Blog :: 03-2018

Welcome to our blog! Here you will find posts about can't miss properties, local events, and more! Here at Maple and Main Realty we pride ourselves on our knowledge of the Northampton area. Feel free to leave a comment, we would love to hear from you! If you have any questions, don't hesitate to contact us

Fantastic, Flexible Listing for Sale in Downtown Northampton!

Ready to think outside the box? 72-74 Masonic Street in Northampton, MA is a wonderful downtown Northampton listing! With a recent price drop to $529,000, this flexible property could either be used as a single family, multi-family, commercial or any combination of the aforementioned property types! Most recently used as an office space, this house includes 3400 s.f. of live/work space, plus 4 deeded parking spaces. There are 5 offices and one half bath at present, as well as two separate heating and electrical systems. Bring your ideas, the sky is the limit! Contact Scott Rebmann or Lisa Darragh for a private showing.

Going Solar - Changes to Local Programs!

Northampton Area Homeowners take note, there are some important changes coming to local solar programs that may effect you. If you are thinking about adding solar power to your home or property, it seems that now might be the time to do it! Read on for more details about how new tariffs instituted by the President,�and changes to local incentive programs, might effect costs for installation and use of solar power. The following article from the Daily Hampshire Gazette lays it all out.

Environment: Changes coming to solar programs

  • Phil Crafts, left, and Joan Snowdon, both of Leverett, look toward the angled roof on their house which would not allow for the installation of rooftop solar panels, Oct. 21, 2017. Instead, they had freestanding panels installed on their property.�GAZETTE FILE PHOTO/SARAH CROSBY

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

With a tariff on solar product imports, a new incentive program in Massachusetts and a change in rates from Eversource, industries and consumers using the sun's rays to generate energy are sure to see a change.

President Donald Trump imposed a 30 percent tariff -- which took effect last month -- on solar products in an effort to revive American solar manufacturing companies and create jobs. He also put a tariff on steel and aluminum. Both materials are used to mount solar panels.

Northampton-based Valley Solar general manager Patrick Rondeau said the company quickly bought up panels before the tariff kicked in.

"We've already seen our most popular panels increase in price," Rondeau said, adding that the costs have raised 10 to 15 percent.

Rondeau said homeowners looking to convert to solar could see a 3 to 5 percent increase.

"As one of the largest residential solar companies in the U.S., we are disappointed in the decision made by the Trump administration to set a tariff on imported solar panels," David Bywater, CEO of Vivint Solar, said in a statement. "We know that 90 percent of Americans, regardless of political affiliation, overwhelmingly support the expansion of solar power because they know it's a good thing for the health of our environment and economy, as well as our energy independence."

Bywater added that the company, which has a branch in Chicopee, will continue to provide customers with a better way to create energy and priorities remain unchanged.

In Easthampton, Patrick Quinlan, CEO of the start-up company SolaBlock, said that while the company will be affected by the tariff, he's optimistic for the future.

SolaBlock manufactures "solar masonry units," concrete blocks with integrated solar electric cells, according to the company's website. Quinlan said he purchases the best products he can, but products made in the United States are limited. Some U.S. suppliers have factories overseas, he added.

Sarah Zazzaro-Williams, manager of All Energy Solar in Chicopee, said the solar industry in Massachusetts is competitive and has seen steady growth within the last few years. She said many of the people who get solar panels installed do so to save money on their home's electricity costs.

While the tariff may increase costs, both Zazzaro-Williams and Rondeau said the state's new incentive program Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target, or SMART, as well as new rates from Eversource may have a more direct impact on residents using or switching over to solar. She said many of people that get solar panels installed to save on home electricity costs.

Rondeau said "demand charges" by Eversource, which will be in effect next year, will have a greater impact on homeowners switching over to solar�than the tariff and new incentive.


In January, the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities approved a "demand charge" for residents using solar panels to generate energy for their home. The charge is based on a consumer's peak demand over a specified time period, typically the monthly billing cycle, according to the DPU decision.

"This new charge helps ensure we collect the costs to serve distributed generation without other customers subsidizing those choosing net metering options," Eversource wrote on its website. "It also helps Eversource recover the cost to serve net metering customers. We developed the demand charge using a cost of service model that established the minimum cost to maintain system reliability."

Zazzaro-Williams and Rondeau said the charge is based off peak energy use.

"It is unfair," Rondeau said.

State solar program

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources spokeswoman Katie Gronendyke said the SMART program will replace SREC II, the solar renewable energy credit.

"With over 2,000 megawatts of solar now installed, Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in solar deployment and clean energy innovation," Gov. Charlie Baker said in a statement last month. "Through our next solar incentive program, SMART, and our forward-thinking solar grant programs, we look forward to doubling that amount of solar and building a sustainable and affordable clean energy future for the Commonwealth."

The main difference between the two programs is that SRECs are a tradable commodity where the market price is determined by supply and demand in a particular year, and SMART is a tariff-based incentive program, according to Gronendyke.

Zazzaro-Williams said the new incentive does not offer as much benefit as the current one, adding that All Energy Solar is pushing for customers to get solar panels fast while the current incentive is still in effect.

Caitlin Ashworth can be reached at

Great New Listing in Florence Center!

We have a new listing at 8 Middle Street, Florence MA. This immaculate and cozy 2-family home, reads like a single family home with an attached apartment. The main unit is comprised of a beautifully appointed living/dining room - complete with recessed lighting and beautiful built-ins, made by the owner (a renowned local furniture maker) . The downstairs also includes a spacious kitchen, butler's pantry and large, renovated full bath with laundry. The basement has a finished media room/play space. The upstairs includes 2 sweet bedrooms, a large full bath and gracious master bedroom, with cathedral ceilings and a lofted studio/office. The attached apartment is a well lit, one bedroom with off-street parking, a spacious entry hall, large eat-in kitchen and full bath with laundry. Sliders lead out to a private, fenced deck. The house sits on a lovely, large, flat, fenced lot, complete with beautiful landscaping and artistic touches such as the custom welded doorway into the yard. This special property could easily be converted back to a single family home, but it also works well as an owner-occupied 2 family. There are lovely artistic touches throughout. This downtown Florence location can't be beat!

The current owners have taken meticulous care of the property - inside and out. Contact Julie Starr to set up a private showing, or come to the open house this Saturday, March 3rd from 11-1 pm.

Offered at $449,000

Main Entrance, Dining Room

Dining Room

Living Room


Living Room 


Bathroom, custom built ins

Kid Bedroom #1

Kid bedroom #2

Upstairs Hallway

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom from Loft

Lofted office/studio

Finished basement

Finished basement, built ins

Custom welded gateway to backyard

Apartment entrance hall/mudroom

Apartment living room, sliders to private deck

Apartment bath/laundry room