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Solar Access: Affordable home heating & cooling

The non-profit Center for EcoTechnology (CET) is offering affordable, renewable energy for middle-income homeowners in Massachusetts. Funded by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (Mass CEC) and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER), Solar Access adds a special subsidy to the existing combination of electric utility, state, and federal incentives for renewable energy. Working with an energy expert, participants are guided through the program every step of the way and will own their solar panels and super-efficient heat pump heating and cooling systems. Enrolling in a no-interest loan, they will pay less than they spend now for heating with savings guaranteed by the program.

“This year the incentive programs are coming together in a unique way that won’t last long,” says Mark Newey, a building science specialist at the Center for EcoTechnology. “As a non-profit, we’re excited to be able to assist people through this process that will not only save them money, but also be more comfortable at home. For us there is a huge environmental benefit.”

Other program benefits include:

  • 10+ year equipment and labor warranties
  • One monthly payment covered by their current heating costs
  • Increased home value
  • First six monthly payments covered

Why solar panels? Photovoltaic solar panels convert sunlight into electricity to power your house without any pollution or carbon emissions. Today the cost of solar panels plus Massachusetts incentives make it a great time to own your solar panels and pay less to the electric utility company.

Why heat pumps? Air-to-air heat pumps use electricity to very efficiently heat and cool your home. Rather than burning fossil fuels to create heat, heat pumps move heat from one place to another – bringing heat into your home in the winter and removing heat in the summer. Heat pump technology advancements now allow for excellent performance even on the coldest winter days.

While Solar Access is designed for middle-income homeowners, there are also a number of great programs and services available for homeowners (and renters) who earn less than 60% of the state median income. Weatherization assistance, heating system repair or replacement, efficiency lighting and appliances, fuel assistance and renewable energy technology are some of the options you may be eligible for. Contact your local Community Action agency for more information. Franklin, Hampshire and North Quabbin residents can contact Community Action Pioneer Valley at (413) 774-2318. For fuel assistance, contact the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP) at (800) 632-8175.

For more information or to find out if you can benefit from Solar Access, visit CET online, call or text (413) 341-0418, or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..