- Department of Public Utilities
- Electric Power Division
Media Contact for DPU Approves Massachusetts’ Nation-Leading Three Year Energy Efficiency Plan
Troy Wall, Deputy Communications Director
BOSTON — The Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has issued an Order approving the 2022‑2024 Three‑Year Energy Efficiency Plan of the Commonwealth’s electric and gas distribution companies and the Cape Light Compact. The plan’s energy saving targets represent a transformational shift of the Mass Save programs to better align with the Commonwealth’s ambitious climate requirements and focus on increasing participation in environmental justice communities across the state. The combined electric energy and gas efficiency plans will need to deliver 845,000 tons of emissions reduction towards the Commonwealth’s 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) limit. It is estimated that this plan will provide $9 billion in benefits to the state. The new plan incentivizes utility companies to align their business models with the state’s energy, climate, and environmental goals, and maximizes economic benefits for both residents and businesses.
“With the approval of the Three-Year Plan, the Commonwealth is restructuring its energy efficiency programs in a manner that ensures climate results while simultaneously providing customer savings,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “Importantly, the plan prioritizes underserved communities and lower-income customers while also furthering Massachusetts’ progress towards achieving net zero emissions by 2050.”
The 2022-2024 Three-Year Plan was developed through a comprehensive and collaborative effort, resulting in a plan that was unanimously endorsed by the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC). The EEAC, chaired by the Commissioner of the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), represents broad stakeholder perspectives, including, but not limited to the Attorney General’s Office, cities and towns, an environmental advocate, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP), Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), low-income advocates, energy efficiency experts, organized labor, realtors, energy efficiency small businesses, and representatives for residential, commercial, non-profit, and manufacturing customers.
The Mass Save programs are funded by Massachusetts utility customers through their utility bills, and the three-year energy efficiency plans direct how these funds will be spent on energy efficiency incentive programs for homes and businesses.
“The 2022-2024 Three Year Energy Efficiency Plan not only ensures that the energy efficiency funds are being carefully spent to maximize direct benefits to customers, but that they are also being used to significantly improve services to lower-income customers, renters, and customers with limited English proficiency,” said Department of Public Utilities Chair Matthew Nelson. “The Department’s Order also sends a clear message to our utility companies that it is time to embrace electrification in the Commonwealth’s path to decarbonization.”
The 2022-2024 Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plan sets specific equity targets that include increased investments and benefits to equitably serve residents in EJ communities who have been historically underserved, specifically renters and landlords, moderate income residents, language-isolated customers, EJ municipalities and small businesses. The plan also establishes expanded workforce development efforts to cultivate a diverse and highly skilled workforce.
“This plan is transformational in our efforts to advance strategic electrification and align our energy efficiency programs with our climate requirements. This plan includes new incentives to modernize our heating systems, expands community partnerships with local leadership, and targets deployment in the communities with comparatively low historical participation rates,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock. “DOER looks forward to collaborating with all stakeholders to implement this ambitious plan and investing cost-effective greenhouse gas reductions in all our communities.”
This three-year plan marks a significant step in the evolution of the Commonwealth’s energy efficiency programs by better aligning them with the state’s clean energy and electrification goals. The plan is designed to increase the number of buildings that are retrofitted and weatherized each year and electrify existing buildings to transition customers away from fossil fuels. The Order also ensures the plans implement heat pumps in a manner that minimizes costs to ratepayers, while increasing investments in environmental justice communities and low to moderate income households.
Highlights of the plan include:
- Enhancing community outreach strategies targeting communities with lower historic energy efficiency participation rates across the Commonwealth;
- Linking utility profits from the energy efficiency programs to increasing the deployment of heat pumps in the Commonwealth;
- A total budget of $3.94 billion, including a significant portion in electric heat pump incentives for residential, income-eligible and commercial and industrial customers;
- Significant reductions in annual oil, propane, and natural gas use, including annual reductions of 3.5 million Metric Million British Thermal Units (MMBTUs) of oil, 1.4 million MMBTUs of propane, and 72.3 million annual natural gas therms;
- Targeted equity initiatives, including investments to serve moderate-income (61%-80% of the state median income) customers, language isolated customers, small businesses, renters and landlords and a dedicated budget for workforce development;
- Incentives for moderate-income residents for 100% of the cost for weatherization and enhanced incentives for heating systems for customers who income-qualify;
- 100% incentive offer to weatherize low‑income homes; and,
- An investment of $587 million for dedicated income-eligible customer offerings.
On March 26, 2021, Governor Baker signed comprehensive climate change legislation that codified the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to achieving Net Zero emissions by 2050, furthering the Commonwealth’s efforts to combat climate change and protect vulnerable communities. Additionally, in July 2022, the Administration announced a GHG reduction goal of 845,000 metric tons of CO2e emissions for the 2022‑2024 Energy Efficiency Plan. This goal will help the Commonwealth meet its ambitious target of reducing GHG emissions 50% below 1990 levels in 2030. The approved plan includes performance incentives designed to achieve this goal.