In response to federal efforts to ensure consumer protection and energy independence, the 1980 Residential Conservation Services (RCS) statute created the framework for residential in-home energy efficiency services around which Massachusetts’ nation-leading programs are built. Currently, via proposed regulatory updates that are explained in more detail below, the DOER is encouraging a broader consumer reach and better consumer protections through RCS.

DOER has opened the public comment period for proposed updates to regulations governing the Residential Conservation Services (RCS) program (i.e., the residential home assessment program pursuant to the RCS statute, M.G.L. c.164 App.§§2-1 to 2-10. Note that in the 2013-2015 Energy Efficiency Investment Plan, the Mass Save® “Home Energy Services” and “Multi-family Retrofit” initiatives are regulated by the RCS statute and regulations). The public comment period, originally scheduled to end on Friday, February 6th, has been extended to Tuesday, March 31st at 5 p.m. The proposed updates to the RCS regulation (225 CMR 4.00) are designed to update and streamline the regulation, better integrate efficiency and renewable energy opportunities, and provide more consistent, comprehensive services to Massachusetts residents regardless of the fuel being used to heat a building or the number of units in a building. Furthermore, the proposed regulations seek to ensure that insulation contractors provide quality work to customers and have a transparent path into and out of the RCS program. Additionally, the RCS statute (M.G.L. ch. 164 App. §2-1 through §2-10) requires that the DOER create a State Plan to further implement the RCS program. Currently, the State Plan is set forth in the form of a Guideline that clarifies the RCS regulation. The DOER intends to update this Guideline through a future public stakeholder process. DOER encourages stakeholders to consider the State Plan in their review and development of comments regarding the proposed RCS regulation. More information about the process to update the Guideline will be provided here as it becomes available.

Written comments on the proposed regulation may be submitted via mail to Alissa Whiteman, Department of Energy Resources, 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 1020, Boston, MA 02114, or electronically to alissa.whiteman@state.ma.us with subject line “RCS Regulations Comments.” Written comments must be submitted by 5 p.m. on March 31, 2015.  

Previous public forums on proposed RCS updates include:  

  • Public hearing on proposed regulation on January 26, 2015  
  • Public meetings in summer 2014:  DOER presented a high level overview of the proposed updates and invited stakeholders to submit written comments.  See below for a link to the DOER presentation and stakeholder comments. 

RESOURCES

Residential Conservation Services statute pdf format of RCS Statute Electronic
(M.G.L. ch. 164 App. §2) 

RCS Regulations (225 CMR 4.00 - existing)

225 CMR 4.00 (clean) pdf format of 225 CMR 4.00 (clean)
(proposed)
225 CMR 4.00 (redline) pdf format of 225 CMR 4.00 (redline)
(proposed) 

Department of Public Utilities RCS Cost Recovery Regulation (220 CMR 7.00)

7/18 Stakeholder Comments on Residential Conservation Services (225 CMR 4.00) Update Proposal zip format of 7/18 Stakeholder Comments on RCS (225 CMR 4.00) Update 
file size 2MB

DOER RCS Policy Update Presentation pdf format of RCS Stakeholder Meeting
– June 2014 

2003 RCS Guideline (existing) pdf format of 225 CMR 4.00 Guidelines
– Several provisions in the existing Guidelines have been rendered moot by subsequent acts of the Legislature. In addition, as stated above, the DOER intends to update the existing guideline through a future public stakeholder process. The DOER provides them here for reference purposes only.