MassCEC offers awards to public agencies and non-profits 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 $48 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. Grants of up to $150,000 are available for VRF and $25,000 for mini-splits (or more for affordable/public housing projects). 

Awards are available for project sites that:


Variable Refrigerant Flow Awards

Please note: MassCEC will be reducing rebate levels starting on February 1, 2019. Applications submitted before that date will not be affected. Awards are based on AHRI-rated heating capacity at 17°F and fund up to 1,800 kBTU/hr of capacity per project. The following rebate levels will be in place under the new incentive structure:

Entity Type

VRF without Heat Recovery

(per 12 kBTU/hr)

VRF with Heat Recovery

(per 12 kBTU/hr)

Maximum Grant

Standard

$600

$1,000

$150,000

Affordable Housing

$1,200

$1,600

$240,000

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The below table reflects the incentive structure in place through January 31, 2019: 

Entity Type

VRF without Heat Recovery

(per 12 kBTU/hr)

VRF with Heat Recovery

(per 12 kBTU/hr)

Maximum Grant

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-splits include qualifying single-head, multi-head, and central systems. Awards are based on the number of single-head units or, for multi-head units, the maximum heating capacity at 5°F, as described in the Residential and Small-Scale ASHP Program Manual

Effective February 1, 2019, all mini-split applications must be submitted to the Residential and Small-Scale Air-Source Heat Pump program. Until that date, incentives for large-scale mini-split projects (at least 20 single-head units or 240,000 BTU/hr of multi-head capacity) can be submitted to the Commercial-Scale ASHP program. More details are available in the Commercial-Scale ASHP Program Manual.

THE TABLE BELOW REFLECTS INCENTIVES FOR SMALL-SCALE APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED ON OR AFTER NOVEMBER 1, 2018.

Entity Type

Base Rebate

(per System or per 12,000 BTU/hr*)

Electric Resistance Displacement Adder

(per System or per 12,000 BTU/hr*)

Maximum Rebate

(without / with ER Displacement Adder)

Private

$500

$300

$10,000 / $16,000

Public/Non-Profit

$750

$300

$15,000 / $21,000

Affordable Housing

$1,500

$500

$30,000 / $36,000

A municipal agency or non-profit installing a variable refrigerant flow (VRF) system should read the instructions for the Commercial-Scale ASHP Program.

A municipal agency or non-profit installing a mini-split system should read the instructions for the Small-Scale Air-Source Heat Pump program.

MassCEC recommends that buildings installing ASHP's should:

  • Visit our Finding an Installer page, which includes a list of manufacturer representatives, designers, and installers, as well as questions to ask them.
  • Solicit at least three proposals.

Designers and installers should visit the installer resources page.

Variable Refrigerant Flow Projects

Any entity installing a VRF system should first select a designer that can meet the requirements in the Commercial-Scale ASHP Program Manual. Manufacturer representatives can help with this process.

An installer may also be selected at this time, but this is optional. Once the designer has been selected:

  1. The designer completes a system design (at a minimum a schematic design or “engineering concept”).
  2. The designer and system owner jointly apply for the award and other financial incentives. Application documentation can be found on the ASHP Installer Resources page. 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 ASHP Program Manual for full details on program eligibility requirements, awards, and processes.


Small-Scale Mini-Split Projects

Any public agency or non-profit 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 the  application form through the online portal.

CLICK HERE TO COMPLETE THE ONLINE APPLICATION FORM FOR YOUR SMALL SCALE AIR SOURCE HEAT PUMP PROJECT.

**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 2.4).
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 public agency or non-profit installing a VRF 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 public agency or non-profit receive?

Please note: MassCEC will be reducing rebate levels starting on February 1, 2019. Applications submitted before that date will not be affected. ​The following rebate levels will be in place under the new incentive structure:

VRF systems are eligible for rebates up to $150,000, or up to $240,000 for projects at affordable housing developments.

All mini-split projects will be processed underneath the Residential Air-Source Heat Pump program, and will be eligible for incentives up to $25,000

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. MassCEC has authorized $48 million in funding for these programs, starting in 2015. Funding for air-source heat pump incentives is expected to last approximately through the end of 2019.

For questions about VRF systems and incentives, please contact us at VRF@masscec.com or 617-315-9300.

For questions about commercial mini-split systems and incentives, please contact us at ASHP@masscec.com or 617-315-9300.