MassCEC offers awards to businesses that install qualifying air-source heat pump (ASHP) systems, which provide highly efficient heating and cooling. Incentives are available both for qualifying variable refrigerant flow (VRF) and mini-split (single head, multi-head, and central) systems.

This program is part of MassCEC’s $30 million Clean Heating and Cooling program, which supports technologies that provide customer cost savings and environmental benefits while maintaining a high level of comfort and reliability.

Awards are available for project sites that:


Variable Refrigerant Flow Awards

VRF award levels are shown in the table below. Awards are based on rated heating capacity at 17°F and fund up to 1,800 kBTU/hr of heating capacity per project.

Entity Type

VRF without Heat Recovery

(per 12 kBTU/hr)

VRF with Heat Recovery

(per 12 kBTU/hr)

Maximum Grant per Project

Private

$800

$1,200

$180,000

Public/Non-Profit

$1,000

$1,400

$210,000

Affordable Housing

$1,600

$2,000

$250,000

 

 














Mini-Split Awards

Mini-split award levels are shown in the table below. Awards are based on maximum heating capacity at 5°F. Mini-splits include qualifying single head, multi-head, and central systems.

Projects with up to 20 single-head units or 240 kBTU/hr of capacity should apply to the Residential and Small-Scale ASHP Program. Larger projects should apply to the Commercial-Scale ASHP Program.

Entity Type

Single-Head

(per system)

Central or Multi-Head

(per 12 kBTU/hr)

Max. Award per Project

(Small-Scale)

Max. Award per Project (Commercial-Scale)

Private

$625

$625

$12,000

$93,750

Public/Non-Profit

$800

$800

$16,000

$120,000

Affordable Housing

$1,500

$1,500

$30,000

$225,000

 

MassCEC has different application requirements depending on your system size.

  • Any business installing any variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system, or a mini-split project with a heating capacity over 240,000 BTU/hr, should read the instructions for the Commercial-Scale ASHP Program.
  • Any business installing a project with a heating capacity up to 240,000 BTU/hr should read the instructions for the Small-Scale Air-Source Heat Pump program.

MassCEC recommends that businesses installing ASHP heating systems should:

  • Visit our Finding an Installer page, which includes a list of installers and questions to ask them.
  • Soliciting at least three proposals.

Designers and installers should visit the installer resources page.

Variable Refrigerant Flow Projects

Any business installing a VRF system should first select a designer that can meet the requirements in the Commercial-Scale Program Manual. The business owner may also opt to select an installer at this time.

Once the designer has been selected:

  1. The designer completes a preliminary system design (or “engineering concept”).
  2. The designer and system owner jointly apply for the award and other financial incentives. The application must include: the Application FormProject NarrativeSystem Owner’s AgreementAHRI rating sheets for the units under consideration, and relevant tax documentation. Affordable housing projects must submit verification documentation described in the program manual. Please note:
    • MassCEC must approve the grant application before construction begins.
    • For existing facilities, the system owner must schedule an energy audit to take place with the next six (6) months if he/she has not had an energy audit within the past four (4) years.
  3. MassCEC will reserve funds and issue an award letter.
    • MassCEC may select the project for third-party design review, in which case the designer must submit the system design and related documents prior to ordering equipment.
  4. The applicant parties complete system design and order equipment (Milestone #1). To receive payment, they must submit the Milestone Completion Form and associated documentation, including: updated application form, load calculation, system design summary, project invoices, and updated AHRI rating sheets.
    • If the installer was not selected at application and has not signed up to participate in the program, that entity must sign and submit the installer agreement.
    • MassCEC will pay 30% of the grant.
    • The grantee may opt to forgo this step and submit all documents at Milestone #2.
  5. The installer completes project construction and manufacturer-assisted startup. To receive payment, the applicant parties submit the Milestone Completion Form, photos of the installed system, and manufacturer startup sheets (or commissioning report).
    • MassCEC will pay the remaining 70% of the grant.

Please read the Commercial-Scale Program Manual for full details on program eligibility requirements, awards, and processes.



Small-Scale Mini-Split Projects

Any business applying to the Small-Scale ASHP Program should first select an installer that can meet the requirements in the Program Manual. MassCEC maintains a list of participating installers.

Within 90 days of project completion, businesses, with assistance from their installer(s), should complete their application through the online application portal.

CLICK HERE TO APPLY ONLINE FOR YOUR MINI SPLIT REBATE

*For projects applying for the Affordable Housing Adder, documentation demonstrating that 50 percent or more of the units are committed or deeded to households below 80 percent of the state’s median income, as described in the program manual (section 2.3).

Note: If the installer is not already on MassCEC’s list of participating installers, the installer must submit the Primary Installer Agreement and qualifying certificate(s) of manufacturer training. Please read the Small-Scale Program Manual for full details on program requirements and awards. 

 

Commercial-Scale Mini-Split Projects

Any business installing a commercial-scale mini-split system should first select an installer that can meet the requirements in the Commercial-Scale Program Manual. Once the installer has been selected:

  1. The installer completes a preliminary system design and helps the system owner to apply for the award and other financial incentives. The application must include: the Application FormProject NarrativeSystem Owner’s Agreement, and relevant tax documentation. Affordable housing projects must submit verification documentation described in the program manual. Please note:
    • If the installer has not signed up to participate in the program, that entity must sign and submit the installer agreement.
    • MassCEC must approve the grant application before construction begins.
    • For existing facilities, the system owner must schedule an energy audit to take place with the next six (6) months if he/she has not had an energy audit within the past four (4) years.
  2. MassCEC will reserve funds and issue an award letter.
    • MassCEC may select the project for third-party design review, in which case the installer must submit the system design and related documents prior to ordering equipment.
  3. The applicant parties complete final system design and order equipment (Milestone #1). To receive payment, they must submit the Milestone Completion Form and associated documentation, including: updated application form, load calculation, and project invoices.
    • MassCEC will pay 30% of the grant.
    • The grantee may opt to forgo this step and submit all documents at Milestone #2.
  4. The installer completes project construction and manufacturer-assisted startup. To receive payment, the applicant parties submit the Milestone Completion Form, photos of the installed system, and manufacturer startup sheets (or commissioning report).
    • MassCEC will pay the remaining 70% of the grant.

Please read the Commercial-Scale Program Manual for full details on program eligibility requirements, awards, and processes.

How much funding can my business receive?

VRF systems are eligible for rebates up to $180,000, or up to $250,000 for projects at affordable housing developments.

Small-scale mini-split projects are eligible for rebates of up to $12,000, with higher incentives up to $30,000 for projects at affordable housing.

Commercial-scale mini-split systems are eligible for rebates of up to $93,750, or up to $225,000 for affordable housing projects.

More details can be found in Section 3 of the Residential and Small-Scale Program Manual and Commercial-Scale Program Manual.

Why isn’t everyone in Massachusetts eligible for MassCEC incentives?

Projects receiving rebates through MassCEC must be located in a utility territory that contributes funding to the Renewable Energy Trust (RET), which includes communities served by investor owned electric utility companies or a participating municipal lighting plant (MLP).

MLP stands for “municipal light plant” and refers to a publicly owned local utility instead of an investor-owned electric company, such as National Grid or Eversource. We are unable to provide rebates to MLP communities that do not contribute to the RET.

How many applications should I submit for a multifamily/multi-building project?

An individual building is typically considered a project. A project that includes multiple houses, commercial buildings, or some combination thereof, should submit one application but may request a waiver from MassCEC to apply as multiple projects (which affects grant limits). Waivers will be granted at MassCEC’s discretion.

The Air-Source Heat Pump program is one in a suite of MassCEC’s Clean Heating and Cooling programs. In 2015, MassCEC authorized $30 million in funding for clean heating and cooling programs through 2020.

For questions on the Air-Source Heat Pump program, please contact us at ASHP@masscec.com or 617-315-9357.