What is SMART and How Can Homeowners Benefit from it?

Before we get started on discussing the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program, we should take a look back at how the solar initiative began.

In January 2010, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) launched its first solar initiative program, then known as SREC (Solar Renewable Energy Certificates). The program had set a capacity limit of 400 MW, but solar gained popularity quickly and the program met its limit within three years. The DOER continued to qualify projects through the first half of 2014 under Emergency Regulations and revisions to the RPS Class I Regulation. In the middle of April of 2014, the DOER launched SREC-II which increased the solar capacity to 1,600 MW through 2020.

In November of 2018, the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program opened for applications. Under this program, the state’s three power utilities, which are each investor owned, will directly compensate solar system owners for the solar energy they generate. The three utilities are National Grid, Eversouece and Unitil. Each of the utilities is responsible for a percentage of the program based on the proportionate amount of energy they distribute in the state. The program is capped at 1,600 MW and features a declining block structure. A declining block structure is a rate structure for energy where the per-unit price of energy decreases as the energy consumption increases.

Okay, so we just got through all the “technical” talk about what the program is, but what does it really mean?! What the program will do for homeowners who take part in the program is set a price they will get paid for excess energy their solar system generates and pushes back to the grid.


What’s the difference between the old incentive program SREC and SMART?

The main difference is that the SREC was issuing certificates to homeowners based on the energy their solar system produced. These certificates were traded on the market, so the value of the certificate could fluctuate based on the demand. The SMART program provides a fixed amount. Homeowners are protected from the fluctuating energy market on what they are paid for the energy they produce.


How much can a homeowner expect to save?

For the purpose of this calculation, let’s use $0.28/kWh as the pay-back rate. And, for the amount of energy produced, let’s use 10 MW over the year. This would calculate to $2,800 per year in savings or $28,000 over ten years.

If you still have questions about SMART or solar, in general, please feel free to give us a call. We can help guide you through the entire process and show you the energy cost savings for your specific situation.

Are you ready? To find out how you can go solar and become less energy dependent, request a free quote from us at SAVKAT Solar. Still have more questions? Check out our Solar 101 page or our FAQ page. If that still leaves you unsure, we are happy to answer any other questions by giving us a call at 800-860-6932.


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