Consumer incentives, low-cost loans, EV discounts, workshops, resources…

Get the Buzz on Electric Vehicles (a free workshop)

Tuesday, September 25, 7-8:30pm, Hitchcock Center, Amherst

Curious about electric vehicle (EVs)s? How they work, how far they can go on a charge? An increasing number of electric vehicles on the market are competitively priced and can go over 100 miles on a charge. Arrive early for a brief ride around the parking lot in a plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt.

I’ll give an overview of what EVs and plug-in hybrid EVs available, their features and range, big incentives that bring down their purchase price, charging an EV and matching the right EV and charger with your driving habits and needs. You’ll also learn about pairing solar power for your home with the charging demands of your car, and when to charge for the lowest carbon impact.

Donations to Hitchcock Center and registration appreciated


Electric Vehicle Handbook

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Plug-In Electric Vehicle Handbook for Consumers (note: excessive jargon and acronym warning)


Big Rebates Renewed for New, Efficient Woodstoves

Massachusetts residents and businesses with a working, non-EPA certified woodstove or fireplace insert are eligible for a rebate of up to $1,750 for replacing it with a qualifying, EPA-certified model. Those who meet income requirements are eligible for rebates up to $3,250. More details are available at


No Cap on Mass Save Insulation Incentive Thru 2018!

This year, many Mass Save programs have lifted their $2,000 cap on covering 75% of the cost of insulation through 2018. There’s no limit on the total qualifying insulation costs that they’ll cover at their 75% incentive. You will still need to pay for the 25% out-of-pocket costs or explore getting a 0% Mass Save HEAT Loan for that expense.

To see if you qualify, you can call Mass Save at 866-527-SAVE (7283). If you are eligible, you can schedule an energy assessment to get the process rolling.

Eversource, National Grid, & Berkshire Gas are among the utilities participating in this program. However, this offer may not apply to customers of other electric utilities, as the Mass Save programs differ depending on your utility, and it does NOT apply to everyone.

There’s more information on their website [], but you’ll need to talk with Mass Save to find out for sure if you qualify.


Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) Being Replaced by SMART Program Soon

The web page offers a clear explanation of this change of solar incentives expected to be in place soon. To qualify for SRECs, which are expected to have higher values than the new incentives under the SMART program, a solar system must be fully operational by the launch of the SMART program. Check with solar installers for details, to find out if SMART program incentives have been finalized, and to see if there’s still time to have solar installed to qualify for SRECs.


MA Solar Loan

This program makes low interest loans available for financing residential solar power (PV), allowing homeowners to get solar without the large upfront costs!

The program offers:

  • A low-interest, fixed-term loan for homeowners and residents
  • Additional loan support of 10-30% off the cost, for income-qualified moderate to low-income solar owners

Two lenders are participating in the program in our area.

To qualify for this loan, you’ll need to start with a quote from a participating MA Solar Loan Installer (list available on the website below) and review the program steps on their website before starting the installation process.

See for more details.


30% Federal Tax Credit for Home Solar 

The 30% federal investment tax credit for residential solar power projects lasts through 2019, before it begins to taper down 4% each year and expire in 2022. So, if you want to explore getting solar power for your home, you have time to decide and to take advantage of this big solar tax credit.


 IMG_3355 EV in DC during climate march

Save thousands on electric vehicles                                                            

This offer for big discounts on select electric vehicles (EVs) came my way from the nonprofit, Green Energy Consumers Alliance and their Drive Green initiative.
Check this link for current offers:
Green Energy has worked with some car dealers to promote great deals on the following cars and more:
  • Nissan Leaf (all electric—107 miles on a charge)
  • Chevy Volt (~53 miles electric range + 367 miles on gas)
  • Chevy Bolt (all electric—238 miles on a charge)
  • Prius Prime (25 miles electric range + 615 miles on gas)
Their website includes a list of participating dealers, cars, and discounts under the program.
Questions? Contact Green Energy Consumers Alliance at 800-287-3950 x5, email:


Mass Save Early Heating & Cooling Equipment Replacement Rebates

Mass Save is offering heating and cooling equipment replacement rebates year-round of up to $3,500, for replacing working 30 year old or more boilers and 12 year old or older furnaces and qualifying central AC and air source heat pumps.

First schedule an energy assessment or site visit to find out if your heating or cooling system is eligible and make sure that the new equipment to be installed meets Mass Save specifications. You may also be able to use Mass Save’s 0% HEAT Loan for your new system.


Mass Clean Energy Center Rebates for Clean Heating & Cooling!

The CEC program offers rebates of up to $2,500 for efficient, electric air source heat pumps (centralized & ducted) and ductless mini splits.

Rebates start at $625 per single head mini split, for up to 3 systems for their base rebate; CEC has even higher rebates for income-qualified residents.

The program also has rebates for ground source heat pumps and central wood pellet heating systems.

For more details, see

Mass SAVE is also offering $250-500 rebates for centralized, ducted air source heat pumps and $100-300  rebates for ductless mini splits (you can apply for both CEC & Mass Save rebates).

And you can apply for a 0% Mass SAVE HEAT Loan for air source heat pumps & mini splits.