State and Local Policy Database

Massachusetts

State Scorecard Rank

1

Massachusetts

42.0Scored out of 50Updated 10/2014
State Government
Score: 5 out of 7
State Government Summary List All

The state offers a variety of grant, rebate, and bond programs to encourage investments in energy efficiency. The state government leads by example by setting energy requirements for public buildings and fleets, benchmarking energy use, and encouraging the use of energy savings performance contracts. 

Financial Incentives List All

Financial incentive information for Massachusetts is provided by the Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE Massachusetts). Information about additional incentives not present on DSIRE is listed here.

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Bond Program: The Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Bond Program is intended to increase compact, mixed-use, walkable development close to transit stations. To accomplish this objective, the Program authorization (Chapter 291 of the Acts of 2004) provides financing for pedestrian improvements, bicycle facilities, housing projects, and parking facilities within .25 (1/4) miles of a commuter rail station, subway station, bus station, bus rapid transit station, or ferry terminal.

Last Updated: July 2014

Building Energy Disclosure List All
  • Building type(s) affected: residential

SB 2746 requires the disclosure of information regarding the benefits of home energy audits to buyers of single-family homes or small multi-family homes at the time of closing.

Last Updated: July 2014

Public Building Requirements List All

Massachusetts has several green building programs targeted at state buildings. Executive Order 484 (2007) requires a reduction in overall energy consumption in state-owned and leased buildings (at which the state pays directly for energy) by 20% by fiscal year 2012 and 35% by 2020 (based on a fiscal year 2004 baseline). The executive order also states that all state agency new construction and major renovations over 20,000 sq. ft. must meet the MA LEED Plus green building standard and perform 20% better than the state energy code.

Governor Deval Patrick signed the Green Communities Act (S.B. 2768) on July 2, 2008. The law mandates that new buildings owned or operated by the state must minimize their life-cycle costs by using energy efficiency and renewable energy.

The State’s Enterprise Energy Management System (EEMS) project was awarded to EnerNOC in April 2010. The EEMS is the largest public sector undertaking to measure real-time energy use information at 17 million square feet of buildings, tracking and comparing building energy consumption across a third of the state’s building portfolio and enabling responses to energy anomalies on a real-time basis.

The state’s Green Communities Division has also developed and implemented MassEnergyInsight, a free, web-based tool that helps cities and towns make informed, targeted decisions about energy efficiency investments. MassEnergyInsight provides communities with customized electricity, natural gas, and oil usage information to allow local officials to understand where their departments and buildings are wasting energy and act to reduce that waste.

Massachusetts is a partner in the US Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Challenge (BBC), a voluntary program which sets long range energy reduction targets for a select portfolio of buildings, requires the state to track and report detailed energy use at its facilities annually, and develop and document one or more showcase projects that demonstrate best practices and far-reaching energy strategies.

Announced in January 2013, the Accelerated Energy Program, a joint initiative of the Department of Energy Resources and Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, is targeting a 25% reduction in energy, greenhouse gas emissions and energy costs at 58 million square feet of state buildings. By moving quickly to install energy efficient equipment and fixtures at smaller sites and developing comprehensive energy efficiency programs at larger campuses and buildings, the Commonwealth will, by the end of 2014, initiate efforts to improve energy performance at the vast majority of its buildings, enhance working conditions, ands significantly reduce energy and maintenance costs associated with the operations of its buildings.

Two state buildings have/are participating in the Building Asset Rating (BAR) pilot, which is aimed at developing a low cost process for a building asset rating that will complement existing operational ratings. Additionally, DOER is funding and managing an effort to incorporate state utility accounts into Mass Energy Insight, which is providing granular level utility data for more than 240 municipalities.

Although not formally a requirement, as part of the efforts to push new building energy use far below code, the Commonwealth’s Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance recently broke ground on the state’s 2nd zero net energy designed building. This 45,000 square foot headquarters for the Division of Fish and Wildlife will use 60% less energy than a similar building built to code.

Last Updated: July 2014

Fleets List All

The Green Communities Act requires the state to purchase hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles in such numbers that 50% of the fleet is hybrid or AFV by 2017. It also requires development of a fuel efficiency standard for the state fleet, although that has not yet been developed. DOER and the Operational Services Division have been meeting to discuss the details of a Massachusetts fuel efficiency standard for the state's entire light duty fleet and a process for approval. 

A recently awarded statewide vehicle contract has made an array of fuel efficient, hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles available for purchase by any state agency, campus, or municipality. Included on this contract are 20 models that get 30 mpg or better, 6 hybrid models that get 41 mpg or better in the city, 3 plug-in hybrid models, two electric only vehicles, and one vehicle that runs on compressed natural gas. 

Last Updated: July 2014

Energy Savings Performance Contracting List All

In 2007, Governor Patrick signed an Executive Order mandating reductions in energy consumption in state buildings, which included a provision that directed state agencies to implement ESPCs for all facilities larger than 100,000 square feet. The Department of Administration and Finance houses the ESPC Program under its sub-Department of Capital and Asset Management. Massachusetts offers some model documents, including a model contract.

Through the DCAMM-DOER Accelerated Energy Program which began in 2012, a total of more than $400 million in energy investments will be made for projects across 65 million square feet of state buildings, resulting in a 25% energy reduction and a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions totaling 135,000 metric tons. All projects are scheduled to begin by the end of CY 2014. Municipalities are also utilizing performance contracts, with contracts valued at $248 million completed or underway between 2002 and the present. These projects will reduce energy bills by $14.3 million in annual energy bill savings. Additionally, DOER signed onto the DOE Better Buildings Performance Contracting Accelerator, pledging at least $350 million toward energy projects at state and municipal buildings between 2013 and 2016. 

Last Updated: July 2014

Research & Development List All

The Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Partnership (MAEEP) supports demonstration of energy efficiency technology and tools to the industrial, commercial, and institutional sectors. The MAEEP program leverages resources from U.S. DOE, the University of Massachusetts and Massachusetts electric utilities.

The Center for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (CEERE) at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst provides technological and economic solutions to environmental problems resulting from energy production, industrial, manufacturing, and commercial activities, and land use practices. The university-based research program is built upon four subgroups of Renewable Energy Resources, Building Energy Efficiency, Industrial Energy Efficiency, and Environmental Technologies with unique abilities to service energy and environmental problems. The Center has 43 faculty and staff and is funded in part through U.S. DOE grants. 

Massachusetts is also leveraging $4.5 million in grants to pilot programs to demonstrate energy-efficient technologies in the building sector.

Last Updated: July 2014

Buildings
Score: 5.5 out of 7
Buildings Summary List All

The 2012 IECC and ASHRAE 90.1-2010, with state-specific amendments, became effective July 1, 2014 for both commercial and residential buildings. Massachusetts has implemented a variety of activities to ensure compliance.

Residential Codes List All

In 2013, Massachusetts adopted the 2012 IECC and the ASHRAE standard 90.1-2010, with an effective date of July, 1 2014. The MA amendments add a HERS compliance path for units that receive a HERS rating of 65 or less, and a compliance path for buildings that use the Passive House software (PHPP). Massachusetts has achieved broad adoption of the 2009 MA Stretch Energy Code. It is currently adopted in 140 towns and cities representing over 50% of the state population. The MA stretch energy code requires HERS ratings for all new residential construction at a level of 65/70 based on whether the unit is above or below 3,000 square feet.

Last Updated: July 2014

Commercial Code List All

In 2013, Massachusetts adopted the 2012 IECC and the ASHRAE standard 90.1-2010, with an effective date of July, 1 2014. The MA amendments add a HERS compliance path for units that receive a HERS rating of 65 or less, and a compliance path for buildings that use the Passive House software (PHPP). Massachusetts has achieved broad adoption of the 2009 MA Stretch Energy Code. It is currently adopted in 140 towns and cities representing over 50% of the state population. For commercial buildings, it requires a prescriptive code similar to the 2012 IECC for new buildings from 5,000-100,000 square feet, and a 20% improvement over the ASHRAE 90.1-2007 standard for all new buildings over 100,000 square feet and selected high-energy using building types over 40,000 square feet.

Last Updated: July 2014

Compliance List All
  • Gap Analysis/Strategic Compliance Plan: NA
  • Baseline & Updated Compliance Studies: In the past two years Massachusetts’ utilities have completed a 2011-12 study of commercial building energy code compliance and a two-part residential building energy code compliance study. The first part of the residential study jointly funded by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and utilities sampled homes built to the 2006 IECC, homes built to ENERGY STAR (over a third of new construction), the second part assessed compliance to the 2009 IECC. The residential studies show code compliance rates of over 90% for HERS rated (stretch code and ENERGY STAR homes), and over 80% in IECC 2006 homes. The IECC 2009 home compliance rate and the commercial compliance rate are unknown. Enforcement is performed by local building code officials. In the 140 towns and cities that have elected to adopt the state’s ‘stretch’ energy code, enforcement of the building energy code is greatly assisted by the integrated role of HERS raters in performing building envelope testing and documenting code compliance levels of energy performance. Code compliance in these communities is estimated at close to 100% for residential buildings, and energy savings are clearly documented by the performance-based HERS rating approach, which ties into ratepayer funded new construction incentives.
  • Utility Involvement: A framework of savings attribution for utilities is being developed. Current utility sponsored trainings and compliance support are being implemented on a pilot basis with a view to a broader program in coming years.
  • Stakeholder Advisory Group: NA
  • Training/Outreach: The Green Communities Act requires the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) and the DOER to develop specific energy efficiency training and certification for all local code officials. No training has been conducted to date in 2013/14 as MA awaits code cycle updates to the 2012 IECC / ASHRAE 90.1-2010. In the current 2012 IECC adoption cycle, MA is shifting from state energy office sponsored training to energy utility sponsored code training and compliance support activities under the broader Mass Save energy efficiency programs. Trainings are expected to begin in summer 2014.

Last Updated: July 2014

CHP
Score: 4.5 out of 5
CHP Summary List All

The state has a variety of policies to encourage CHP deployment, including an incentive program, inclusion of CHP as an eligible resource within the state's EERS, and an interconnection standard that applies to CHP. 10 new CHP systems came online in the state during 2013.

Massachusetts’ Green Communities Act of 2008 requires that all impacted utilities acquire all cost-effective energy efficiency, including CHP. CHP systems must pass the utilities’ cost tests, but the state allows all utilities to use System Benefit Charges to offer incentives for CHP. The Act also established the state’s Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard, which is the first known national portfolio standard to identify CHP as a “key technology of interest.”

Interconnection StandardsList All

Policy: Massachusetts Distributed Generation Interconnection Rules

Description: Massachusetts’ investor-owned utilities use an established interconnection process for all distributed generation, including CHP. There are three tiers of interconnection, corresponding with increased system scrutiny and fees. There is no set limit on system size, but a more extensive system impact study may be required on systems larger than 1MW, and is definitely required for systems larger than 5MW.

Last Updated: July 2014

CHP in Clean Energy Standards List All

Policy: Massachusetts Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (APS), per Senate Bill 2768

Description: Per Massachusetts Senate Bill 2768, and effective January 1, 2009, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources established an APS, in addition to its existing Renewable Portfolio Standard. The APS sets targets for sales of “alternative” energy to retail customers by electricity suppliers. For the purposes of the APS, CHP is specifically included as an “alternative generation unit.”

Policy: Energy Efficiency First Fuel Requirement

Description: This bill required electric and gas utilities prioritize cost-effective energy efficiency and demand reduction resources over supply resources and ordered that utilities submit three-year plans outlining how they would meet the requirement. Demand side resources include "energy efficiency, load management, demand response and generation that is located behind a customer's meter including a CHP system with an annual efficiency of 60% or greater with the goal of 80% annual efficiency for CHP systems by 2020."  

Last Updated: July 2014

Financing Assistance List All

Policy: MassSave - Utility Energy Efficiency Program 

Description: CHP systems that receive incentives through the MassSave Program are also eligible for a $500,000 interest-free loan.

Last Updated: September 2014

Financial Incentives for CHP List All

Policy: MassSave - Utility Energy Efficiency Program 

Description: All owners of CHP systems are eligible for this program. Three tiers of incentives are available to utility customers considering energy efficiency measures in conjunction with installing a CHP system--basic, moderate, and advanced.

Last Updated: July 2014

Revenue Streams List All

There are currently no favorable revenue streams, such as wholesale net metering or a feed-in tariff, that apply to CHP.

Policy: Massachusetts Net Metering

Description: Net metering was originally authorized for renewable-energy systems and combined-heat-and-power (CHP) facilities with a generating capacity up to 30 kilowatts (kW) by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities (DPU) in 1982. In 1997, the maximum individual system capacity was raised to 60 kW and customers were permitted to carry any net excess generation to the next bill. In July 2008, net metering was significantly expanded by S.B. 2768 and the DPU adopted rules implementing the law in June 2009.

The DPU adopted amended net-metering rules in July 2009. In August 2009, the DPU issued its model net metering tariff so that customers in Massachusettsare subject to the same net metering tariffs regardless of utility. The state's investor-owned utilities must offer net metering. Municipal utilities are not obligated to offer net metering, but they may do so voluntarily. The aggregate capacity of net metering is limited to 1% of each utility’s peak load.

CHP systems under 60 kW are eligible as "Class I" systems for net metering in Massachusetts.

Last Updated: July 2014

Output-Based Emissions Regs List All

Policy: Massachusetts General Law Chapter 111, Sections 142A through 142 M

Description: For the Massachusetts NOx cap and trade program, designed to meet the requirements of the United States Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Interstate Act (CAIR), NOx emissions of CHP systems are calculated using an output-based methodology.

Note that new rules promulgated by the U.S. EPA will replace the CAIR program and require. Massachusetts also uses an output-based approach when regulated several pollutants, including CO2, from existing power plants. Allocations under the state’s RGGI trading program were also done on an output bases.

Last Updated: July 2014

Utilities
Score: 20 out of 20
Utilities Summary List All

Massachusetts is a leading state with a long, successful record of implementing energy efficiency programs for all customer sectors. The state created an aggressive funding mechanism and required electric utilities to provide energy efficiency programs during its restructuring of the industry in 1997. The natural gas utilities in the state have offered energy efficiency programs to customers since the late 1980s.

In 2008, the governor signed Chapter 169 of the Acts of 2008, An Act Relative to Green Communities. The new law altered the approval process and timeline for electric and natural gas utility energy efficiency plans and required the utilities to file the plans every three years. The law required the state’s regulatory authority, the Department of Public Utilities, to ensure that energy efficiency programs “are delivered in a cost-effective manner capturing all available efficiency opportunities, minimizing administrative costs to the fullest extent practicable, and utilizing competitive procurement processes to the fullest extent practicable.” In addition, the law directed the DPU to appoint and convene an Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC), whose members play a key role in designing, approving, and monitoring the energy efficiency programs of Massachusetts' investor-owned utilities.  The EEAC’s primary mandate is achieving the goals outlined in the Green Communities Act and developing long-term vision, including recommendations concerning studies and research to achieve the goals of acquiring all cost-effective efficiency that is less than the cost of generation, and maximizing economic and environmental benefits that can be realized through increased energy efficiency.

Massachusetts' approach has resulted in one of the most ambitious fully-funded state savings targets, annual electric savings targets ramping up from 2.5% to 2.6% from 2013-2015. The state’s three year plan also includes gas savings of about 1.1% of retail sales annually. Utility companies in the state manage and implement efficiency programs. The low-income residential demand-side management and education programs are implemented through the state’s low-income weatherization and fuel assistance program.

Massachusetts has decoupling in place for all of its gas and electric utilities. Utility companies can earn a shareholder incentive of approximately 5% of energy efficiency program costs for meeting energy saving, benefit-cost, and market transformation goals.

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Customer Energy Efficiency Programs List All

Massachusetts has a restructured utility industry with competitive generation and retail markets. The distribution companies remain regulated and are required to offer energy efficiency and other demand-side management programs. The law governing these programs is Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 25 §19. The distribution utilities administer their own energy efficiency programs with collaborative input and oversight from the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, a stakeholder body chaired by the state Division of Energy Resources (DOER). The Department of Public Utilities has regulatory responsibility.

All investor-owned gas and electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers have partnered together to sponsor the Mass Save initiative. Administrators work with the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources to provide a wide range of services, incentives, trainings, and information promoting energy efficiency. A variety of electric and gas efficiency programs are also offered directly through IOUs and municipal utilities. Some municipal utilities also offer energy efficiency programs. Energy efficiency program funds must be allocated to customer classes, including the low-income residential subclass, in proportion to these customers’ contributions to those funds. At least 10% of the funding for electric energy efficiency programs and at least 20% of the funding for gas energy efficiency programs must be spent on low-income residential demand-side management and education programs.

In 2012, the state created a pilot program for large gas and electric customers. Five Largest Gas and Electric Customers Accelerated Rebate Pilot: Sections 5 and 54 of An Act Relative to Competitively Priced Electricity in the Commonwealth, requires the program administrators to implement a pilot program for their five largest gas and electric customers based upon specific customer locations in their respective service territories known as the voluntary accelerated rebate pilot program. Customers electing to participate shall be eligible for financial support of up to 100 per cent of the cost for qualified energy efficiency measures, as determined by the Program Administrator, using criteria included in the Three Year Plan. In addition, up to 15% of any accelerated rebate may be used for other improvements that support energy efficiency improvements made under a program approved by the department or emission reductions, including, but not limited to, infrastructure improvements, metering, circuit level technology and software

The most recent budgets for energy efficiency programs and electricity and natural gas savings can be found in the State Spending and Savings Tables.

Last Updated: July 2014

Energy Efficiency as a Resource List All

The Green Communities Act requires that electric and gas utilities make acquiring all cost-effective energy efficiency a higher priority than using other resources. The Act created an Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC) that works with utility program administrators to establish statewide plans for gas and electric utilities for 3 years into the future. Utilities must “provide for the acquisition of all available energy efficiency and demand reduction resources that are cost effective or less expensive than supply” in coordination with the EEAC. Utilities prepare plans for the Department of Public Utilities that establish annual budgets and goals over a period of three years. This process is open to the public.

Last Updated: July 2014

Energy Efficiency Resource Standards List All

Summary: Electric: Annual savings targets began at 1.4% in 2010, ramping up to 2.6% by 2015.  Natural Gas: Targets began at 0.63% in 2010, ramping up to 1.14% by 2015.

 The Green Communities Act requires that electric and gas utilities procure all cost-effective energy efficiency before more expense supply resources, requiring a three year planning cycle. In January 2013, the DPU approved the second 3-year (2013-2015) electric and gas energy efficiency plans under the Green Communities Act, continuing the state’s progress toward the most ambitious energy savings targets in the country. The first electric efficiency procurement plancalled for savings 1.0% in 2009, 1.4% in 2010, 2.0% in 2011, and 2.4% in 2012.  The state’s second three-year plan calls for savings to increase to 2.6% in 2015. The energy efficiency investments in 2013-2015 are expected to save 3,703 GWh of electricity in 2015. The statewide totals are comprised of individual program administrator savings. 

The state’s natural gas plan will save 24.75 MMTherms in 2015, equivalent to 1.14 percent of retail natural gas sales in 2015. Overall, the fully funded 2013-2015 electric and natural gas efficiency procurement plans will yield net consumer savings of more than $6.2 billion. The energy savings proposed in the current three year plan represent a 55 percent increase compared to the energy savings achieved in previous three-year plans.

Last Updated: July 2014

Utility Business Model List All

Massachusetts is currently implementing decoupling for all of its gas and electric utilities pursuant to DPU Docket 07-50-A (July 2008). Target revenues are determined on a utility-wide basis, and can be adjusted for inflation or capital spending requirements if necessary.  The Massachusetts DPU has approved decoupling plans for National Grid Electric Company (DPU 09-39), National Grid Gas Company (DPU 10-55), Bay State Gas Company (DPU 09-30) and Western Massachusetts Electric Company (DPU 10-70). Each distribution company is required to institute a decoupling mechanism with its next filed rate case.

Shareholder incentives are in place for electric and gas utilities. The shareholder incentive provides an opportunity for companies to earn about 5% of program costs as an incentive for meeting program goals. The incentive is based on a combination of elements including energy savings, benefit-cost, and market transformation results. The order that approved the incentive is DTE Order 98-100 (DTE is now DPU).

Last Updated: July 2014

Evaluation, Measurement, & Verification List All

The evaluation of ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs in Massachusetts relies on both legislative mandates (Green Communities Act of 2008) and regulatory orders (DPU 8-50-A). The order follows the legislation. Evaluations are mainly administered by the Energy Efficiency Program Administrators, however, the Massachusetts’s Energy Efficiency Advisory Council oversees the evaluations. Statewide evaluations are conducted, with the exception of PA-specific pilots. There are no specific legal requirements for these evaluations. Massachusetts uses benefit-cost tests in connection with their ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs. Massachusetts relies on the Total Resource Cost (TRC) test and considers it to be its primary test for decision making. Resource and non-resource benefits are determined through the EM&V process to be included in the TRC and approved by the DPU. The rules for benefit-cost tests are stated in the Green Communities Act of 2008 and DPU 8-50-A. Benefit-cost tests are required at the overall portfolio and total program levels screening.

In 2013, the Mass Save program administrators issued their first 3-year strategic EM&V plan outlining scopes and suggested outcomes of the studies planned through 2015. Impact, process and market assessments are all considered through a stakeholder process.

Last Updated: August 2014

Self Direct and Opt-Out Programs List All

A self-direct option is available to the five largest customers in every service territory. Participant activities must meet statewide cost effective criteria and are subject to EM&V standard practices. Mass Save Program Administrators are responsible for program evaluation. Currently 15 customers participate in the program statewide.

Last Updated: July 2014

Transportation
Score: 7 out of 9
Transportation Summary List All

The state's comprehensive set of policies includes tailpipe emissions standards, targets to reduce vehicle miles traveled, significant levels of transit funding, and a dedicated transit revenue stream.

Tailpipe Emission Standards List All

Massachusetts adopted California’s Low-Emission Vehicle Program in 2006, committing to a 30% reduction in average new vehicle greenhouse gas emissions from 2002 levels by 2016. The state has also adopted California's Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) program, which requires increasing production of plug-in hybrid, battery electric, and fuel-cell vehicles from 2018 to 2025. 

Last Updated: August 2014

Transportation System Efficiency List All

The issuance of Executive Order 385 (“Planning for Smart Growth”) in 1996 led to the creation of a number of smart growth initiatives that targeted concentrated growth and the revitalization of urban centers. However, it wasn’t until 2000, when the state passed the Community Preservation Act, that smart growth planning was solidified in the law and a program was established to support communities’ preservation of open space. Massachusetts subsequently adopted Chapter 40R, the Smart Growth Zoning Law, which provides financial incentives for municipalities to increase density and build affordable housing in areas with good access to transit. The Commonwealth Capital program, initiated in 2005, applies several smart growth criteria to municipalities’ applications for state funding. 

In 2009, the state implemented language from Chapter 90E, mandating the accommodation of biking and pedestrian traffic in future transportation construction plans. This was followed by the launch of Massachusetts Department of Transportation’s GreenDOT program aimed at reducing the state’s contribution of transportation sector greenhouse gas emissions.

Massachusetts has also passed legislation to create a dedicated funding stream for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA). The MBTA State and Local Contribution Fund is financed by a 1% sales tax implemented in the state. 

Finally, the state completed a state freight plan in 2010.

Last Updated: August 2014

Incentives for High-Efficiency Vehicles List All

The Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOREV) Program offers rebates of up to $2,500 to customers purchasing PEVs. 

Last Updated: August 2014

Appliance Standards
Score: 0 out of 2
Appliance Standards Summary List All

Policy: M.G.L. Chapter 25B, § 1, et seq., Appliance Efficiency Standards Act

Description: Having originally adopted standards in 1986, Massachusetts was one of the first states to adopt appliance standards after California paved the way in 1974. In 2005, Massachusetts expanded its appliance standards legislation to cover seven products. The federal Energy Policy Act of 2005 and the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, however, introduced standards that preempted state standards for five of those products. New products that are considered for state standards are adopted through the Division of Energy Resources (DOER). 

In 2009, Massachusetts developed an application for a waiver of federal standards for gas furnace (and fans) minimum efficiency in order to implement its own, more stringent, standard; it is the only state to have done so. Their waiver application helped spur manufacturer interest in a negotiated federal standard. Federal standards preempted Massachusetts’ standard for furnaces in 2013 and furnace fans will be preempted in 2017. 

Last Updated: November 2013