Updating the Mass Save Incentive Program

The state's Mass Save program offers incentives for Passive House projects. This program is currently undergoing its regular planning cycle by the EEAC for the next iteration. For details on the currently available incentives through this program go here.

Background

The Mass Save incentive program comes from plans developed by the EEAC (MA Energy Efficiency Advisory Council) and approved by the Dept. of Public Utilities. Plans are developed in three-year cycles – with the current incentives being part of the 2019-2021 period and the ongoing planning cycle being for the 2022-2024 period.

PHMass, along with many other groups, have submitted recommendations to the EEAC. Many of these were include in some from in the draft plan. We are now engaged in the commenting process to make sure these initiatives are in the final plan and that they are fully detailed and properly funded.

2022-2024 Planning Process

  • Nov, 2020: Start of planning meetings and public comments
  • April, 2021: Draft Plan released (see plan here)
  • June/July, 2021: Public Comment Period   <----We Are Here
  • October, 2021: Final draft released
  • Nov/Dec, 2021: Review & approval from DPU
  • Jan, 2022: New plan takes effect

See: https://ma-eeac.org/planning-resources/

How to submit a Public Comment

1. Email written comment to: ma-eeac@mass.gov
2. Make comment "in-person" over Zoom:

Virtual Public Comment Dates (click to sign-up):
Wednesday, July 14th | 1:00pm-4:30pm
Wednesday, July 28th | 1:00pm-4:30pm

Sample Comment:
I'm voicing my support for the Passive House initiatives in the draft three-year plan, including expanding the successful incentive and training programs. I would also like to support the proposal of a 1-4 unit incentive program and a retrofit program, both based on Passive House. In order for the state to meet its climate goals, it is essential that we move towards net zero energy for all buildings and Passive House is the way to achieve it. Passive House is based on fundamental building science principles and decades of practice, offering the quality, durability, verification, and assurance that the industry needs now to begin scaling up the production of healthy, net zero, and climate resilient buildings.

 

 

 

Affordable Housing and Low Income Tax Credits

The Department of Housing and Community Development is undergoing a new draft of their Qualified Allocation Plan for awarding Affordable Housing financing for the 2022-2024 period. Currently, in the existing plan, Passive House projects receive 5 extra points in the category of Certified Exemplary Energy Performance. In order to hit the state’s climate goals, it is critical that affordable housing projects funded with MA Low Income Housing Tax Credits are working to achieve a goal of net zero emissions and should not to retrofitted again in 10 or 15 years to meet the goal.

Environmentally Friendly Design (20 points) of 182 points

Many things listed as potential points should be pre-requisites such as:

  • 5 years of energy and water performance reporting (not just for PH projects)

  • Implementation of smoke-free housing policies

  • Use of applicable efficiency program such as LEAN Low Income Multifamily or MassSave

  • Enterprise Green Community Mandatory checklist- and letter from consultant that would be able to achieve certification

There should be two different tracts for scoring: one for new construction buildings, one for rehabs of existing buildings/adaptive reuse

  • New construction buildings should not get extra certification points unless at least achieve LEED Gold. New construction that commits to Passive House certification should get at least 5 points more than LEED Gold commitment because usually achieve 40% or better Energy Use Intensity than LEED

  • Rehab/Adaptive reuse should only get points if have aggressive energy scope. Consider 30% reduction in Energy Use Intensity, 40% reduction in Energy Use Intensity and EnerPHit levels of scoring

  • There should be rewards in scoring if propose electrification of heating with efficient heat pumps. This is relatively harder for retrofits so retrofits should get more points if electrify

  • There should be a scoring reward for new construction that dramatically decreases embodied carbon of building materials, such as mass timber structural design or 40% replacement of cement in concrete with low embodied carbon ECMs

 

Virtual Public Hearing was Thursday, May 13 at 11:00 a.m.

Written comments by May 20th. Submit by e-mail to rebecca.frawley@mass.gov or catherine.racer@mass.gov

 

PHMass Comment Submission

 

Amendment to 2020-2021 QAP at www.mass.gov/service-details/qualified-allocation-plan