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Net-Metering in Massachusetts

January 8, 2024 | Reading Time: 6 minutes

What is net-metering?

Net-metering is a solar incentive offered in Massachusetts and other states that allows homeowners to transfer their excess energy to the grid in exchange for a credit.

How does net-metering work?

Net-metering is possible with a bidirectional meter. This meter tracks the amount of energy being consumed by the residence from the grid and the amount being transferred from the residence to the grid. When you use electricity from the electric company, your meter spins forward. When you generate excess electricity and “export” it to the grid, your meter spins backward.

At the end of each month, a surplus or deficit is calculated, allowing the property owner to either settle their dues with the electric company or receive payment from the electric company. In the latter scenario, compensation is provided in the form of energy credits which accumulate and do not expire for 25 years.

Who qualifies for net-metering?

If you own a property with a renewable energy generation system such as wind, solar, or anaerobic digestion, you may qualify to net-meter.

Specific eligibility requirements include:

  • You must be a customer of a regulated electric company. (Eversource, National Grid, Unitil)
  • Your system must produce less than 2 megawatts or less for a private facility or 10 megawatts or less for a public facility.

How do I apply for net-metering?

Your solar installer will apply for net-metering for you when they apply to interconnect your new solar system to the grid. Let your installer know you are interested in the net-metering program as soon as possible.

Can I use net-metering credits on a different property?

Yes, it is possible to use net-metering credits on a different property’s electric bill. Your electric company will direct you to submit a Schedule Z, the form used to determine which electric account(s) your credits should go to. You’re able to make changes to your Schedule Z no more than two times per year.

Schedule Z Application from National Grid

Schedule Z Application from Eversource

Schedule Z Application from Unitil

 Requirements for transferring credits to another property include:

  • Both properties must have the same electric company.
  • Both properties must be located within the same ISO-NE load zone.

Can net-metering be used with other incentives?

Depending on the type of system, net-metering may be able to be used in conjunction with other incentives.

For example, if you’re net-metering for your solar energy system, you can still qualify for the Federal Solar Tax credit, and you’ll save money on multiple aspects.

Is net-metering worth it in Massachusetts?

We highly recommend our customers take advantage of the net-metering program if they’re installing solar in Massachusetts. It is one of the most highly used solar incentive programs and we envision it progressing in popularity over the long term.

If net-metering doesn’t seem like a great fit for you, there are many other incentive programs currently available in Massachusetts.