility was based on total household income determined by the Total Income line of the tax return (2019 Form 1040 – Line 7b) of the federal income tax filing for the most recent year available. An independent party verified household income as part of the qualification process.

Interest Rate Buy Down

Qualifying customers were eligible for a 1.5% interest rate buy down. The interest rate buy down functioned as a reduction in the interest rate paid by customers as compared to the typical rate charged by participating lenders. Non-income qualified customers were not eligible for the interest rate buy down and received market rate loans from participating lenders. 

Loan Loss Reserve

Depending on the qualifying resident’s credit score, lenders could have been eligible for additional incentives to help their customers go solar. If a resident’s credit record was less than perfect, they could ask a participating lender if they might qualify for the Loan Loss Reserve incentive. 

Income-Based Loan Support

For qualifying customers, the Mass Solar Loan program offered an additional incentive applied directly to the loan principal. This was paid directly to the lender as a portion of the loan principal when the project reached completion. Income qualified customers were eligible for a 30% reduction up to $10,500. 

Income Thresholds over the course of the program are available here.

To understand how these incentives have changed over the duration of the program please review our Program Updates page. 

Resource Archives

Program History

The Mass Solar Loan program launched in December 2015 as 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 connected homeowners interested in solar electricity to solar installers and lenders that had available financing options. Through the program, lenders offered low-interest loans for Massachusetts residents and property owners, including renters and those with moderate incomes or low credit scores.

Financial incentives available to Massachusetts residents changed throughout the program. At the launch of the program, a 3% interest rate reduction was available to all customers, regardless of income level, with additional loan support available to residents who were income or credit score qualified. In October 2016, the interest rate reduction was reduced to 1.5%.

In December 2017, an additional $10 million was allocated to the program as it shifted its incentives to focus on low- and moderate-income customers (below 120% of the State Median Income). In September 2019, $5 million in funds were added to focus on low-income customers (below 80% of the State Median Income).

In December 2020, the program sunset to new applications.

About DOER

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) develops and implements policies and programs aimed at ensuring the adequacy, security, diversity, and cost-effectiveness of the Commonwealth's energy supply to create a clean, affordable, and resilient energy future. DOER is an agency of the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).

About MassCEC

Created by the Green Jobs Act of 2008, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies, and projects in the Commonwealth—while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts. Since its inception in 2009, MassCEC has helped clean energy companies grow, supported municipal clean energy projects, and invested in residential and commercial renewable energy installations creating a robust marketplace for innovative clean technology companies and service providers.