"This legislation will help to reduce energy costs for Massachusetts consumers as well as for utilities, spur local economic development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It's a win all the way around"
WASHINGTON, DC - In a move expected to spur solar heating and cooling (SHC) deployment across the state, the Massachusetts Legislature has approved SB 2214 and sent it to Governor Deval Patrick for his signature. This important legislation will allow renewable thermal technologies, including SHC, to be eligible for alternative energy credits under the Massachusetts Alternative Portfolio Standard (APS).
"This legislation will help to reduce energy costs for Massachusetts consumers as well as for utilities, spur local economic development and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It's a win all the way around," said Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). "Most importantly, in a state where home heating costs are exorbitant, businesses and homes which install these energy efficient technologies can reduce their energy costs."
SB 2214 gives authority to the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources to recognize the different capital and operating costs of renewable and thermal technologies, like solar, and to award credits in a way that will stimulate the deployment of these energy efficient technologies.
It's estimated that space heating and cooling and water heating account for roughly 54 percent of total building energy use in Massachusetts. Additionally, more than $1.5 billion is spent each year on fuel oil for residential heating in Massachusetts.
A study completed for the state found that "depending on the rate of market growth, the renewable thermal industry is expected to create between 1,600 and 5,900 jobs in Massachusetts and the New England region by 2020."
Today, solar is the fastest growing source of renewable energy in America, generating enough clean, reliable electricity to power more than 3 million American homes, while employing nearly 143,000 Americans.