The Challenge: Expand Solarize Program Model to Clean Heating and Cooling
MassCEC’s community-based group purchasing program for solar electricity, Solarize Mass, demonstrated the success of grassroots educational campaigns in simplifying the process of purchasing and installing clean energy systems. Could this model be expanded to clean heating and cooling technologies, such as heat pumps or solar hot water, to address low consumer awareness and complexity in purchasing?
About HeatSmart Mass
Building on their Solarize Mass program experience, MassCEC and the MA Department of Energy Resources supported volunteer-led community-based outreach and group purchasing campaigns for air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, solar hot water, heat pump water heaters, and automated wood heating. Each participating community (or group of communities) competitively selected installer(s) to offer one or more of the clean heating and cooling technologies to interested residents. MassCEC’s support included the training of volunteers, a modest budget for marketing materials, and guidance on the installer selection process for each group of communities.
- The program demonstrated that volunteer-led community-based campaigns can promote the adoption of clean energy technologies beyond solar PV.
- Through a total of 10 campaigns, the program served residents in 15 communities.
- In the aggregate, the program generated 4,053 unique expressions of interest. These resulted in 2004 site visits by installers and 744 contracts for system installations.
- Based on program experience, MassCEC developed the Solarize-HeatSmart Toolkit that communities can use to develop and run similar campaigns.