Solarize Massachusetts (Solarize Mass) seeks to increase the adoption of small-scale solar electricity in participating communities through a competitive solicitation process that aggregates homeowner buying power to lower installation prices for participants.

Solarize Massachusetts Plus (Solarize Mass Plus) seeks to increase adoption of small-scale solar electricity and additional complementary technologies.

MassCEC will not be offering funding for 2021 Solarize Mass campaigns.

If you have an interest in running a Solarize-style campaign in the upcoming year, please review the resources under the Solarize-HeatSmart Toolkit tab and stay tuned for more materials to be posted in the coming months. Additionally, if you would like to speak with MassCEC for guidance please reach out to solarize@masscec.com, and we can set up a time to speak with you!

 

2020 Solarize Mass Program

The following communities are currently participating in the 2020 round:

Solarize Mass Plus Mendon-Upton:

  • Promoting solar PV, battery storage, air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps, solar hot water, and electric vehicles
  • Solarize Mendon-Upton Website
  • Contact email: solarizemendonupton@gmail.com
  • Mendon-Upton's chosen installers are ACE Solar (Solar PV), Acheive Renewable Energy (GSHP), Boucher Energy Systems (ASHP), RES Solar (SHW) and partners with Drive Green to promote electric vehicles. 

Solarize Mass Plus Yarmouth:

  • Promoting solar PV and air source heat pumps

If you live in one of these communities, you can contact the respective community volunteer team via the contact information listed under their campaign information.

2019 Solarize Mass Completed Programs & Earlier Rounds

Several communities who participated in the 2019 Solarize Mass Program have now completed their campaigns.

For final results for all communities: See Solarize Mass Program Results page for final information on all campaigns.

For contact information:

For individual community contact information, email solarize@masscec.com

This toolkit was last updated on October 6th and is in the process of being developed. Check back next month for additional resources, and the complete version at the end of the year.

Currently this toolkit covers the first steps needed to initiate a basic plan for a clean energy adoption campaign in your community. As of now, it includes technology training videos, outreach tools, and marketing strategy templates. In its completion it will offer additional resources to assist in installer selection, campaign management, event planning and campaign wrap-up and analysis.

 

Step 1 - Clean Energy Technology Training

The first step to running your Solarize or HeatSmart-like campaign is selecting which clean energy technologies to promote within your community. It's important that you and your team understand the basics on your selected technologies, so you can help educate other residents in your community and answer their questions. You can begin learning more about these clean energy technologies by watching training videos on the MassCEC Youtube page. Start by viewing 'Introduction to Clean Energy Technologies for Homes' and then explore the other videos. 

Step 2 - Campaign Exploration

In this stage you will explore past program overviews, best practices, and general logistics to help you understand the fundamental steps to implementing a clean energy adoption campaign that you will strategically plan for in the next section. It’s important to understand the time commitment that needs to be made, who all of the campaign’s stakeholders are and their level of support or readiness to adopt clean energy technologies.

Understand the program: The following resources will help you explore running your campaign in the traditional way and/or identify areas and strategies to alter to help tailor your campaign to your community.

Conduct Outreach: The following resources will help you reach out to valuable stakeholders, such as community members and past participants, to better prepare and tailor your campaign

  • Solarize Mass Campaign Outreach Techniques - Review a list of techniques used to conduct outreach and market through previous Solarize and HeatSmart programs. This will be important to use for both planning and implementation phases.
  • Past Solarize-HeatSmart Municipal Representative Contact Info - Reach out to people that have previously run a Solarize or HeatSmart campaign to receive feedback and compare experiences.

  • Template Community Interest Survey - Send out to your neighbors and post on town websites or Facebook groups to see if residents are interested in switching to clean energy technologies, and as a method for identifying which technologies to promote. This list of interested contacts can become a valuable resource in order to share initial leads with your selected installers.

  • Template Collaborator Commitment Letter - This template was used to provide confirmation to MassCEC of another entity’s commitment to support and help promote your campaign. This entity may be a local environmental nonprofit, community organization, or the municipality. Campaigns that collaborate with another entity tend to have more success due to diversity of perspective and a wider range of resources for community outreach and marketing. 

  • High-Cost Heating Fuels Map – Review this map to identify what percentage of households in your community heat with high cost heating fuels like oil, electric resistance, and propane. These households will see the highest cost savings for switching to clean heating and cooling technologies so are great candidates for a HeatSmart campaign.

  • Use the Clean Energy Technology 101 Flyers (listed under Step 1) to help explain and educate stakeholders during outreach.

Step 3 - Campaign and Marketing Planning:

In this stage of planning, you want to detail your overall campaign and marketing strategy. This requires you to utilize your insights from ‘Step 2 – Campaign Exploration’ to identify your team members, partners, campaign goals, marketing tactics, and timeline.

  • Community RFP - Utilize the traditional MassCEC Request for Proposals for Solarize Mass and HeatSmart Mass to better understand the typical program process. It includes descriptions of program roles and responsibilities, details of what best qualifies and prepares a community, and describes the timeline of the traditional program. Complete the following documents that were traditionally required to submit the community application:
    • Proposal Checklist and Application – This application will help you concretely establish your goals as well as provide a template to draft your own campaign marketing proposal. This may prove useful if you seek to gain approval from your municipality or to engage other partners.
      • Check out the Community Marketing Proposals (under the Program Background tab below) for examples of strategies submitted by past communities.
    • Signature and Acceptance Form – This form will help you collect and identify the contact info for all necessary team members. 
    • HeatSmart or Solarize Coach Commitment Form – This form will summarize the traditional responsibilities of the HeatSmart or Solarize Coach and secure a commitment from them.
    • Volunteer Commitment Form – This form secures a commitment from all volunteers.
  • Community Outreach Plan Template - Plan and identify potential outreach opportunities for the campaign and continue to update each week to help track campaign progress.
  • MAPC Example Stakeholder List - Identify specific stakeholders within your community to target and strategies to use to engage them.  
  • Resources for further consideration – The following resources allow you to preview some of the next steps in implementing your campaign such as launching a website, utilizing social media, and holding events, but can also help you develop a more thorough marketing plan beyond your initial strategy.

If you have an interest in running a Solarize-style campaign in the upcoming year, and would like to speak with MassCEC for guidance please reach out to solarize@masscec.com, and we can set up a time to speak with you!

 

*This toolkit was last updated on October 6, 2020. Check back next month for additional resources.

Now in its tenth year, Solarize Mass is a partnership between MassCEC and the Green Communities Division of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER).  Click here to see a map of all Solarize Communities and results to date.

 

How it works

The Solarize Mass program looks to increase the adoption of small-scale solar electricity systems through a grassroots educational campaign, driven mainly by local volunteers and reduced pricing that increases the savings for participants. Each participating community competitively selects a designated solar installation company. Homeowners and business owners who want to participate can either purchase the solar electricity systems directly or enter into a lease or power purchase agreement (PPA) with the installer if offered. Under a lease or PPA, the installer will own, operate and maintain the system, while the home or business owner agrees to purchase the power generated by the system as a specific rate. 

The Solarize Mass Plus program pairs the Solarize Mass model with an additional technology offering. This program was piloted in 2017 and continued through 2020. Participating communities have opted for solar PV plus a range of eligible technologies including, air source heat pumps, battery storage, electric vehicles, ground source heat pumps, and solar hot water. Eligible technologies range from various Clean Heating and Cooling technologies, to Energy Efficiency or Electric Vehicles. In addition to competitively selecting a solar installation company, MassCEC will assist the community in competitively selecting a vendor for the Plus technology or technologies.

Since Solarize Mass launched in 2011, the program has resulted in almost 20,000 individuals expressing interest in pursuing solar electricity and other clean energy technology systems. To date, over 3,700 residents and business owners in 85 communities signed contracts resulting in over 25.66 megawatts of contracted capacity. The Solarize Mass Plus program has resulted in the contracting of an additional 111 clean energy technologies. In addition, the number of small-scale solar electricity projects in almost every community doubled as a result of the program. See Solarize Mass Results for information and up-to-date results. To learn more about the current Solarize Mass program, go to the Solarize Mass main page.

Solarize Mass Results

 

Solarize Mass Community Marketing Proposals

Solarize Mass community marketing proposals from 2012 through 2020 are provided below to assist communities and other interested parties in considering different strategies for implementing a Solarize or similar cleam energy adoption campaign. Developing a marketing proposal prior to the launch of a clean energy adoption campaign can provide a useful roadmap for communities, and may benefit program results.  

Solarize Mass Community Marketing Proposals (2012 - 2020)
2020

Mendon-Upton

Yarmouth      
2019 Belchertown Needham Salem-Swampscott-Nahant Williamstown-North Adams  
2018 Wellfleet-Eastham-Truro-Provincetown Lowell Springfield-Longmeadow    
2017 Lincoln-Sudbury-Wayland Newburyport Winthrop    
2016 Bolton Medfield Natick Shelburne-Colrain-Conway

Somerville

Upton Windsor-Cummington-Goshen-Worthington      
2015 Plainfield-Ashfield-Buckland Provincetown Quincy    
2013 Round 2 Adams Amherst Andover Great Barrington-Egremont Lexington-Bedford
Needham Salem-Swampscott Watertown Wellfleet Williamsburg-Whately-Chesterfield
2013 Round 1 Bourne Brookline Chelmsford-Carlisle Lee Medford
Medway Newton Northampton Williamstown

 

2012 Acton Arlington Boston Hopkinton

Melrose

Mendon Montague Newburyport Palmer

Shirley

Pittsfield-Lenox Millbury-Sutton Wayland-Lincoln-Sudbury