The Residential Conservation Services (“RCS”) statute (M.G.L. c.164 App.§§2-1 to 2-10), signed into law in 1980, created the framework for residential in-home energy efficiency services around which Massachusetts’ nation-leading programs are built. On April 7th, 2017, amendments to the RCS regulation (225 CMR 4.00) were promulgated, completing a multi-year process undertaken by DOER to update the regulation.
RCS Regulations & Statutes
The goals of the update are to 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 revised regulation seeks to ensure that contractors provide quality work to customers and have a transparent path into and out of the RCS program. The revision also streamlined the regulation, clarifying the responsibilities of both DOER and regulated parties.
The RCS statute requires DOER to 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.
On September 19th, 2018, DOER released a final RCS Guideline interpreting 225 CMR 4.00, updated in 2017. This Guideline includes the State Plan with RCS Requirements and the processes for complying with RCS for Program Administrators that participate in the statewide Energy Efficiency Investment Plan.
DOER has not included a process for complying with RCS for municipal utilities in this Guideline and plans to release an amended Guideline which includes this process later in 2018. DOER has extended the Guideline development period for municipal utilities to ensure that the final draft better accounts for municipal utility input.
Questions can be sent to DOER.RCS@state.ma.us.
Residential Conservation Services statute (M.G.L. ch. 164 App. §2)
RCS Regulations (225 CMR 4.00 )
Department of Public Utilities RCS Cost Recovery Regulation (220 CMR 7.00)
NEW – RCS Guideline (released September 24, 2018)