Greening Greenfield offering workshops on air-source heat pumps

By MARY BYRNE

Staff Writer

Published: 03-24-2023 4:11 PM

GREENFIELD — With Mass Save offering new incentives for air-source heat pumps, Greening Greenfield is offering workshops for eligible residents on how they can start the process.

“We are thrilled that Peter Wingate, director of energy services at Community Action Pioneer Valley, and his staff are coming to talk about the amazing new services that Mass Save is offering income-eligible renters and homeowners,” said Greening Greenfield member Nancy Hazard. “These whole house services can be worth over $40,000.”

The first workshop is scheduled for Thursday, March 30, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Second Congregational Church, 16 Court Square. Masks will be required. Mass Save is a collaborative of Massachusetts’ natural gas, electric utilities and energy-efficiency service providers.

“Every person we can get off of fossil fuels and get onto electricity is incredibly important,” Hazard said. “Statistically, statewide, the fuel we use to heat our homes represents 40% of the climate change emissions. … Because of that, we need to look at every single house.”

As part of this program, Mass Save is offering free heat pumps for income-eligible residents and up to $10,000 in rebates for others who install air-source heat pumps as their primary source of heating. According to Mass Save, these pumps can “efficiently heat your home in the winter and double as a cooling system in the summer, while also lowering greenhouse gas emissions.”

“Utility companies, which run Mass Save, are offering these incentives to help Massachusetts achieve its goal of addressing the climate crisis and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030,” Hazard said.

To be eligible for a free heat pump, the income for a single person must be $42,411 or less, or $81,561 or less for a four-person household. To assess income eligibility, go to masssave.com. Greening Greenfield is offering a second workshop on Monday, April 3, at 6:30 p.m., also at the Second Congregational Church, for people who are above the income eligibility line.

“I am pleased with what is now available for energy efficiency and heating systems through Mass Save’s residential programs, and especially for the income-eligible households we serve at Community Action,” Wingate said. “Our goal is to reduce heating bills and make people more comfortable while cutting down on folks’ carbon footprint. For tenants in buildings up to four units, if at least half the apartments have an income-eligible tenant, we can usually offer efficiency services to the whole building at no cost to the tenants or landlord.”

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As part of the workshops, Wingate and his staff will explain what they do when assessing a home or apartment building, and what to expect after the assessment. Staff will also talk about weatherization, a pre-requisite to installing a modern heat pump heating system. There will be time for audience questions.

“There’s certainly great demand,” Wingate said. “We’ve not done any advertising and we still have a list of people interested in heat pump installations.”

Wingate said the program will complement the fuel-assistance program offered by Community Action, which has experienced award delays given the number of applications. Additional staff members have been hired, he said, to help address those delays.

Reporter Mary Byrne can be reached at mbyrne@recorder.com or 413-930-4429. Twitter: @MaryEByrne.

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