The Baker-Polito Administration recently announced a set of six new programs seeking to increase affordable access to clean energy and energy efficiency programs in the Commonwealth. These new programs build upon the efforts of the Affordable Access to Clean and Efficient Energy Working Group, which just released its Final Report, and mark the final component of the Administration's $15 million Affordable Access to Clean and Efficient Energy (AACEE) Initiative. To learn more about these new programs, read on!
Governor Charlie Baker's announcement came during the Commonwealth's Earth Week Celebration, as he shared the news at a tour of a Newton Housing Authority complex recently upgraded with clean energy technologies. “These new programs will allow for more low-income families in Massachusetts to access more affordable clean energy,” said Governor Baker. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito further emphasized how this kind of collaboration between state, regional, and municipal partners will help expand access to clean energy technology at all economic levels.
The suite of programs includes Affordable Clean Residential Energy (ACRE), which will fund six awards for up to a $3 million total to nonprofit organizations that serve low-income residents and focus on energy services. These awards seek to fund programs that support the installation of solar electric and air-source heat pump systems in homes that contain one to four housing units, providing lifetime energy cost savings of up to $4.5 million for low-income residents. Through another hallmark program, the Affordable Access Regional Coordination (AARC) Grants, the Department of Energy Resources' (DOER) Green Communities Division will fund Regional Planning Authorities and other public technical assistance organizations to develop programs and provide clean energy training, education, and coordination services to community organizations that support low-income populations.
These programs reflect the recommendations of the Affordable Access to Clean and Efficient Energy Final Report, which was released on the same day as Governor Baker's announcement. The final report summarizes the key barriers to clean and efficient energy adoption by low and moderate-income residents, with recommendations on how to address these barriers and expedite the supply of clean energy resources to all Massachusetts residents.