Massachusetts is a national leader in energy efficiency policies and programs. The Green Communities Act of 2008 requires that "electric and natural gas resource needs shall first be met through all available energy efficiency and demand reduction resources that are cost effective or less expensive than supply." The state’s investor-owned utilities create three-year electric and natural gas energy efficiency programs. Energy efficiency programs are funded through a Systems Benefit Charge (SBC) 2.5 mills/kWh and an energy efficiency reconciliation factor (EERF).
Massachusetts’ electric and gas efficiency program administrators saw their 2016-18 three-year statewide plans
and term sheet
endorsed by the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council
(EEAC) in October 2015, with the final approval
by the Department of Public Utilities in January 2016. The plans aim to deliver nationally historic savings levels — 2.93 percent of forecasted electric sales and 1.24 percent of forecasted gas sales statewide —and provide $8 billion in lifetime benefits to residents and businesses.
In November 2015, Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healy released the Regional Electric Reliability Options Study
, addressing whether new natural gas pipelines are the most cost-effective and environmentally-compliant means of meeting consumer energy need. The study, conducted by the highly-regarded Analysis Group, concluded that, even under a stressed scenario, the more cost effective resources, including energy efficiency and demand response, can ensure that no additional pipeline gas capacity is needed through 2030.
The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2008 (GWSA
) requires the Executive Ofice of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) to update the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for reducing greenhouse gas emissions every five years. The Clean Energy and Climate Plan Update
was released in December 2015.
Grid Modernization Efforts
In August 2015, National Grid
, and Eversource
submitted their 10-year Grid Modernization
proposals per Department of Public Utilities Order 12-76-B
. The proposals focused largely on investments in advanced metering infrastructure and rollout of time varying rates. Further deliberations on the proposals remain pending.
Massachusetts law requires regular updates to the state’s building energy code and allows communities to adopt an optional “stretch code” above the base code. On January 1, 2017, both the Base Energy Code as well as the Stretch Energy Code were updated. The difference between the two will be much smaller than in the past. In fact, the new Stretch Code will be incorporated into the new Base Code; no more extensive and separate language to describe it. Basically, new residential construction in a Stretch Code town will need to follow the Performance Path of the Base code and achieve a HERS rating of 55 rather than following the Prescriptive Path of the Base Code. The updated Stretch Code will also apply to new commercial buildings over 100,000 square feet. Additions, renovations, and repairs to residential or commercial buildings are not applicable to the updated Stretch Code, only the Base Energy Code is applicable.
Policy and Program Information
Massachusetts at a Glance
|Direct Jobs in Energy Efficiency
|Electric Efficiency Program Expenditures
|Gas Efficiency Program Expenditures
|Per Capita Expenditures
|Electric Savings as Percent of Retail Sales
||26.88 million therms
|Gas Savings as Percent of Retail Sales
|2015 program year data as reported to ISO-New England for its 2015 Energy Efficiency Forecast and to the NEEP EM&V Forum for the Regional Energy Efficiency Database (REED) and E2's Energy Efficiency Jobs in America report. Savings are expressed in net annual term