Solar industry calling on state to change with growing demand

LEEDS, Mass. (WWLP) – The solar industry is calling on the state to change with the industry.

It’s green, it’s clean and it pays for itself. But not everyone can get it.

Only about 20 percent to 30 percent of homes get enough sun to go solar. If you qualify, the experts say you can save between 70 percent and 100 percent of your electric bill.

Trinity Solar told 22News your savings depends on whether you buy or lease the solar panels. If you create more electricity than you use, it goes back to the grid and you’ll get a credit on your bill.

“That credit. They’ll never write you a check for that but it does carry over into the winter when the solar is producing less and you are using more, you are going to get a positive bill from the utility company but that credit will pay it,” said Brad Carmody of Trinity Solar.

In 2013 Massachusetts set a solar energy goal to meet by 2020. We met the goal this year and now the industry is calling on the state to change the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Trust or SMART program to grow with the growing industry. That includes removing the barrier that excludes some people.

“Renters, generally speaking there isn’t anything they can do and that has been one of the challenges of the program. But certainly people in municipal light areas. I have solar on my house. I live in South Hadley. It’s a municipal light company,” said Manager at Trinity Solar, Eric Wilson.

Check with your municipal electric company for their specific rules. Solar homeowner Ludwig Imre of Leeds told 22News he’s happy, and is thinking about reducing his carbon footprint even further.

“It’s green and it’s free basically so It’s nice. And we are also thinking about getting an electric car,” Imre said.

There are 488 solar companies in Massachusetts. The industry employs 15,000 people.