Proposed Massachusetts efficiency, clean energy programs shoot for low-income access

Dive Brief:

  • Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) announced six new clean energy and efficiency programs, making up the final component of the administration's $15 million Affordable Access to Clean and Efficient Energy (AACEE) Initiative that it announced last year.
  • Included in the new programs is the Affordable Clean Residential Energy (ACRE) program, which will fund six awards for up to a total of $3 million to nonprofits serving low income residents.
  • Baker's announcement last week also included releasing a report from the Affordable Access to Clean and Efficient Energy Final Working Group, which focused on strategies for reaching low- and moderate-income residents who struggle to access clean energy and efficiency products.

Dive Insight:

In addition to the new programs, the working group report lays out extensive strategies for bringing clean energy to a broader range of Massachusetts residents. 

“The report shows continued collaboration across state government is crucial to the Commonwealth building upon the success we have achieved in reducing the energy burden for low-income communities," Baker said in a statement. 

The ACRE program is expected to provide lifetime energy cost savings of up to $4.5 million for low income residents. The awards will fund programs that support the installation of solar electric and air-source heat pump systems in homes that contain one to four housing units.

Another program, the Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER) Green Communities Division, will offer grants to regional planning authorities to build in-house expertise around energy efficiency and clean energy through community-based education programs.

DOER also announced a Zero-Energy Modular Affordable Housing Initiative grant program, which aims help Massachusetts achieve "significant replicable improvements" in the efficiency of mobile and manufactured housing by replacing existing manufactured homes with new modular zero energy housing.

The department also recently issued the design for the state's next solar incentive program, Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target, which will include low-income access and community shared solar.

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Filed Under: Efficiency & Demand Response
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