Massachusetts has put its RGGI allowance proceeds to work advancing the Commonwealth’s energy goals. Since 2008, Massachusetts has invested more than $306 million in RGGI proceeds, and more than 97 percent of these funds have been directed into strategic energy programs and initiatives. Two top initiatives are Massachusetts’ statewide Three-Year Energy Efficiency Investment Plans, which are implemented through the Commonwealth’s investor-owned utilities under the Mass Save® brand, and the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program, which provides funds to communities that meet ambitious energy criteria. These programs reduce harmful pollution, build the Commonwealth’s clean energy economy, and increase the predictability of energy costs for homes and businesses.
Through 2014, investor-owned utilities and energy efficiency providers have delivered energy efficiency programs to Massachusetts residences and businesses, generating more than $691 million in lifetime energy bill savings. These programs gain additional funding through the state’s Energy Efficiency Reconciliation Factor (EERF), system benefit charges, and regional forward capacity market auction proceeds.
Mass Save programs provide energy assessments, air sealing and weatherization, and rebates for insulation and efficient lighting, appliances, HVAC, and water heating equipment. They incentivize the implementation of combined heat and power, and enable industrial facilities to improve process efficiency. RGGI proceeds also support incentives to promote the development of markets for energy-efficient technologies. This can include building code consultations, community-based initiatives, public education and outreach, and other programs helping to develop and commercialize energy-efficient products and practices.
Massachusetts’ energy policies and programs, including those funded in part by RGGI proceeds, have made Massachusetts the nation’s top state for efficiency according to the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE)’s 2014 Scorecard.
Program Highlight: Green Communities
The Green Communities Division strives to help all Massachusetts cities and towns find clean energy solutions that reduce long-term energy costs and strengthen local economies. The division provides technical assistance and financial support for municipal initiatives to improve energy efficiency and increase the use of renewable energy in public buildings, facilities and schools.
The Green Communities Designation and Grant Program has helped 155 cities and towns earn Green Community designation. As energy leaders in Massachusetts, Green Communities are eligible for state grants. Nearly $29 million from those Green Community grants is already at work in 136 communities, with more than $3 million in additional grants for energy projects in the newest 19 designated communities. The Green Communities Division staff continues to work with scores of other local government entities on an array of energy activities: from reducing energy use in municipal and school buildings to establishing power purchase agreements that enable financially attractive renewable energy generation, adopting the latest building codes, and much more..