Gov. Healey supports proposed reforms to Mass Save energy program

10/28/23 By Gandharvika Gopal

Gov. Maura Healey supports a recent report calling for changes to Mass Save. The report was released on Tuesday by Massachusetts Climate Chief Melissa Hoffer, noting failures in the group’s energy programs. 

Mass Save is a “collaborative of Massachusetts’ electric and natural gas utilities and energy efficiency service providers,” according to its website. In the report, Hoffer cited problems in short-term climate solutions plans, along with continued support for fossil fuel heating systems, lack of investment in alternative technologies and insufficiencies in administration. 

“The Mass Save program administrators and the Energy Efficiency Advisory Council should focus on phasing out most fossil-fuel heating equipment in new construction and providing incentives for owners of existing buildings to transition to electric heating,” Hoffer wrote. 

Healey agreed with Hoffer’s suggestions and told the News Service on Thursday that “from what I’ve read [Hoffer] is really onto something in terms of reforms that need to be put in place.” In the report, Hoffer used Vermont and Main energy efficiency programs as examples of success. As opposed to Mass Save, those programs are separate from electricity providers with an “independent program administrator.” 

While Massachusetts has some of the best climate change policies in the nation, the state does not have the labor force to make its sustainability goals possible. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center estimates the state will need almost 30,000 additional workers to meet the 2030 commitment of a 50% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. 

In the report, Hoffer noted a “transition period to ensure that existing markets for energy efficiency services are not disrupted” for Mass Save reforms. She proposed a May 2023 deadline for “a comprehensive, cross-agency plan to build the clean energy, climate, and resilience workforce that includes measurable targets and goals.”