March 31, 2021

March Whole-Home Heat Pump Pilot Update: Apply by June!

Meg Howard, Program Director

MassCEC is accepting new applications for our whole-home air-source heat pump pilot program from now until the pilot closes on June 25, 2021. Applications must be received by that date, but approved projects will have at least six months to complete installation. If you or anyone you know who currently heats with natural gas has been thinking about switching to whole-home heat pumps, now is a great time to go forward and take advantage of the pilot! (If you currently heat with oil, propane, or electric resistance you are eligible for Mass Save’s incentives for heat pumps.)

MassCEC launched the pilot in May 2019, and so far we have awarded 107 projects (73 existing homes, 8 gut rehabs, and 26 new construction projects). MassCEC has awarded $336,334 out of a total pilot budget of up to $500,000, so we are not expecting to run out of funds before the end of the pilot unless there is a significant rush in the final months of the pilot.

For more information about results of the pilot, including case studies of projects that have gone through the pilot, previous monthly blog updates are available here.

Efficiency + Electrification Adder

Last month, MassCEC announced increases to incentives for low- and moderate-income households and a new adder to help support efficiency and other electrification work in retrofit projects that might be part of a heat pump project. The Efficiency + Electrification adder will cover 100% of eligible weatherization expenses and/or 50% of eligible electrification upgrade expenses up to $2,500.

Since announcing the adder last month, we have awarded three projects that are using the adder for the following costs:

  • An electric service upgrade
  • A heat pump water heater
  • Insulating and air-sealing ductwork

These projects represent a good variety of eligible uses for the new adder. See the Pilot Manual for the full list of eligible expenses under the adder.

Weatherization Checklist

The connection between successful heat pump projects and a well-insulated and air-sealed home is becoming increasingly clear.

MassCEC has been running a consumer outreach campaign called “Clean Energy Lives Here.” As part of that campaign, we have put together a number of consumer resources, including a helpful landing page and guide about air-source heat pumps. New this month, we have a weatherization checklist to help homeowners get the most out of a meeting with home energy assessment professional. It provides questions to ask and suggestions for action that may go beyond the standard recommendations of a Mass Save® Home Energy Assessment for those homeowners that are interested in investing more in energy efficiency (perhaps in preparation for a heat pump project).

Let us know if you use the checklist, especially if you have any feedback!