Express your support for “Expanding Access, Transparency, and Equity in the Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Sector: An Act Regarding Community Access to Energy Efficiency Programs and Green Jobs (H 1774).”
Come to the State House at 10am for a hearing, followed by lobby visits with Reps and Senators. If you can’t make it in person, take a moment to call in your support. Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz’s office can be reached at 617-722-1673.
LEAD SPONSORS: Representative Carl Sciortino and Senator Jamie Eldridge
Background info: Since the 1980s utility companies have provided energy efficiency services in the Commonwealth. These programs are meant to provide residents with services to better insulate their homes and lower their energy use. In 2008, Governor Patrick signed a new law called the Green Communities Act (GCA). This law opened the “Green Economy” in Massachusetts and created a $1.4 billion public subsidy investment in energy efficiency programs.
• While there has been increased attention and investment in energy efficiency services, many low and moderate income communities are still unable to access these programs because of up-front costs and other serious barriers. We need to ensure there is equal access for all.
• There is a lack of transparency. It is unclear which communities are benefitting from these programs. We need data about which homeowners and renters are receiving energy efficiency services to ensure equal distribution.
• The new law and deep investment in the Commonwealth’s energy efficiency programs carried the promise of increasing jobs. We need information about how many jobs have been created and who is getting these jobs. We need to ensure these are good jobs with fair wages, benefits and career pathways.
SOLUTIONS INCLUDED IN H 1774:
• Expand Access by establishing new weatherization goals. Directs the state Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to develop a strategy to weatherize 100% of residential homes and 50% of businesses in the state by 2030.
• Require energy efficiency program data collection. Requires all utility companies to report on who receives the benefits of the energy efficiency programs, with a focus on low and moderate income communities (those earning 60-120% of state median income).
• Ensure Good Green Jobs. Mandates the state collect data on jobs created, demographic information of employees, adoption of hiring goals, and inclusion of Responsible Employer Language in all state Requests for Proposals and contracts.