Cape Light Compact Expands Residential New Construction Program and Creates Renovations and Additions Path
With the arrival of spring, snowy days are quickly being replaced with warmer temperatures and sunnier skies. This makes it the perfect time to undertake new construction projects, renovate your home, or build on an addition. This year, Cape Light Compact will continue providing incentives for new construction, but is also excited to announce a new offer: expanded savings opportunities for customers completing additions and home renovations. If you’re a homeowner or builder planning to take on any of these projects in 2019, be sure to contact the Compact to ensure that you maximize your energy and cost savings.
New Resources for Renovations and Additions
In January 2019, the Compact joined fellow Mass Save® Sponsors to launch a new program path specifically designed to support residential customers undertaking additions and renovations. Additions include construction that extends your existing property. Qualifying renovations include home improvement projects, such as a kitchen or bathroom remodel, but exclude gut renovations, which fall under the Compact’s new construction program. We spoke with Meredith Miller, Senior Residential Energy Efficiency Program Analyst at the Compact, to learn more about the additional services offered through this new renovations and additions path.
When asked what inspired this new path, Miller explains, “Along with other Mass Save Sponsors, for many years we’ve offered incentives for gut renovations, but we lacked a distinct path for customers interested in completing other renovations or adding on additions to their homes. After launching a pilot program in 2018 that resulted in great success, the Compact knew we needed to establish a permanent program to meet this customer demand.”
Support for renovations and additions is open to all residential customers residing in Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard and applies to single-family and multi-family homes that are three stories or less. For customers qualifying for this program path, there are several eligible savings opportunities: for instance, if you were completing a kitchen remodel, you may receive incentives for more efficient lighting, window upgrades, or improved insulation.
One of the appeals of this program is that incentives are allocated on a “pay-for-performance” basis. In other words, the more energy your upgrades save, the greater the incentive you receive. The process follows four key steps:
- After signing up – by either calling 1-800-628-8413 or emailing RenovateAddMA@icf.com – a program representative will visit your home to determine current energy consumption.
- The representative will then estimate a baseline level of energy use for your remodeled residence.
- Upon completing the renovation or addition, actual energy consumption will be measured.
- The rebate amount is based on how much more efficient the home is after the renovation or addition compared to the estimated baseline level of energy use described in Step 3. Participants can earn up to $10,000 in incentives.
The program is quite popular; after launching the program at the start of 2019, over 300 customers called statewide within the first month. To date, the Compact has already had 14 completed projects. However, when asked about the program’s greatest appeal, Miller explains that it’s actually a component that won’t be fully rolled out until later this year. “We’ve heard the most excitement about the HEAT Loan. It’s an interest-free loan of up to $25,000 for qualifying energy-efficient upgrades. Oftentimes residents are making decisions about whether or not to complete a renovation or addition based on budget, so being able to borrow money can help significantly with the decision to incorporate more energy-efficient approaches.”
Embarking on New Construction
The spring season is also popular for projects that extend beyond renovations and additions. If you’re a builder looking to develop a new residential property in the Compact’s territory, a variety of resources remain available through the new construction program path. Similar to the renovations and additions path, the program path offers a pay-for-performance incentive structure, but with the electric savings, fuel savings, and overall percent energy savings being determined by comparing the performance of the newly-constructed home to an average home baseline. Participants also have an opportunity to receive an additional incentive by earning ENERGY STAR® New Home Certification, which can result in up to 30% greater energy savings compared to that of a typical new home. In 2018 alone, over 160 builders in the Compact’s territory took advantage of this new construction program.
Whether you’re a homeowner looking to renovate or create an addition, or a builder beginning the process of new construction, the Compact is here to help you maximize your savings. It’s easy to sign up for either program: just call 1-800-628-8413 and, upon confirming your eligibility, a program representative will work with you throughout the process to identify the best-suited energy efficiency opportunities for the property, calculate available incentives, and validate savings.
With steady participation in the new construction path and blossoming interest in the new offerings for renovations and additions, the Compact can’t wait to collaborate with builders and homeowners across Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard in 2019.