A Beginners Guide to Massachusetts Energy Rebates and Incentives (2023)

There are still a lot of homeowners and small business owners who are unaware of energy rebates and incentives available to them – not only in Massachusetts but also nationwide. While green initiatives are better marketed and known in 2023, it’s not always easy to take the first few steps. In this Beginners Guide to Massachusetts Energy Rebates and Incentives, I help you prioritize the top energy rebates and incentives available, along with my first-hand experience, so you can make decisions with ease.

Why? Green initiatives can be confusing because environmental issues are complex, involve scientific terms, and are impacted by misinformation. Lack of education, rapid changes, and different contexts add to the confusion. Balancing priorities, fear of change, and limited resources also contribute. Clear communication and relatable examples are essential to make sustainability understandable and accessible.

To help break the barrier, I want to walk you through the process of key rebates and incentives in layman’s terms, adding my own experience to provide more relevant information about what it’s really like as a homeowner, a creator, and a small business owner.

Trusted Key Resources You Should Know

Don’t trust the first person who turned up at your door. In Massachusetts, for example, there are a lot of solar salespeople who are pushing for “free solar”. Is it truly free? If it sounds too good to be sure, chances are that they probably are. With that said, what are some of the trusted resources you should be aware of:

These are the two key resources you should start with as a beginner. The two sites often reference each other when it comes to specific incentives, such as air source heat pump rebates.

Home Energy Assessment

MassSave offers no-cost home energy assessment for MA-based homes. This program is often offered through your energy companies such as National Grid or Eversource.

What is Weatherization?

Weatherization is the process of protecting a building’s interior from the elements, such as sunlight, precipitation, and wind. Weatherization also involves modifying a building to reduce energy consumption and optimize energy efficiency.

Weatherization can help a house stay warmer in the cold weather and cooler in the hot weather while reducing energy usage. It can also improve the comfort of your home.

Examples of weatherization include improved air sealing, insulation, moisture controls, and ventilation. A weatherized home will be healthier, safer, and more comfortable for living.

Households may also be eligible for a variety of utility-funded energy efficiency programs that vary by utility service area. The most common measures are:

  • Air sealing to reduce infiltration
  • Attic Insulation
  • Sidewall Insulation
  • Floor Insulation
  • Pipe and/or Duct insulation
  • Limited Energy Related Repairs.

The process of Home energy assessment

To get started, schedule your no-cost Home Energy Assessment, call 1-866-527-SAVE (7283).

Step 1Schedule an appointment and provide basic information about your home.
Step 2An Energy Specialist will assess your home’s current energy use, in person or virtually, and will provide personalized energy-efficiency recommendations.*
Step 3Get no-cost energy-efficient products.
Step 4Receive up to 100% off approved insulation, no-cost air sealing and additional rebates toward qualifying energy-efficient equipment.

My Experience with home energy assessment

My experience: I’m listing weatherization as a first step. The process was so easy and simple. All I had to do was to call up the MassSave number. An appointment was scheduled just a couple of weeks ago. Professional evaluators showed up at our house and provided detailed next steps for recommended approach, which would have cost over $2,000 – MassSave covered close to 80-85% of the total cost. We only spent a few hundred dollars for a tremendous amount of improvement work around the house, windows, basement, and attic.

Also as part of the energy audit, the rep gave us no-cost energy saving devices, like advanced power strips, to help you immediately curb energy waste and lower your heating and cooling costs.

Weatherization Assistant Program (WAP)

WAP is the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP) which provides eligible households with full-scale home energy efficiency services. An average of $4,725 in allowable energy efficiency measures is available for eligible households.

WAP is a nationwide program in the US. To find out if you quality in Massachusetts, visit the program details.

Air Source heat pump rebates (up to $16,000)

A heat pump is a device that transfers heat energy from one location to another using mechanical work. It’s a versatile technology commonly used for both heating and cooling purposes in residential, commercial, and industrial settings. The best thing about heat pumps is that they can work as both heaters and air conditioners (ACs). Instead of maintaining both heaters and ACs for your home, heat pumps can be your only source of energy that isn’t dependent on raging oil prices.

My Experience with heat pumps

In July 2022, we were faced with a difficult decision: our AC units (2 of them) were on the verge of breaking down after 18 years. I knew it was going to cost serious money because 1) the pandemic had a significant impacting on supply chain. Heat pumps and resources were scarce. 2) we live in a two-story home so we needed two units. In short, we were looking at a ticket price of close to $40,000 to replace ACs with two heat pumps. The heat pump rebates and 0% financing were lifesavers. In 2022, we qualified for up to $10,000 in rebates and up to $25,000 in 0% financing. Since then in 2023, MassSave raised the rebates up to $16,000 as heat pumps have increased in costs.

An important lesson I learned in the process is to be proactive and work with an installation company you like and trust. The company I chose in central Massachusetts had a project manager who assisted me through the rebate process, and helped set realistic expectations for what/when is to come. My rebate check showed up in less than 8 weeks. The credit union I worked with to apply for 0% financing was local and easy to deal with as well.

Heat Pump post installation walkthrough and review
MassSave 10K heat pump rebates and 0% financing

But these rebates don’t stop short of air-sourced heat pumps, MassSave heating and cooling rebates also include ground-source heat pumps, water heaters, gas heating and water heaters, oil heating, propane heating, smart and programmable thermostats. Learn more about the full list and rebate details.

Tax incentives for heat pumps

Starting in 2023, you can claim a federal tax credit of up to $2,000 for the cost of buying and installing a heat pump. The credit covers 30% of the cost of the heat pump, including labor and any electric system upgrades needed to make the home heat-pump-ready. The credit is available through the end of 2032.

Home appliances rebates

Massachusetts energy incentives also include home appliances, such as:

  • Advanced power strips
  • Clothes dryers and washers
  • Dehumidifiers
  • Induction Stove
  • Lawn equipment
  • Pool pumps
  • Room air cleaners and conditioners
  • and more…

For a full list of current home appliances and rebate amounts, visit MassSave, where you will find a list of rebates and instant discounts.

My Experience with Home Appliance Rebates

The rebate process for me between 2020-2022 was a bit confusing. At times it felt like there were many steps and forms to fill out compared to small amount of rebates, $25, $50 and up to $100 for the applicances I purchased. After I submitted the forms, I didn’t expect much of it. Weeks later, I received pre-paid cards to use at local stores including Walmart. Was it worth the effort? Maybe. But I like the idea of staying on top of rebates and incentives. And I do hope MassSave will make the rebate process easier and faster in the future.

electric vehicle (EV) incentives in Massachusetts

  • Battery electric vehicles: You can get a $3,500 rebate for a new battery electric vehicle that costs less than $55,000
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles: You can get a $1,500 rebate for a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that has at least 25 miles of electric range and costs less than $50,000
  • Federal tax credit: You can save up to $7,500 on most plug-in electric vehicles through the Federal Tax Credit

For the latest updates on EV incentives in Massachusetts, visit https://mor-ev.org/

Different EV incentives programs available in Massachusetts

  • MOR-EV: Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles program offers rebates to residents, corporations, and other entities
  • MOR-EV+: Income-qualifying residents can receive an additional $1,500 rebate on top of the standard rebate for new or used electric vehicles
  • MassEVIP: The Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program provides grants for 60% of the cost of Level 1 or Level 2 EV charging stations, up to $50,000
  • Used EVs: You can apply for a $3,500 rebate for qualifying used EV purchased between November 10, 2022 and August 8, 2023
  • Gas-powered cars: You can receive an extra $1,000 if you turn in a gas-powered car with your EV purchase

Before purchasing an electric vehicle, it helps to understand the incentives available at the federal and state level. You can combine both incentives to receive the most benefits available for EV purchases.

Solar Incentives in Massachusetts

Here are some solar incentives in Massachusetts in 2023:

  • State tax credit: 15% of the price of a solar system, or $1,000, whichever is less
  • Federal tax credit: 30% of the total cost of installing solar panels or solar batteries
  • Sales tax exemption: 6.25% savings on eligible purchases of equipment related to a solar system
  • Property tax exemption: Available for solar purchases

You can combine the state and federal tax credits to reduce the cost of going solar by up to 45%.

In addition, you can also receive a cash payment per kilowatt-hour generated.

Conclusion: Are Massachusetts Energy Rebates and Incentives worth it?

Yes absolutely! Before you consider big or small home improvement projects, be sure to check out MassSave and Massachusetts Energy Rebates and Incentives. Often times a simple Google search such as “Mass rebates for ______” will go a long way and save you a ton of money and headache. Alternatively, your local HVAC companies should also remind you of current incentives and helps you understand if and how much you may qualify.

I was quite skeptical of rebates and incentives at first. Remember that you can always ask Google, a neighbor, or contact a few local HVAC companies to find out more about your options.

Did I miss something? What else would you like to learn as a MA resident and small business owner? Please let me know in the comments below. I’m so excited to share this journey of Mass Green with you.

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