Merrimack Valley Clean Energy & Energy Efficiency Programs

Programs to serve residents and businesses in the City of Lawrence and the Towns of North Andover and Andover

In July of 2020, the Baker-Polito Administration and Attorney General (AG) Maura Healey came to an agreement with Columbia Gas that required the company to pay $56 million for its role in the 2018 Merrimack Valley gas explosions. These funds will provide debt relief for gas bills to thousands of low-income gas customers and enable clean energy and energy efficiency efforts in homes and buildings in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover.

Eversource has acquired Columbia Gas and the settlement agreement between the two companies was reached in coordination with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), the AG and the Low-Income Weatherization and Fuel Assistance Program Network. The agreement resolves the AG’s investigation into Columbia Gas for violations of the state’s consumer protection laws, along with the Massachusetts Department of Public Utility’s investigation into the company’s pipeline safety compliance and emergency response related to the September 2018 explosions.

DOER became involved with the settlement agreement to carry forward its mission to create a clean, affordable, and resilient energy future for the Commonwealth. The settlement will provide meaningful benefits to all Columbia Gas customers by ensuring a swift transition to Eversource, establishing steps to improve the safety of the distribution system, providing energy efficiency programs, and debt relief for low-income customers. As part of this settlement, $41 million will be allocated directly to programs for customers in the three communities directly impacted by the September 2018 explosions: Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover.

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Community Outreach and Providing Feedback

DOER and the AG’s Office (AGO) will jointly develop and implement the clean energy and energy efficiency programs in Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover. In partnership with the AGO, DOER is seeking input from residents and businesses within the affected communities to develop programs that will deliver meaningful benefits for their energy bills and unlock access to existing statewide energy savings programs like Mass Save.

We want your feedback! Please fill out one or more of the following forms to let us know what your community needs from the program:


Merrimack Valley Renewal Fund Advisory Committee

DOER and the AGO have established the Merrimack Valley Renewal Fund Advisory Committee to assist with stakeholder input and advice on the design and implementation of the programs.  Below is a list of Advisory Committee members and their affiliation.

Advisory Committee member


Susan Almono

Merrimack Valley Inter-Faith Clergy

Evelyn Friedman

Greater Lawrence Community Action Council

Brian A. De Peña, Mayor

City of Lawrence

Nathan Forster (co-chair)

MA Office of the Attorney General

Ana Javier

Time for Change Ministry

Patrick Lawlor, Assistant Town Manager

Town of Andover

Tennis Lilly

Groundwork Lawrence

Melissa Rodrigues, Town Manager

Town of North Andover

Evan Silverio

Diverse Real Estate, LLC

Abel Vargas

Valley Home Insulation

Elizabeth Mahony (co-chair)

MA Department of Energy Resources


The Advisory Committee has met regularly since May 2021. Below are links to Advisory Committee meeting materials and notes, as well as materials presented at a meeting of the Merrimack Valley Project.  


Clean and Efficient Energy for Residents and Businesses in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover

$41 million will be devoted to the Merrimack Valley Renewal Fund, which will be jointly overseen by the AGO and DOER. The fund will support the development of new programs that will deliver energy efficiency benefits and reduced energy bills for primarily low- and moderate-income residents of Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover.  

Of that $41 million, $25.5 million will be dedicated to new programs for low- and moderate- income residents that will be informed by community feedback, and will be implemented through partnerships with community organizations to fund: housing repairs and energy efficiency upgrades, targeted outreach and engagement with landlords and renters, and workforce development to engage local residents in the clean energy economy. 

Chart showing funding allocation of Merrimack Valley Renewal Fund.

Current Funding Opportunities

As part of the Merrimack Valley Energy Efficiency Enrichment Program, DOER and the AGO are looking to hire an organization or team of organizations to offer personalized support services by providing bilingual (English/Spanish) home energy project facilitation and technical assistance services to low- and moderate-income residents, and renters and landlords, in the Lawrence, Andover, and North Andover communities. You can find the Program Opportunity Notice (PON) HERE

How to apply:

Organizations must comply with all the laws and regulations of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to be eligible. Bidders must register and apply on COMMBUYS, which is the Commonwealth’s official website for funding opportunities (

  • PON-ENE-2023-005
  • COMMBUYS bid number BD 23- 1041-ENE01-ENE01-80908

For specific instructions on how to apply, please see the funding opportunity on COMMBUYS.

Key Activities and Dates

Key activities including dates and times for this funding opportunity are presented below. The funding opportunity will be amended if these dates change. It is your responsibility to check COMMBUYS for any changes.




October 25, 2022

Deadline to Submit Questions to COMMBUYS (bidders)

Nov. 17, 2022, 5 pm

Answers to Questions Posted on COMMBUYS (DOER)

Dec. 1, 2022

PON Responses Submission Deadline*

Jan. 6, 2023, 5 pm


Bidder’s Conference 

The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and the Attorney General's Office (AGO) hosted a bidder’s conference to provide information about this grant funding opportunity. The bidder’s conference also offered a chance to network with other interested organizations to partner with to respond to the funding opportunity. The bidder's conference was hosted at the Lawrence Public Library on November 14, 5:30 pm.

You can find the slides, notes, and Q & A from the bidder’s conference on COMMBUYS. 

Past Funding Opportunities

Clean and Efficient Energy for Residents and Businesses in Lawrence, Andover and North Andover

***DOER and the AG have released a program opportunity notice to provide grants for projects in residential buildings, or buildings that include both commercial businesses and residences, located in Andover, North Andover, and/or Lawrence, Massachusetts that maximize energy efficiency, electrification, and/or clean energy, and demonstrate a long-term commitment to providing affordable housing to low- or moderate-income residents. Applications for the second round of funding are due on July 1, 2021.  

Other Clean Energy Provisions in the Settlement

As part of this settlement, Eversource will also implement several other important clean energy programs: 

  • Eversource will prepare an analysis outlining potential decarbonization strategies for the gas business that are consistent with Governor Baker’s net-zero by 2050 greenhouse gas emission reduction goals.  

  • Eversource will commit to Massachusetts’ aggressive three-year energy efficiency plan savings goals for the customers previously served by Columbia Gas, which provides programs and significant incentives to help customers reduce their energy usage and lower their bills through insulation and heating system upgrades 

  • Eversource will fund two heat pump pilot programs, including $500,000 of funding to DOER for electrification incentives in western Massachusetts for customers impacted by the natural gas moratorium 

  • Eversource will provide a no-cost special weatherization offer to the three affected communities in the Merrimack Valley through 2021. In addition, improved communication with landlords and partnerships with local organizations as well as Spanish speaking outreach, and customer service will be provided.   

  • An energy relief fund will be established that will help approximately 26,000 low-income customers across the Eversource’s service territory by forgiving approximately $14.8 million in accumulated debt from their gas bills. 

Next Steps for Residents or Business Owners

 If you are interested in participating in these programs, are a resident of Lawrence, Andover, or North Andover, a small business or community organization, or a contractor interested in learning more, use the program contact below.



Office Phone: 857-274-2509

Available M-F 9am-5pm


Danilo Morales, Merrimack Valley Clean Energy Program and Outreach Manager
Date published: October 22, 2020

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