A Guide to Going Solar

Going Solar in Framingham

  1. 1) Get an Energy Audit
  2. 2) Learn About Solar
  3. 3) Evaluate Your Site
  4. 4) Obtain Bids and Find Installer
  5. 5) Complete Permitting, Installation, and Inspection
  6. 6) Connect to the Grid

Get an Energy Audit

The process of sizing a solar energy system for your home or business is largely guided by the electricity use that it will support. Learning about your current electricity use, including the rate you pay for your electricity and the amount of kilowatt-hours that you use will help determine the appropriate size of your solar energy system.

Understanding your electricity use is important for another reason; one of the most important steps in evaluating a potential solar energy project is considering whether there are energy efficiency improvements that could be made first. Energy efficiency is often the most cost-effective way to make economical and environmentally-friendly improvements to your home or business. Improving the energy efficiency of your home or business first will help ensure that any future solar energy system is sized correctly and may help save on up-front equipment and installation costs.

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Getting a free energy audit from Mass Save will not only help you to evaluate the energy efficiency of your building, it helps you learn if you are qualified for rebates and incentives to do energy efficiency projects.


Solar Permitting Checklist has been prepared to take you through the process of getting your prospective solar energy system permitted, inspected, and interconnected.

Please contact the Sustainability Coordinator at sluz@framinghamma.gov if you have any questions regarding this checklist.

Additional Resources

The following links provide an abundance of further information about solar energy systems to help you navigate the process: 

Mass CEC: the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center provides an interactive guide on solar energy systems as well as a residential guide on solar energy systems. If you want to learn more about financing options for solar energy systems, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has also provided a Homeowner's Guide to Solar Leases, Loans, and PPAs

Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA): the SEIA has also provided a guide for residential consumers that is also available in Spanish.

Department of Energy Resources (DOER): The DOER has released guidance regarding the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target (SMART) Program that provides incentives for net-metered solar energy systems. Installers commonly work with residents and businesses understand the eligibility of their solar energy systems for this program.

If you determine during this process that your home or business is incompatible for solar, there are other important ways to support renewable energy. For example, to learn more about how you can support solar with your electricity supply, read the section below.

Greening Your Electricity Supply

Did you know that you can also take control of your electricity supply and choose your own competitive electricity supplier? In addition to the possibility of securing greater cost certainty, choosing your own electricity supplier can allow you to provide additional support for renewable energy over the minimum mandated state requirements.