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Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Sets Ambitious Emissions Reduction Goal for Energy Efficiency Plan

Efficiency Goal Will Help Commonwealth Achieve 2030 Emissions Reduction Target
For immediate release:
7/15/2021
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Sets Ambitious Emissions Reduction Goal for Energy Efficiency Plan

Craig Gilvarg, Press Secretary

BostonBuilding on its national leadership on energy efficiency and climate action, the Baker-Polito Administration today announced it has established an ambitious greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction goal for the next three-year Mass Save® Energy Efficiency Plan. The goals, established as part of comprehensive, nation-leading climate legislation signed into law by Governor Baker in March, will help the Commonwealth meet its ambitious goal to reduce GHG emissions 50% below 1990 levels by 2030. The GHG reduction goal for the three-year energy efficiency plan, established in a letter issued by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides to the Mass Save program administrators, builds upon the framework established in the Administration’s 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap (2050 Roadmap) and 2030 Interim Clean Energy and Climate Plan (2030 Interim CECP). The goal requires the Commonwealth’s utility companies to pursue an ambitious emissions reduction goal through Mass Save in a cost-effective and equitable manner while creating jobs and opportunities for economic development throughout Massachusetts.

“Massachusetts continues to lead the nation in ambitious clean energy and energy efficiency policies with programs like Mass Save, helping residents save money on their energy bills while making substantial progress on our climate goals,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The goals we are setting today will help spark innovative efficiency solutions and lead to significant reductions in harmful greenhouse gas emissions to combat the effects of climate change.”

“In establishing this emissions reduction goal, our Administration is laying the groundwork for significant investments in energy efficient infrastructure and job creation across the Commonwealth,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These investments will reduce air pollution in our cities and towns, create new economic opportunities, and lower energy costs for our residents and businesses across the state.”

The GHG reduction goal for the 2022-2024 Joint Statewide Energy Efficiency Plan for electric utility companies requires the reduction of 504,000 metric tons of C02e emissions, while the emissions reduction for gas utility companies requires the reduction of 341,000 metric tons of CO2e.

“Massachusetts remains a national leader in energy efficiency, but we continue to pursue innovative approaches to make our buildings more efficient, drive investment to our cities and towns, and help our state meet its ambitious target of Net Zero emissions by 2050,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The goals set today will not only help residents and businesses increase efficiency and reduce emissions, but also ensure that equity is a central priority in our efficiency programs as we continue to transition to a clean energy future.”

The climate legislation signed by Governor Baker requires both economy-wide and sector limits, which will be first set for 2025, and then 2030. The Mass Save program prepares three-year investment plans, one for gas programs and another for electricity and delivered heating fuels. Those plans include goals and reporting requirements for three sectors: residential, residential income eligible ratepayers, and commercial customers.

The Mass Save energy efficiency programs are funded by utility customers. All residents and businesses located in investor-owned utility territories in Massachusetts pay into a fund through their utility bill, which supports these programs. The three-year plan directs how these funds will be spent on financial incentive programs for homes and businesses. The development, implementation, and evaluation of Three-Year Plans is overseen by the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC), which is chaired by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER). A resolution, created by the EEAC in March of this year, details the EEAC’s priorities for the upcoming three-year plan, as well as provides specific recommendations to support these priorities.

The letter sent by Secretary Theoharides to the utility companies that administer the Mass Save Program details the goals and priorities for the 2022-2024 Energy Efficiency Plans, which are currently in development and which must be voted on by the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council and submitted to the Department of Public Utilities (DPU) by October 31, 2021. It is anticipated that Mass Save will achieve the GHG emission reduction goals by increasing the number of buildings retrofitted and weatherized each year, making significant investment in electrification of existing buildings to transition customers away from fossil fuels, reducing support for fossil-fuel heating incentives, phasing out LED light-bulb incentives, increasing equitable program investments in environmental justice communities and low-moderate income households, and increasing workforce development investments to expand diversity in the workforce. The goals build on the Administration’s effort to promote long-term decarbonization in coordination with the EEAC and its priorities, such as promoting passive home adoption and air source heat pumps.

“Energy efficiency measures are the most cost-effective way for residents and businesses to lower their energy bills and to lower our greenhouse gas emissions,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock. “DOER looks forward to our continued partnership with the Mass Save Program Administrators and the EEAC to design a plan that meets this ambitious mandate.”

The final 2022-2024 Energy Efficiency Plans, filed with the DPU in October 2021, are required to be designed to achieve the GHG goals established in the Secretary’s letter and should focus on programs that accelerate the market transformation needed to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050. The plan should reflect the GHG reduction goals and include a performance incentive mechanism that ensures that the electric and gas utilities are incentivized to achieve these goals.

On March 26, 2021, Governor Baker signed comprehensive climate change legislation that significantly increased protections for Environmental Justice communities across Massachusetts, authorized the Administration to implement a new, voluntary energy efficient building code for municipalities, and allowed the Commonwealth to procure an additional 2,400 Megawatts (MW) of clean, reliable offshore wind energy by 2027. Recognizing the significant impact of climate change on Environmental Justice communities overburdened by poor air quality and disproportionately high levels of pollution, the legislation statutorily defined Environmental Justice and environmental burdens, including climate change as an environmental burden.

The legislation also expanded Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) review to require an Environmental Impact Report for all projects that impact air quality within one mile of an Environmental Justice Neighborhood and required the Department of Environmental Protection to conduct a stakeholder process to develop a cumulative impact analysis as a condition of permitting certain projects.

For additional information on the next three-year Energy Efficiency Plan, please click here.

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Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Sets Ambitious Emissions Reduction Goal for Energy Efficiency Plan

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

EEA seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources 

DOER helps create a clean, affordable, equitable and resilient energy future for the Commonwealth.
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