SMART Program

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), manages the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program which offers an additional compensation for solar energy production on top of electricity savings.

What is the SMART Program?

The SMART program promotes solar in the commonwealth through a per-kilowatt-hour (kWh) solar compensation rate for solar system owners.  The rate of compensation is determined by several factors, and is paid directly from the utility to the system owner.  Residential-scale systems (systems under 25 kW AC capacity) participate for 10 years from system installation, and receive the highest compensation rates within the SMART program.

What factors into a system’s SMART compensation rate?

SMART is a declining block program with separate compensation rates for customers in each of the three investor-owned utilities — Eversource, National Grid, and Unitil.  A system owner's 10 year compensation rate is set at the time of installation based upon the utility and the current program block.

Municipal utilities participate in SMART in a different way.  Homeowners served by a municipal utility, such as residents of Wellesley or Westfield, get their SMART compensation up-front at time of installation in the form of a one-time rebate.  Rebate levels vary depending on the utility.

What are the SMART compensation rates?

In the initial blocks of SMART, rates vary from about $.10 per kWh to almost $.15 per kWh in the under 25 kW, residential-scale size category.  Rates for low income utility customers are slightly higher.

What does that mean practically?

A well-sited residential 5 kilowatt (5 kW) PV system will generate approximately 6,000 kilowatt hours annually in MA.  In Eversource East, that homeowner will save approximately $1400 a year in electricity costs, and earn another $900 a year in SMART compensation. Combined with federal and state tax credits, the utility saving and SMART compensation deliver 6 to 8 year paybacks for many homeowners.

To learn more about solar for your home, contact us to request a free solar assessment.

Environmental Impact

In Massachusetts, greenhouse gas emissions total about 22 million metric tons per year. This means that annually, the Bay State is responsible for 185,000 tons of polluting emissions, with a large portion coming from electricity generation. Renewable energy sources like solar can play a significant role in reducing the state's environmental impact.

Free Solar Assessment

Have SunBug Solar do a no-cost assessment of your home to find out if solar could work for you.  We'll do a complete analysis, factoring in the specifics of your site, the available state and federal incentives, the projected energy savings, and all of the different financing options. Just fill out this simple form.

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SunBug Solar creates positive environmental and social impact by exemplifying our core values of responsiveness, resourcefulness, and reliability with our customers, within our industry, and among our teammates. Founded in 2009 and a Certified B Corporation since 2018, SunBug has installed over a thousand solar systems across Massachusetts, from Great Barrington to Cape Cod. We design and build all types of solar systems, ranging in size from 1kW to over 1MW, including residential, commercial, carports, and ground-mounts. Our integrated approach—from initial education through consultative design to quality installation and ongoing support—has earned SunBug the highest reputation for customer service, and a host of satisfied residential and commercial customers.