Massachusetts’ Green Communities Act, 2008, requires utilities to increase their investment in energy efficiency measures.  This Act requires adoption of three-year revision planning cycles, with the 2013 goal requiring utilities to save 2.76% by 2015 by developing cost-effective energy solutions for the building sector. The 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act sets an overarching national target for Massachusetts to reduce its GHG emissions from 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The Massachusetts’ "Stretch Energy Code" is a voluntary appendix to the Massachusetts Building Code that allows cities to elect to adopt more demanding requirements. Massachusetts has a home energy certification scheme currently in a pilot phase, the Energy Performance Score.  The Mass Save programme acts as a one-stop solution centre that provides advice, information and financial guidance to all citizens of Massachusetts. Massachusetts, for the third year in a row, won first place in the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) annual energy efficiency state scorecard.

The Policy Tool for Renovation highlights five key areas where Massachusetts’ Renovation Policy Package excels: overall country reduction targets, building code requirements for renovations, utility-funded energy efficiency programmes, training and education campaigns and a one-stop solution centre.

The total residential energy consumption in Massachusetts has continually decreased since 2003, with the consumption/capita and the consumption/dwelling following the same trend. There was a dip in consumption in the year of 2006, from 2007 this continued along the previous trend. The GDP has decreased annually from 2000 with a slight fluctuation in 2006 where it remained steady from then to 2009 where it began to decrease once more. Massachusetts’ population is 6.7 million (U.S. Census Bureau, 2012).

Regulatory Measures

Overall Targets

In the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, Massachusetts set a goal to reduce their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 80% below 1990 levels by 2050, a target of 25% reduction GHG emissions is set for 2020.

More info: Government website

Renovation Targets for Residential Buildings

The Green Communities Act requires for the utilities to develop cost-effective energy efficiency solutions, requiring a three-year planning cycle. The second three-year plan was adopted in 2013, calling for savings of 2.6% by 2015. These investments in energy efficiency are predicted to save 3,703 GWh of electricity by 2015.

More info: Government website

Renovation Targets for Public Buildings

The Executive Order 484 (2007) requires for a reduction of 20% by 2012 and 35% by 2020 of overall energy consumption in all state-owned and leased buildings, compared to a 2004 baseline. The executive order states that all new construction and major renovations over 20,000 sq. ft. must meet the MA LEED Plus green building standard and perform 20% better than the state energy code.

More info: Government website

Building Assessment

Building Codes Requirements for Renovation

Massachusetts’ "Stretch Energy Code" Appendix 120AA (Voluntary) is based on the 2009 IECC, ASHRAE 90.1-2007 state-developed code called “Above and Beyond” Option for Green Communities.

The Massachusetts’ "Stretch Energy Code" is a voluntary appendix to the Massachusetts Building Code For One- And Two-Family Dwellings, Chapter 61 + .  The stretch option allows for cities to choose more demanding requirements. This option increases the efficiency requirements in any municipality that chooses to adopt it.  A HERS index of 80 or less is required for major renovations of homes above 2,000 square feet, or 85 or less for homes below 2,000 square feet.

More info: Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

Labelling Schemes

Massachusetts does not have a mandatory labelling scheme in place but does have a voluntary system. The certification system provides an Energy Performance Score (EPS) that reflects a home's anticipated energy use and carbon emissions.  This allows for a comparison between homes of similar size in a similar area. The EPS also offers information on the available incentives to finance the energy efficiency improvements. The EPS system is currently in the pilot phase. Home Performance with Energy Star is also a voluntary programme that is active within the state.

More info: Mass Save Programme

Financial Instruments

Incentive Schemes

Incentives are available for both holistic measures and component-based measures.  Low-income residents can claim up to $5500 for insulation, air sealing, minor HVAC equipment repair through weatherisation assistance. Funding is provided by the state through the US DOE.  Thus far, 21,000 buildings have been covered.

More info: US DOE DSIRE Database

Taxation Mechanisms

Federal tax credits are available for certain energy efficient products. See here for further details.

A carbon/energy taxing system called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) was established in 2005.  It is the “first market-based regulatory programme in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions”. It is a sector-specific cap-and-trade system that applies to carbon dioxide emissions from electric power plants. It is expected that the programme will be a base for emissions trading that will be expanded in the future to cover other emission. The existing programme addresses approximately 22% of all GHG emissions.  The RGGI will require for gradual reductions from 2009 to 2019, finally achieving 10% reductions by 2019.

More info: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Economic Instruments

Utility-Funded Energy Efficiency Programmes

Homeowners and business owners are entitled to receive the utility funded incentives. Many different schemes are available in Massachusetts. The measures vary significantly from holistic renovations to component-based financing. Grants, loans and rebates are available for energy audits as well as specific products. The percentage of the costs paid will depend on the project and what programme the customer is using, this also depends on the programme. Some utilities have a set a limit (i.e., $5,000).

More info: Mass Save Programme, US DOE Database

Market Instruments for Energy Efficient Renovations

Massachusetts’ Green Communities Act requires electricity and gas utilities to implement cost-effective energy efficiency measures in anticipation of increasingly expensive energy supplies. A three-year planning cycle sets goals and targets for the utility companies.

More info: Green Communities Act MA

General Information & Capacity Building

Training and Education Campaigns

A number of training and educational campaigns are in place in Massachusetts, please find a list of these here:

More info:

One Stop Solution Centre

Home MPG is a programme within the Mass Save Home Energy Services Programme that provides services that goes beyond the Mass Save Programme, acting as a one-stop-shop for the residents of Massachusetts.  While Mass Save provides advice and information on energy saving opportunities and incentives, Home MPG recommends for specific improvements to be made after analysing the EPS scorecard, provides reviews of specialists and connects the resident to contractors who can perform the improvements.

More info:

Overall Performance

Please see Create Graphs tab above.