The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that Springfield and Longmeadow have been selected to participate in the 2018 Solarize Mass program to promote the adoption of solar technology among residents. A partnership between the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and local communities, Solarize Mass reduces the overall cost of solar in municipalities across the state, helping residents save as much as 21 percent on average, on solar pricing compared to the statewide average.
“Increasing access to cost-effective solar technology ensures that Massachusetts continues to lead the country in embracing clean energy and fighting climate change,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Through Solarize Mass, our Administration is proud to offer the residents of Springfield, Longmeadow and many other communities the opportunity to lower their energy bills while reducing their carbon footprints.”
“By working with the communities of Springfield and Longmeadow, we’re able to advance our mission to make clean energy attainable for all Massachusetts residents,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “This innovative partnership with municipalities reinforces the Commonwealth’s leadership on clean energy and helps us meet our ambitious climate goals.”
The Solarize Mass program aims to increase the adoption of small-scale solar electricity systems through a grassroots educational campaign, driven mainly by local volunteers and reduced pricing that increases the savings for participants.
Since its launch in 2011, 75 cities and towns have participated in Solarize Mass, which has led to the contracting of more than 3,400 new small-scale installations at homes and businesses resulting in 23 megawatts of contracted solar capacity. To date, systems installed under Solarize Mass have reduced greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 1,900 cars off the road annually.
“Solarize Mass is focused on bringing affordable clean energy into the homes of residents across the Commonwealth while diversifying the state’s energy portfolio,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “In addition to lowering energy bills for homeowners, this program will help the Commonwealth meet our greenhouse gas reduction requirements.”
Through a competitive bidding process, communities select designated Solarize Mass installers that feature the most attractive pricing, outreach and community education packages. Solarize Mass programs are currently underway in Lowell, which is participating in Solarize Mass Plus. The Solarize Mass Plus program, first piloted in 2017, pairs the Solarize Mass model with an additional technology offering, such as solar hot water or air source heat pumps.
“Our goal is to create a clean, affordable and resilient energy future for our residents and that’s exactly what Solarize Mass achieves,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “Through this program, residents and business owners of Springfield and Longmeadow will have access to affordable clean energy options that will reduce emissions and their energy bills.”
“Solarize Mass empowers Massachusetts homeowners to adopt solar by providing communities with affordable pricing,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “By tapping into a dedicated network of local volunteers in Springfield and Longmeadow, this program will help these communities access the numerous benefits of affordable clean energy.”
Massachusetts currently has 2,240 megawatts of solar capacity installed statewide, enough to power more than 354,000 homes.
“This is fantastic news for our region,” said State Senator Eric Lesser (D-Longmeadow). “Springfield and Longmeadow have long been leaders in capturing clean energy to reduce both their energy bills and their carbon footprints. Harnessing clean energy is a win-win for our communities because this dual benefit of providing a healthier environment and energy efficiency at the same time,” said Sen. Eric Lesser.
“Solarize Mass coming to Springfield is exciting news for our community,” said State Senator James T. Welch (D- West Springfield). “Massachusetts has been aggressively pursuing expanded renewable energy usage with the goal of decarbonizing our economy for years now. Solarize Mass has been a key component of these efforts and a partnership with Springfield will give city residents easier and more equitable access to this green revolution.”
“I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for selecting Springfield-Longmeadow for the Solarize Mass program,” said State Representative Carlos Gonzalez (D-Springfield). “We look forward to seeing low-income communities participate in the Solarize program as we continue to a move Massachusetts towards cleaner energy while working to meet our climate goals”
"This truly is great news for Longmeadow and the entire Pioneer Valley,” said State Representative Brian Ashe (D-Longmeadow). “As we strive to be responsible and forward thinking, utilizing clean energy is essential to our future. I am grateful for this news and look forward to continuing our efforts in keeping our communities green.”