One way to help offset the rising cost of energy and significantly reduce your home's carbon footprint is to replace your aging heating equipment with a new high-efficiency unit. With rebates and interest-free loans from Mass Save, you might find the whole project is less expensive than you fear.
Mass Save offers incentives for the purchase of new high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment. You may also be eligible for 0% financing through the Mass Save HEAT Loan Program. The HEAT Loan Program provides customers the opportunity to apply for a 0% interest loan from participating lenders to assist with the installation of qualified energy efficient improvements in their homes. If you meet eligibility requirements and receive lender approval, you may receive a 0% interest loan of $500 to $25,000 over 2–7 years for energy saving upgrades, such as a new furnace or boiler. And for a limited time, the cap on HEAT Loans has been increased to $50,000!
Some years ago, Brighton residents Liz Breadon and Mary McCarthy needed to replace their heating system and wanted to add solar panels to heat their domestic hot water too. Liz explains, "We were able to do all of this because of the rebates and the Heat Loan Program. We got a $15,000 loan at 0% interest for 7 years." Liz and Mary figure that in the first year, they saved an average of $108 per month in heating and hot water costs. Mary explains the figures, "So our loan of $178/month, minus our savings of $108/month, means we are spending only $70/month to have both a new, high-efficiency heating system and a solar system for our hot water needs. What a bargain!"
Call 617-635-SAVE (7283) to schedule your no-cost Mass Save site visit prior to installing your new inefficient equipment. During your visit, your Energy Specialist will evaluate your equipment and advise you on what incentives you might be able to use to upgrade. You can also start the process by filling out a short questionnaire about your home or apartment at https://ngrid-ma.energysavvy.com/start-your-project/ or https://eversourcema.energysavvy.com/start-your-project/.
Here are some general points to consider when you're thinking about upgrading your heating system:
- Prioritize all insulation and air sealing opportunities first, so you don’t have to buy a larger heating system than you need.
- Get 3 bids from licensed HVAC installers, so you know you’re getting the best pricing available.
- Ask for all bids to include high efficiency equipment that would qualify for Mass Save rebates, so you can factor those rebates into your calculation of what you can afford.
- Consider applying for a HEAT Loan, so you can spread out the cost of the new system with interest-free payments for up to 7 years.
- If you’re considering converting from oil, make sure the bids include the costs of removing your oil tank and excess oil and installing any new, larger pipes that may be needed.
- Also if you're thinking about gas conversion, you might want to consider a cold climate heat pump, which is a “renewable” heat option because you can get your electricity from wind or solar, either from your own property or when you purchase Renewable Energy Credits. Cold climate heat pumps produce heat in winter and cooling in summer. They are a particularly good alternative for apartments and homes heated with electricity, but if appropriately configured and properly zoned, cold climate heat pumps can help reduce use of fossil fuels, particularly in oil-heated homes. Heat pumps are expensive upfront, but may be economical if the home is configured so that the heat pump can heat and cool a space of about 500-1000 square feet that is zoned separately from rest of house.