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New Energy-efficiency Program Offers Opportunities and Rebates

BOSTON — A new pilot program funded by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) is making incentives for energy-efficiency upgrades in residential buildings with one to four units available to Massachusetts residents, including those serviced by municipal lighting companies.

DOER, established to develop and implement policies and programs to further the energy-related goals of the Commonwealth, has created the Home Energy Market Value Performance (MVP) pilot program to test innovations to residential energy-efficiency program delivery. This program is designed to be custom-built around a home’s individual needs instead of a prescriptive, one-size-fits-all process, relying on the participating contractors’ expertise in building science and advanced modeling software used during the energy audit.

The incentives and rebates available for energy-efficiency upgrades are based on the reduction of annual energy consumption of the home. The initial audit will model the current annual energy usage, and the energy specialists will create a plan to reduce that usage. Together with the energy specialists, homeowners can make decisions about what measures to install or upgrade based on their homes’ particular needs and the projected incentive paid by the program. A site visit will be conducted after the upgrades have been completed to confirm their installation and approve the customer’s rebate package.

The MVP pilot will run until November 2019 or until all funding is spent, which is estimated to cover 600 projects statewide. Massachusetts residences up to a four-unit building that meet health and safety standards are eligible for participation, including condominiums and rentals with written agreement from the landlord. Currently, homes that heat with Berkshire Gas or that are on a reduced rate code or heating assistance are not eligible for the program.

The pilot consists of just eight participating contractors across the state. Locally, the Energy Store, an Easthampton-based Building Performance Institute Goldstar Contractor, was chosen as a participating contractor.

“We’re very excited to be able to offer potentially big incentives through the MVP pilot to folks with municipal utilities or anyone with their hearts set on measures they wouldn’t otherwise have been incentivized, such as basement ceiling insulation or spray foam,” said Chris Allen, director of Field Operations for the Energy Store. “It will hopefully make a really positive impact on the program in the future, and it offers financial help for homeowners to address efficiency problems in ways that traditionally haven’t been incentivized. It opens a lot of doors.”

Inquiries about the DOER MVP pilot can be directed to the Energy Store at [email protected].

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