September 26, 2018

Contact: Marin Goldstein,, 413-584-1300 x153

Winter heating bills got you worried? HCG helps homeowners with alternative heating systems tap into significant financial incentives

Homeowners investing in alternative heating systems can maximize their clean energy investment. While significant federal and state rebates are currently available, there is a new program in Massachusetts allowing customers to receive additional cash back. Renewable heating and cooling technologies now provide Alternative Energy Credits (AECs) 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, commonly referred to as mini-splits, and geothermal systems may all qualify for this benefit.

“For homeowners who have already or are considering installing these green energy systems, HCG’s Energy Credit service helps maximize their return on investment while keeping all of that savings in the Massachusetts’ economy,” says Marin Goldstein, 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. AECs represent the positive environmental attributes associated with thermal energy production, similar to Solar Renewable Energy Credits (SRECs) for solar PV systems. The Commonwealth’s Alternate Portfolio Standard currently values AECs at about $15-20 each, determined by the market at time of sale. The customers who install these systems receive the AEC value by selling the certificates to buyers through HCG’s service. The buyers are most often utilities and electricity 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.”

Compensation depends on the size of the system, the number of systems, and the heated space in the home. In recent years, thousands of homeowners have installed small air source heat pumps without knowledge of this program and if installed by January 1, 2015, they are now eligible to earn $1,000 or more per unit. Other systems included in this program are residential solar hot water system that could generate credits worth $1,000-$2,000. Small geothermal systems can anticipate making $4,000 and up. A local business that installed an intermediate sized pellet central heating system can easily count on a $780 or more in annual revenue. Even a homeowner who replaced their oil heating system with an efficient pellet central heating system may rely on these payments to help with a better return on investment.

HCG has long been a trusted local resource in the renewable energy credit market. In 2011, HCG established an SREC program that has since grown to managing over $9.5 million of energy credits for over 1,500 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

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.