Initiatives

25C Tax credits for Insulation and Air Sealing Materials

Additional information is available on Rewiring America.

NEEEC proposes a concept to achieve clean energy in Massachusetts

We propose to have a strategy that addresses climate issues combined with the use of fossil fuels that need to be transitioned. The use of fossil fuels and the market for fossil fuels is extensive across the whole economy and needs to be reduced. This proposal is a development from the presentation of the clean heat standard but goes beyond just heat and is an early-stage concept. 

There are three key goals: 

  1. Raise funds to help with both electrification and efficiency in homes, transportation, and buildings
  2. Increase the price of fossil fuels and provide price reductions for those who convert to electrification
  3. Assist the fossil fuel industry-workers and companies make the transition

Here is our proposal:

  1. Implement a state % fee based on analysis and policy considerations called an environmental fee on fossil fuels used in the state. This would include Oil, Propane, Gasoline and Natural Gas. This fee would be collected from consumers by the delivery companies and returned to the state into a special fund managed by the appropriate state agency.
  1. Implement a state-wide electrification discount/special rate reduction of a  % based on a filing by IOU’s to the DPU for customers who use electricity for heating and hot water without backup fossil fuel. This would be similar to the current low-income discount rate from a tracking and processing point.  The rate discount would be applied after Mass Save/LEAN documents that the customer has shifted fossil use to electrification.  by the consumer has been carried out. This could include customers who have already carried out the electrification based on documents that are available or collected by a follow-up assessment.
  2. A portion,  of the funds received in the fossil fuel climate fee would be allocated to fund part of the cost of the electrification discount as well as funding incentives and program support by MassCEC and MassSave to expand the electrification, clean energy and efficiency delivered to consumers across the state, including Low Income and municipal light plant customers.  
  1. In addition, at least a % to be determined of the fossil fuel fee would be allocated to assisting the workers and companies to transition from the fossil fuel industry. This would be managed by a new advisory board, Fossil Fuel Transition Advisory Board (FFTAB) appointed by the governor. This could include training support for worker transition, changes to corporate strategies that change their business from fossil fuel to either clean energy or alternative economic plans or funding payoffs for the end of a fossil fuel business. The FFTAB would include both representatives from state agencies and members of both clean energy and fossil fuel associations as well as academic or consultant experts. 
  2. Any unspent funds would be allocated to either #3, #4 or #5 as needed.

Hopefully, this plan would achieve the goal of supporting and incentivizing the shift from fossil fuels to electrification and EE but approached directly and delivered in a consistent manner to the current programs and rate structure. In many cases a proposed ‘fee’ can have a negative reaction from consumers but focusing and naming the fee thoughtfully on climate impacts could mitigate that. We believe consumers and policymakers understand that mitigating climate change is a priority. 

NEEEC seeks to be an ally to the state to achieve energy efficiency, electrification, and equitable outcomes. Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions.

 

Input and participation in multi-year state EE plans in multiple states

Recent Actions:

2021-2023: Massachusetts: NEEEC and our lead legislative consultant, Chris Gregory has worked hard to pull together a coalition to support an additional funding of 500 million for energy efficiency and equity from the ARPA funding bucket. Still working on it. 

2022:  Board has expanded to include new members from ICF; CMC; ABODE and others.

2022-2023: NEEEC provides support and input to assist MA; CT; RI and NY in developing plans for implementing the IRA new Federal funding

2022-2023: NEEEC provides input to the three-year plans for Mass Save and Efficiency RI.

2023: NEEEC provides assistance and leads a four-state workshop on implementation of the new Solar for All program that was created in the IRA federal program and implemented by EPA. The key is coordinating solar efforts with energy efficiency efforts, particularly in low-income communities

2023: NEEEC testifies in favor of two proposed new legislative proposals in Mass.

2024: NEEEC works with multiple parties on a National scale as an active member of the Energy Efficiency Strategy Group to address funding plans in Congress for 2024. 

Example: Massachusetts

For many years running, Massachusetts has been ranked number one in the nation for energy efficiency by the American Council for an Energy Efficiency Economy (ACEEE). This top ranking is largely due to the states nation-leading, utility energy efficiency programs. Each year these programs produce incremental savings equivalent to more than 3% of statewide electricity sales and 1% of statewide natural gas sales.

With annual budgets of over $1.3 Billion million, these programs are creating significant business opportunities for energy efficiency companies. The programs fund the purchase and installation of energy efficient equipment, energy audits, engineering studies, and other energy efficiency services. They help energy efficiency companies to grow and put energy professionals to work. This is being expanded with an increased focus on electrification, equity and renewable energy for the next (2025-2027) plan.

Massachusetts energy efficiency programs are governed by three-year plans, which must be approved by state regulators. The plans establish the savings goals, budgets, program priorities, and program designs. Each plan is a blueprint for three years and for a total of nearly $4 billion in energy efficiency spending to support a larger market.

The plan for the next three-year period, 2025-2027, is being developed and reviewed by regulators in 2024. NEEEC is participating actively in this regulatory process, urging regulators to maintain the states ambitious energy savings goals and adding the new and expanded goals described above and to align program spending in ways that will maximize the industrys growth. NEEEC submits written comments, presents testimony from industry leaders, and participates directly in decision-making through its representative on the state Energy Efficiency Advisory Council. NEEEC gives the industry a voice in these critical regulatory decisions.

Other States: NEEEC is also involved in providing input and recommendations to the multi year plans in Rhode Island and Connecticut.

Legislation to Expand Energy Efficiency

In 2008, the Massachusetts legislature enacted the Green Communities Act, which established the framework for energy efficiency in Massachusetts. In many years since then, the legislature is considering bills to update that framework by expanding the energy efficiency services available to customers to take those new goals into consideration. More recent legislative plans have expanded the focus on electrification, equity, energy storage and many more.  These bills would allow the programs to support the best energy solutions for customers, regardless of fuel type. These bills would also require that economic development benefits and climate/environmental be considered in program design and evaluation. These bills are frequently changing and many would actually have negative impacts on current and future programs that NEEEC needs to provide valuable input on which we are well positioned to do on behalf of our industry and policy goals. 

These issues and legislative and agency strategies are occurring in multiple Northeast states and at the Federal level and NEEEC is working at both those levels as well. This includes work to help create and implement recent Federal initiatives such as the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) and the Solar for All act. 


Fact Sheet for House Bill 1724.