Changes To The Mass Solar Loan Program

What a Great Program!
Rolled out in fall of 2016, the Mass Solar Loan Program (MSL), sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has been an extremely successful solar financing program. The MSL program was funded with $30 million for low-interest loans and Income Based Rebates. A major highlight of MSL is that the State benchmarked funds to provide low-interest solar loans (much lower than typical solar lenders). This element of the program was called the Interest Rate Buy Down (IRBD) program.

So far, Mass Solar Loan has processed over 3,000 solar projects – with a special emphasis on reaching typically underserved populations. MSL did this through a special Income Based Rebate. This rebate offered qualified moderate-to-low income homeowners an amazing 20-30% rebate! A $20,000 project could get a $6,000 rebate applied to their loan. What an awesome program!

In addition, MSL has provided homeowners other tangible benefits, such as a list of pre-qualified solar installers and lending partners. One thing I particularly like about the MSL lending regulation is that lenders cannot charge either the solar installer or homeowner high closing fees, which has been a chronic problem in solar financing for years.

What’s Changing?
The new phase of the MSL program will roll out with some significant changes. These changes will affect two major elements of the program: the rate on the low-interest loans and the Income-Based Rebates (for non-income qualified and moderate-income homeowners). You can check out the details of the changes on the Mass Solar Loan website here: www.masssolarloan.com. 

But for now let’s break it down in layman’s terms:

  • Low-Income Customers (Below of 80% of State Median Income):
    • No Change from Current Program
    • Income-based Loan Support: 30% of loan amount ($10,500 cap)
    • IRBD: 1.5% Interest Rate Buy-Down
  • Moderate- Income Customers (Between 80%-120% of State Median Income):
    • Income Based Loan Support: 10% of loan amount ($3,500 cap)
    • IRBD: not eligible
  • Non-income Qualified Customers (Greater Than 120% of State Median Income):
    • Income Based Loan Support: not eligible
    • IRBD: not eligible
    • Customers can still go through the MSL program to find market rate loans through participating lenders.
  • MSL LOAN CLOSING DEADLINE: Tuesday, December 12th, 2017

Is it too Late? “What Should I Do?”
If you think you may be eligible these incentives? NOW IS THE TIME TO ACT! Since it takes approximately three weeks to file MSL paperwork, based on the December 12th loan closing deadline, we suggest interested homeowners fill out their application as soon as possible.

The Aftermath – “Oh No, I didn’t get in on time – Now What?”
Again, after the December 12th deadline the MSL is not going away, it is just changing. The 10% rebate for moderate-income homeowners is still pretty sweet (and better than anything you would find in other states). The other thing to note is that the Mass Solar Loan program will still be head and shoulders above other solar financing options. This is a State program, with pre-screen solar installers, regulated financing, and best of all…no hidden fees.

Conclusion
In some regards, it’s kind of status-quo in solar – everything is changing, and we suggest you act now to take advantage of the current program. You may have heard that from us before, but… it’s the reality of this industry. So if you have been considering solar and would like to take advantage of these great incentives, please don’t hesitate – call us now to find out how you can sign up and get in before the deadline. Our team will make it as seamless and as worry-free as possible. We’ll take care of the backend work to help you meet these goals. Of course, we cannot guarantee anything, but we are always willing to try!

 

AliYah Chidubem, Project Manager
617-564-3159 . info@rayahsolar.com . rayahsolar.com/freequote

 

References

Mass Solar Loan Program Updates: http://www.masssolarloan.com/program-updates

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