News Column

Patrick Administration Expands Energy Improvements Eligible for Residential Loan Program

May 27, 2014



BOSTON, May 27 -- The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs issued the following news release:

The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) today announced it is providing funding to expand the highly successful Mass Save(TM) HEAT Loan Program to encourage more residential energy efficient upgrades and high efficiency renewable heating installations. The Expanded HEAT Loan Program will provide funding for several types of improvements not currently eligible in the existing program.

"More homeowners, renters and landlords in Massachusetts will be able to take advantage of the savings possible through the Mass Save(TM) programs by accessing zero percent loans for improvements that haven't been covered before," said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. "This residential financing initiative is just the latest in the Patrick Administration's successful work to make energy efficiency our 'first fuel.'"

The existing HEAT Loan Program provides zero interest loans to homeowners for qualified energy efficient improvements in Massachusetts homes and rental properties. It is a partnership between local banks and credit unions and the Mass Save Sponsors, the state's investor-owned gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers. The residential energy efficiency loan program is one of the largest in the nation, and aims to help credit-worthy households overcome the initial cost barrier to adopting energy efficiency upgrades.

The expansion will provide funding for improvements such as:

* Asbestos abatement to install energy efficient heating system replacements

* Wiring upgrades required by local and state codes to do attic and wall insulation

* High efficiency wood pellet boilers

* Increased loan amounts for landlord of 2-4 units are doubling from the current $25,000 cap to $50,000

The program's $3.8 million expansion is funded through DOER by the U.S. Department of Energy's American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) State Energy Program funds.

"The HEAT Loan Program is a tremendous incentive for customers to take the steps necessary to become more efficient," said Penni Conner, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for Northeast Utilities, parent company of NSTAR and WMECo. "With the enhancements to the program announced today by DOER, we're confident the number of folks taking action to reduce their energy use will continue to grow."

"Energy Efficiency is one of the most important resources for meeting the challenges of climate change, so it is fantastic to see Massachusetts continue to take a leadership role," said Edward White, vice president of Customer and Business Strategy, National Grid. "For more than 25 years, National Grid has offered innovative energy efficiency services, and we are proud to work hand-in-hand with the State to enable even more customers and communities to realize increased value from their energy use."

"Eastern Bank is pleased to participate in the Expanded HEAT Loan interest buy-down offerings funded by the DOER," said Ken Dyment, Senior Vice President. "We're confident that our customers will find the added features helpful in rounding out their energy upgrade projects."

In 2013, Massachusetts HEAT Loan lenders issued more than $88 million in individual energy efficiency loans to more than 9,000 customers. Since the program was created in 2006, it has led to the financing of more than $320 million in energy efficiency loans, serving over 35,000 households.

The Patrick Administration's aggressive initiatives have made Massachusetts a leader in energy efficiency. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has named Massachusetts number one for three years running. The 2013-2015 Statewide Three-Year Energy Efficiency Plans are expected to deliver energy benefits of nearly $9 billion to residents, businesses, and state and local governments based on an investment of $2.25 billion.

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