June 22, 2021

The Cultivation of the Clean Energy Economy: Community Campaigns and Installers

Jason Maniscalco, Community Clean Energy Fellow

In a previous blog in this series, we highlighted two MassCEC programs, HeatSmart and Solarize Massachusetts, to show how these programs acted as seeds for future growth of the clean energy economy in Massachusetts. HeatSmart and Solarize Massachusetts stimulated the growth of the HeatSmart Alliance and MassEnergize, which are volunteer based organizations carrying on missions like our programs. This time, we would like to highlight two additional stories: The 2021 West Regional Solar + Clean Heat Challenge and Wayne Enos, owner of South Shore Climate Control (SSCC).

The 2021 Metro-West Regional Solar + Clean Heat Challenge is a volunteer run campaign to increase the adoption of clean energy technologies in the towns of Ashland, Natick, Holliston, and City of Framingham. This program draws from the successful model from Solarize Massachusetts and HeatSmart by utilizing group purchasing power to lower the costs of the selected technologies for the participating communities. Even though MassCEC was not directly involved in the program, we were glad to provide guidance and in-kind support to the Metro-West team. As with any prospective clean energy adoption program, we immediately shared our Solarize-HeatSmart Toolkit. The Toolkit includes materials to assist in community outreach, marketing, installer selection, campaign management, event planning, and campaign wrap-up and analysis. In addition to providing the Metro-West team with the Toolkit, we were always on stand-by to answer questions to maximize the potential of the campaign. Campaigns like this one that further the adoption of clean energy technologies across the Commonwealth are essential for us to reach our climate goals. But, to reach these goals, it does not only take dedicated communities starting HeatSmart/Solarize-like campaigns, clean energy technology installers, such as Wayne Enos, are integral. 

On the picturesque island of Nantucket off the coast of Cape Cod, there are not just vacation goers relaxing on the beach while enjoying a lobster roll, change is happening there. In 2018, MassCEC partnered with the town of Nantucket to launch the HeatSmart pilot program on the island. The incentivized technologies for this program were solar hot water (SHW) and air source heat pumps (ASHPs). Installers who met certain criteria were encouraged to apply to serve as the selected installers for HeatSmart Nantucket. With every new program comes challenges, and it proved difficult to find local installers who were not already fully booked. To mitigate this, the Nantucket selection team came up with creative solutions to bring off-island installers by hosting formal and informal installer partnerships. Enticed by this opportunity, one off-island ASHP installer, Wayne Enos, joined the team. The marketing campaign and Wayne bolstered each other, allowing him to leverage his alignment with HeatSmart Nantucket to generate interest in the technology and sign contracts to install systems. As an informal partner with HeatSmart Nantucket, Wayne was welcomed alongside the formally selected SHW installer to attend events and meetings throughout the duration of the program. With the help of the program, Wayne developed a strong foothold in the ASHP installation business and helped customers gain access to more efficient heating and cooling while saving money on their utility bills in Nantucket.

The increased demand for clean energy technologies in the Commonwealth because of HeatSmart and Solarize-like programs relies on installers to meet the demands and ensure success of the programs. The two stories we have highlighted exemplify how to take advantage of the cultivated and fertile clean energy economy in Massachusetts. The mass adoption of clean energy technologies will increasingly lower our society’s reliance on fossil fuels and drive down rates of pollution, which will improve our climate and the health of our population. Without dedicated communities and clean energy technology installers, this would not be possible. The garden’s soil has been tilled, fertilized, and these two seeds have been planted. 

We will be writing future blog posts on HeatSmart and Solarize-like campaigns. If you would like us to highlight the successes of your program or have questions about a campaign you are planning, please reach out here