The Baker-Polito Administration today announced the selection of seven communities to participate in the first round of the HeatSmart Mass initiative, a community-based education and group purchasing program for clean heating and cooling technologies. The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) selected Bolton, Carlisle, Concord, Great Barrington, Harvard, Lincoln, and Nantucket to participate in the program. HeatSmart Mass uses a group purchasing model to support the installation of air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, modern wood heating, and solar hot water.
“Massachusetts is a national leader on clean energy, and this program provides another great opportunity for residents to install innovative technologies and save money,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Commonwealth continues to progress toward our greenhouse gas reduction goals and this program provides the additional benefit of reduced costs for residents while helping minimize carbon emissions from the heating sector.”
“The HeatSmart Mass program leverages partnerships between community volunteers, municipal and state government officials, and installers to deliver cost-saving solutions for Massachusetts residents,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are proud to partner with these communities and private companies to bring clean heating and cooling to residents across the state at affordable rates.”
“Innovative heating and cooling technologies represent the next generation of clean energy, and can help residents save money on their heating bills,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions while driving down consumer costs is top priority of the Baker-Polito Administration, and these grants are another important step forward in those efforts.”
Energy used for heating contributes to approximately 30% of the Commonwealth’s greenhouse gas emissions. In the average Massachusetts home, 75% of the energy used is for space and water heating. These costs are a significant burden for the half of the homes in Massachusetts that heat with traditional heating sources such as oil, electricity, and propane.
The program is modeled on the successful Solarize Mass program, which provides participating residents with an average of twenty percent savings compared to average state prices to adopt solar photovoltaic systems. Since its launch in 2011, 63 cities and towns have participated in Solarize Mass, leading to the contracting of more than 3,200 new small-scale installations at homes and businesses resulting in 21.6 megawatts of contracted solar electric capacity.
“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to lowering the cost of renewable energy for all residents and increasing access and awareness to Massachusetts’ renewable thermal programs,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “Paired with the upcoming launch of the Commonwealth’s amended Alterative Portfolio Standard, the HeatSmart Mass program will contribute to lower energy usage, costs, and emissions statewide.”
“By leveraging a group purchasing model we can help residents access cost-effective heating and cooling technology,” said MassCEC CEO Steve Pike. “The heating and cooling sector represents an enormous opportunity to cut greenhouse gas emissions and costs, and the HeatSmart program can help unlock those savings for our communities.”
The participating communities will offer the following technologies to residents:
- Bolton and Harvard: Air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps
- Carlisle, Concord, and Lincoln: Air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps and modern wood heat
- Great Barrington: Air-source heat pumps
- Nantucket: Air-source heat pumps and solar hot water
“I am thrilled to learn that Great Barrington is participating in this program. Bringing air-source heat pumps to town will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve local air quality, it will help folks save money,” said State Representative William Pignatelli (D-Lenox), House Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture. “I am proud to represent the people of Great Barrington and to get to work with the Baker-Polito Administration on programs that will make a real difference to constituents and the environment, in the Berkshires and across the Commonwealth.”
“Massachusetts is a national leader in clean energy and this is a way to create cost-effective and energy-efficient heating, cooling and water heating for homes and businesses in Great Barrington,” said State Senator Adam G. Hinds (D- Pittsfield). “Congratulations to Great Barrington for being chosen to partner with MassCEC in this first round of the new HeatSmart program.”
“As the state Representative for Bolton, I’m proud of our town’s longstanding commitment to energy efficiency and the conservation of our environment,” said State Representative Kate Hogan (D-Stow). “By participating in the HeatSmart Mass initiative Bolton will be able to team up with our neighbors in Harvard to encourage the adoption of clean heating technology in our communities, furthering local efforts to improve heating efficiency, lower costs, and support the state’s goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
“I am thrilled that Lincoln was chosen to participate in the first round of the HeatSmart Mass initiative, which will bring clean heating and cooling to residents at affordable costs,” said State Representative Thomas Stanley (D-Waltham). “Massachusetts is a leader in greenhouse gas reduction and I am excited that Lincoln residents will be among the first to participate in this important program.”
“Nantucket's unique geography requires a commitment to sustainable living and clean energy production,” said State Representative Dylan Fernandes (D-Falmouth). “I want to thank the Administration for their support of our island community in advancing cost effective renewable energy on island.”
“I am encouraged by the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to bringing clean-energy initiatives to our far-flung corners of the Commonwealth,” said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “These cost-saving and innovative technologies will offer residents of Nantucket an opportunity to cut down on energy costs while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. Programs like HeatSmart allow communities thirty miles out in the Atlantic Ocean to access the same clean energy technologies as the rest of the state.”
HeatSmart Mass is a partnership between MassCEC DOER, funded by Alternative Compliance Payments from retail electricity suppliers that do not otherwise meet their full Massachusetts Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard (RPS) and Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (APS) obligations.
Residents of the participating communities can visit www.masscec.com/heatsmart for more information.