Progress toward 2020 GHG Emissions Reduction Goal

Buildings, Energy Efficiency, and Demand-Side Management are dominated by two policy areas:  All Cost Effective Energy Efficiency and Advanced Building Energy Codes.  Both are delivering significant greenhouse gas reductions, and Massachusetts has been recognized nationally for its leadership in these areas.

In 2013, Massachusetts was named the #1 state for energy efficiency in the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy’s (ACEEE) State Energy Efficiency Scorecard for the third year in a row.  We are enabling significant energy efficiency investments across all customer sectors and income levels and are now into the second 3-year plan covering 2013-2015.  We are validating these accomplishments with some of the most rigorous evaluation and verification practices in the nation.  Massachusetts is also an early adopter of the latest national model energy code the IECC2012, and helped to shape the model code through the development and adoption of a stretch energy code.  The housing driven economic downturn did reduce savings from codes as fewer buildings were constructed over the past few years, and the drop in natural gas prices due to expansion of domestic shale gas extraction have reduced energy efficiency savings in this sector.  However, greenhouse gas reductions from these policies are expected to improve in future years.

Progress Compared to GHG Emissions in the State

GHG emissions from fossil fuel combustion for heating buildings and processes have more or less followed Business-As-Usual (BAU) projections for the sector.  Historical energy efficiency measures, fuel switching from oil to natural gas, and the recent economic downturn have helped reduce CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion in residential and industrial facilities.  Deployment of all cost-effective energy efficiency above the 2008 baseline and advanced energy codes, are the primarily policies in this sector, and they are making a slow impact that will steadily accumulate to show significant savings by 2020 that are not yet visible in the GHG emissions line.

2020 Plan Strategies for GHG Emissions Reduction

Strategy (with link to
background information
from the 2020 Plan)
All Cost Effective Energy Efficiency pdf format of energy-efficiency.pdf
Medium-HighSignificant GHG emission reductions achieved
LowDeep Energy Retrofits were incorporated as a new program in the current EE 3-year plans. National Grid has rolled out a program with other PAs expected to do so next year.
Advanced Building Energy Codes pdf format of building-codes.pdf
MediumSignificant GHG emission reductions achieved.
Less than expected due in part to reduced building construction in recent years.
Federal Appliance and Product Standards pdf format of appliance-standards.pdf
LowDelay in implementation of federal standards, particularly regional gas furnace standards
Expanding Energy Efficiency Programs for Commercial and Industrial Heating Oil pdf format of energy-efficiency-c-i-heating-oil.pdf
LowLegislation required to advance this policy
Tree Retention and Planting to Reduce Heating and Cooling Loads pdf format of tree-retention-and-planting.pdf
MediumThe Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs continues to develop pilot tree planting programs in three Gateway Cities.  The program has secured $5 million in funding (Alternative Compliance Payments + state capital), which will allow for completion of planting in two cities.  Planting will begin in spring 2014.
Building Energy Rating and Labeling pdf format of building-ratings.pdf
MediumPilot projects on track


Supplemental Strategies for GHG Emissions Reduction

Supplemental StrategyPotential for GHG Emissions ReductionsNotes

Small-ModerateThe Commercial Real Estate Working Group (CRE WG), established in Spring 2013, is guiding a research initiative to integrate energy efficiency program offerings and maximize savings in the commercial real estate sector.  This initiative will reinforce an existing strategy in the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020.