MassCEC's Decarbonization Pathways Cohort 2 Now Accepting Applications

Elizabeth Zhorov, Building Decarbonization Fellow

MassCEC’s Decarbonization Pathways Pilot supports homeowners in transitioning their homes away from fossil fuels. Pilot participants will receive a customized plan for their homes to become more energy efficient and fully electrified, as well as generous financial incentives to implement these home improvements. After launching a first cohort Decarbonization Pathways with around 30 participants in Summer 2022, MassCEC is now seeking applicants for the second cohort. For an update on progress to date in the first cohort, please see our companion blog. For the second cohort, we plan to work with around 45 homes, with about a third of the spots reserved for households in Environmental Justice communities. Participating homeowners do not need to be decarbonization experts! Abode Energy Management will provide technical support services throughout the entire assessment, planning, and implementation process.

All pilot participants will get an initial decarbonization assessment that builds on the fundamentals of a Mass Save® Home Energy Assessment and layers on additional decarbonization projects and efficiency opportunities. For the assessment, Abode will be trying out a new software tool, ZERO, created by a local start-up. We’ve worked with the company to develop a customizable Decarbonization Pathways Report (see image below) that will take into consideration the specifics of a particular home, as well as the homeowner’s plans and goals and generate a tailored decarbonization plan with a roadmap that clearly outlines the pathway to decarbonization. After the assessment, Abode will work with participants to implement an action plan for the next year, including reviewing quotes and providing expert advice as needed.


Example of a Decarbonization Pathways Report
Example of a Decarbonization Pathways Report


Similar to the first cohort, participants will be eligible for $10,000 to $30,000 in incentives depending on their household income. For more details see the pilot’s Program Manual

Given the pilot’s financial incentives and great demonstrated interest in the first cohort, MassCEC expects a competitive selection process. MassCEC will prioritize applicants who are likely to move forward with installing a heat pump and/or replacing their home’s siding and upgrading the home’s envelope in the coming year. MassCEC will require participants in the second cohort to complete a package of home upgrades (referred to as the “Home Modernization Package”) that ensures the home is well-prepared to convert away from fossil fuel appliances as they make future purchases (e.g., the next time they need to replace their heat or hot water heater). This package would include ensuring the home is adequately weatherized, has appropriate electrical upgrades and ventilation, and the homeowner has addressed any barriers (like mold or knob and tube wiring). We will also look for a balanced cohort with a diversity of location, heating fuel, house size/style, incomes, etc. For Cohort 2 we are working with All In Energy to promote equal accessibility and are seeking to have several participants that primarily speak Spanish.

The application for the second cohort is now open until July 30th. Please consider applying or sharing this information with your friends and neighbors who might be good candidates.