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How To Go Solar In Boston

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Photo Credit Thinkstock

Photo Credit Thinkstock

The Boston area is brimming with non-profits, businesses, state programs and municipalities focusing on maximizing solar power. These groups are great places to turn when you are just starting out on your solar power project. Solar power is a huge trend in Boston that is backed by many financial and political incentives. Over the past year, Massachusetts, despite its northern climate, has become one of the country’s leaders in solar power. In fact, California is the only state with a better solar market than Massachusetts. With so much support available, now is the perfect time for residents and businesses to consider solar. 

Massachusetts Clean Energy Center Solarize Mass
masscec.com/solarizemass

All across Massachusetts, homeowners and business owners are making the decision to install solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. Many of these projects are sponsored by state programs like Solarize Mass in conjunction with city programs like Renew Boston. This collaboration of state and city efforts is part of Governor Patrick’s goal to have 250 MW of solar PV installed by 2017. Solarize Mass gets communities across the state involved in competitive tiered pricing for solar that helps make sure all involved neighborhoods see the maximum amount of financial savings possible through energy savings. 

SunRun Solar Company
sunrun.com

If you aren’t ready to make the commitment to purchasing solar panels yourself, perhaps because you are worried that the return on investment could take too long, another option is working with a for-profit company like SunRun. SunRun will lease your roof space in order to install its own solar panels on your property, while you see the savings on your electricity bills. This way, you see the returns immediately.

Renew Boston
cityofboston.gov

Renew Boston is a city program aimed at helping people learn about renewable power sources and energy-efficient living. It has a team dedicated to solar power in the city and is a great resource for learning about the incentives and policies that can sometimes haze the solar installation process. Renew Boston also holds great educational events and workshops around the city, so if you are in the very beginning stages of your solar project, Renew Boston is a great place to start.  

SunBug Solar
sunbugsolar.com

Using a similar for-profit business model as SunRun, SunBug focuses on providing commercial businesses with the opportunity to install solar panels. Current incentives and tax credits in Massachusetts make projects like these a financially sound decision for many business owners. SunBug and SunRun are also working with churches, temples and synagogues as well – which is a great project since many of these facilities have such large roofs.  

Next Step Living
nextstepliving.com

This company has really taken the lead on residential energy audits in the state. Through its website, people can sign up for a free audit, during which they can learn ways to cut energy costs and increase efficiency. Once the audit is complete, the Next Step Living representatives will let you know if your home is an ideal location for a solar installation. If your home meets the profile, Next Step Living can help design, plan and install your solar power system. 

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Cameron Bruns is the founder of BostonGreenBlog.com and co-author of Just Us Gals Boston. She lives in Boston’s North End, where her goal is to promote ethical, stylish, and sustainable lifestyle choices to all Boston residents. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.

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