Patrick-Murray Administration Announces Details of $8 Million to Help Communities Rebuild from Tornado Damage Using Energy Efficient Methods
Funding and zero-interest loans available for energy efficiency, renewable energy rebuild projects
BOSTON - Monday, September 26, 2011 - The Patrick-Murray Administration today announced the program details of more than $8 million to help building owners affected by the June 1 tornadoes rebuild using energy efficiency practices and renewable energy technologies. Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. made the announcement as part of the Patrick-Murray Administration's commitment to help communities rebuild and recover from tornado damage.
EEA announced its new call center telephone number of (800) 628-8413 and website at www.mass.gov/energy/rebuildwesternma, provided additional program details and named the banks participating in the ReBuild Western Massachusetts program, which was previously announced in August.
"These incentives will help communities affected by the storms rebuild stronger and more efficiently than before," said Governor Patrick. "Our hope is that these programs will inspire home and building owners to use this as an opportunity to support the state's growing clean energy economy."
"As we have invested in any city or town, our administration continues to think strategically to leverage long-term sustainability," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "With this funding, cities and towns impacted by the tornado damage will focus on energy efficient opportunities to rebuild."
Adding to existing services and incentives offered by gas and electric utilities, ReBuild Western Massachusetts incentives for homeowners include zero-interest loans in collaboration with Monson Savings Bank and Country Bank, and grants for building with energy efficient windows, doors, attic and wall insulation, and heating equipment.
"These programs will fund energy efficient improvements that will benefit communities for years to come and keep us on pace with achieving our state clean energy goals," said Secretary Sullivan.
The program will also offer $1 million in incentives for solar PV and solar thermal systems. In combination with other federal and state incentives, the program will allow impacted residents to offset substantially more than 50 percent (in some cases up to 80 percent) of the total installed cost for renewable systems.
Offerings developed later this year will include energy efficiency for commercial buildings up to $60,000, and up to $100,000 for municipal buildings affected by tornado damage.
Developed by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), and administered in partnership with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), the program is designed to assist home and building owners who sustained documented structural damage as a result of the June 1 storms.
Eligible participants include those who can document damage caused by the June 1 storms, and who own buildings in communities in Hampden and Worcester Counties, including: Agawam, Westfield, West Springfield, Springfield, Wilbraham, Monson, Brimfield, Southbridge and Sturbridge.
"For communities affected by the recent storms, there is now a package of incentives to bring significant reductions in energy costs and deep energy efficiency savings," said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. "These incentives will support measures that reduce energy consumption, lower greenhouse gas emissions and reduce our dependence on imported energy sources."
Energy efficiency programs are one of the keystones of the Patrick-Murray Administration's policies aimed at reducing residential and commercial energy costs, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and spurring the Massachusetts clean energy economy. Of the approximately $22 billion Massachusetts spends annually on energy, 80 percent - or nearly $18 billion - goes out of the state and the country to purchase coal, oil and natural gas from Canada, the Middle East and South America.
"MassCEC is excited to be part of this effort to help affected homeowners and businesses implement energy efficiency and renewable energy into their rebuilding efforts," said MassCEC Executive Director Patrick Cloney.
The programs are funded with American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) funds, provided by the U.S. Department of Energy, and funds from compliance year 2010 alternative compliance payments made by energy suppliers that do not meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) compliance obligations in a given year. The RPS provides financial incentives for eligible renewable energy facilities by requiring utility companies and other electricity suppliers to deliver a minimum percentage of RPS-qualified renewable energy to their customers.
These new programs are in addition to the assistance offered to tornado-impacted residents via DOER's Massachusetts Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program, which launched on July 28. That program, which offers $150 for new ENERGY STAR® refrigerators and $50 for room air conditioners, set aside $100,000 for tornado victims and waived the appliance turn-in requirements. For more information about the program, visit www.MassEnergyRebates.com or call toll-free (877) 574-1128.
In addition, residents and businesses impacted by the June 1 tornado are eligible for increased incentives through existing renovation and rebuilding incentives offered by Mass Save - a range of services and incentives sponsored by Massachusetts gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers. For more information about Mass Save programs specifically for communities affected by the tornado, call 800-628-8413.
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