March 27, 2018

Contact: Sinead Coleman,, 413-584-1300 x153

HCG helps renewable energy owners tap into significant financial incentives

HCG is amplifying its commitment to local, renewable energy by expanding its Energy Credit brokerage service.  This service helps property owners statewide tap into the significant financial incentives for installing renewable heating and cooling technologies. Alternative Energy Credits (AECs) are available to users of systems that increase energy efficiency and reduce the need for conventional fossil fuel-based energy generation.

Under new regulations, announced by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER), solar hot water, pellet central heating systems, woodchip boilers, compost heat exchange, air source heat pumps, and geothermal systems may all qualify for this benefit.

“The expansion HCG’s Energy Credit service allows local owners of green heating systems to maximize their return on investment while keeping all of that savings in the Massachusetts’ economy,” says Sinead Coleman, director of energy operations, HCG. “System owners may qualify to receive a considerable amount of money for their credits.”

After registering a system, an owner may receive AECs equal to the energy the system is expected to produce over ten years of projected energy generation.  AECs are the positive environmental attributes associated with thermal energy production. The Commonwealth’s Alternate Portfolio Standard currently values AECs at approximately $20 each, determined by the open market. The customers who install these systems earn the money by selling the certificates to buyers through HCG’s service. The buyers are most often utilities and suppliers who are required by law to demonstrate that a certain percentage of the energy they sell comes from renewable sources.

“I am delighted to have HCG’s help in selling my Alternative Energy Credits,” says Sue Butler, outspoken renewable energy advocate and geothermal owner, Cambridge, MA. “It’s great to have a local choice to broker my credits.”

Estimated examples of compensation are as follows: A small solar hot water system located on the homeowner’s roof could generate anywhere from $1,480 to $30,000 and beyond. Small geothermal systems can anticipate making $4,600 to an upwards of more than $31,000. A homeowner’s small air source heat pump can be expected to fall in a range of $1,800 to $12,000.  A local business that installed an intermediate sized pellet central heating system can count on a $780 to $30,000 annual payment that must be supplemented with ongoing sustainability and fuel reports. Even a homeowner who replaced their oil heating system with an efficient pellet central heating system can rely on these payments to help with a better return on investment.

In addition to AEC benefits, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) is prepared to offer substantial installation grants to green energy producers. Residential customers could receive up to $12,000, and commercial accounts could be allocated as much as $275,000.

HCG has long been a trusted local resource in the renewable energy credit market. In 2011, HCG established a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) program that has since grown tomanaging over $9.5 million of energy credits for over 1,300 customers in Massachusetts. It is easy to register a system as part of the aggregation on the new HCG website. HCG will sell credits through pre-minting, forward minting, or quarterly sales and remit payment to system owners.

Anyone who has installed, or is considering installing, a renewable heating and cooling system is encouraged to contact HCG to learn how to maximize their clean energy investment at hcg-ma/energy-credits.

About us

HCG supports communities by empowering local, sustainable and efficient economies. The organization helps cities and towns, schools, nonprofits and businesses get the most value by pooling their buying power. HCG’s Hampshire Power provides electricity services, including green and locally produced electricity. The HCG Purchasing Co-op makes it easy for towns, cities and nonprofits to save money, time, and effort on major and everyday purchases. And HCG supports communities with uniquely effective service organizations: RSVP of the Pioneer Valley and the Hampshire-Franklin Tobacco-Free Community Partnership. Every cent HCG earns goes back to supporting the communities of Western Massachusetts. HCG is funded by its own revenue and grants.