- EMERGING INITIATIVES
- ABOUT MassCEC
MassCEC's Clean Heating and Cooling programs offer rebates to support the installation of renewable heating, hot water, and cooling technologies at homes across the Commonwealth. These technologies offer a high level of comfort, are generally more cost-effective to operate than traditional systems, and reduce your carbon footprint. MassCEC has committed $48 million to these technologies through 2020.
Air Source Heat Pumps
Air-source heat pumps (ASHPs), sometimes called "mini-splits," can provide cost-effective and energy-efficient heating and cooling for your home. While traditional systems burn fuel to create heat, a heat pump instead works by moving heat into or out of a home. Though they require electricity to operate, efficient ASHPs use 40 percent to 70 percent less electricity than traditional electric-resistance heating. Rebates of up to $2,000 are available, with higher incentives for low- and moderate-income customers. Larger projects may need to apply to the Commercial-Scale Air-Source Heat Pump Program.
- Easy to install at existing homes and compatible with any type of existing heating system
- Often installed to supplement existing heating systems
- Provide both heating and cooling in a single, efficient unit without the need to install ductwork
- Lowest up-front cost of any clean heating and cooling technology, and can be more cost effective to operate than traditional oil, propane, or electric heat
Modern Wood Heating
Central modern wood heating systems use wood chips or pellets to produce heat, much in the same way traditional boilers or furnaces use oil, propane, or natural gas. Modern wood heating systems can often integrate into existing heating systems, and can fulfill all of a home's heating and hot water needs. Systems are typically fully-automated, and require limited maintenance. Wood chip and pellet delivery is available in most parts of the Commonwealth, and systems can be designed to require only three deliveries per year. Rebates of up to $12,000 are available, with higher incentives for low- and moderate-income customers and those removing cordwood heaters.
- Typically installed in homes with baseboard hot water heating, but furnace options are also available for homes with forced air heating
- Generally provide heating for an entire home
- Can be more cost-effective than heating with traditional oil, propane, or electric heat
Ground-Source Heat Pumps
Ground-source heat pumps (GSHPs) can provide cost-effective and energy-efficient heating, cooling, and water heating by utilizing the nearly constant temperature underground to heat or cool your home. GSHPs are typically the most efficient type of heat pump. Though they require electricity to operate, efficient GSHPs can provide the same amount of heating for 65 percent to 75 percent less than traditional electric heating. Rebates of up to $10,000 are available, with higher incentive for low- and moderate-income customers.
- Great option for new construction, but can also replace existing forced air or hydronic heating systems
- Typically provide heating and cooling for an entire home, plus supplemental hot water
- Provide both heating and cooling in a single, efficient unit
- High installation costs, but can be substantially cheaper to operate long term than heating with traditional oil, propane, electric heat, or even natural gas
- Offers the greatest greenhouse gas reductions of any clean heating and cooling technology
Solar Hot Water
Solar hot water systems use the energy of the sun to heat water for use in your home’s hot water system. Solar hot water systems reduce the usage of traditional water heating fuels (such as oil, electricity, or natural gas) and thereby reduce the amount you spend purchasing these fuels. Rebates of up to $3,500 are available, with higher incentive for low- and moderate-income customers.
- Great option for both existing homes and new construction
- Can reduce water heating costs and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 80 percent
- Especially cost-effective for homes heating water with oil, propane or electricity
Commonwealth Woodstove Change-Out
Old wood stoves manufactured before 1988 generate between 5 and 20 times as much soot and dust as modern wood and pellet stoves. This soot, or “particulate,” may cause serious lung and heart conditions. Modern stoves also use about 33 percent less wood to produce the same amount of heat.
- Must replace an existing, non-EPA certified woodstove
- Increased efficiency of new woodstoves saves money on fuel while reducing greenhouse gas emissions
- Less soot and smoke emitted by new woodstoves means healthier air for wood-burning homes and surrounding communities
HeatSmart Massachusetts (HeatSmart Mass) seeks to increase the adoption of small-scale clean heating and cooling technologies in participating communities through a competitive solicitation process that aggregates homeowner buying power to lower installation prices for participants.
- Learn about the environmental and economic benefits of clean heating and cooling
- Join with your neighbors and friends to get a lower cost proposal for a clean heating and cooling system
- Learn more about air-source heat pumps, ground-source heat pumps, modern wood heating, and solar hot water
- Find out if your city or town is currently participating in HeatSmart Mass (located under the "Who's Eligible" tab)
- If not, work with your community to apply to HeatSmart Mass
- If your community is participating in HeatSmart Mass, contact your local group to sign up or to volunteer
Solar Access – Affordable Home Heating
Solar Access is a program designed to help middle-income homeowners access affordable renewable energy. The non-profit Center for EcoTechnology guides homeowners through the installation of solar panels by SunBug Solar and the installation of heat pumps by Girard Heating and Air Conditioning with financing provided by UMass Five College Credit Union.
- Solar panel ownership
- An energy efficient heating and cooling system
- An energy expert to guide you through the program