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Residential New Construction Eligibility Requirements

Program Terms and Conditions

2016 Eligibility Requirements

  • Homes can be individually metered, electric and/or gas customers of the Sponsors and may be eligible for additional Program incentives based on heat type requirements. Multi-family units sharing a natural gas master meter are eligible for participation, under the High-Rise Path guidelines.
  • Single-family units are defined as a single family detached house. Two or more attached units are classified as low rise multi-family.
  • The following homes are eligible to participate in the Program:
    • Single-family homes; OR
    • Units in multi-family buildings with 3 stories or less; OR
    • Units in multi-family buildings that are located on top of commercial spaces (e.g., retail, restaurant, etc.), even if the structure is permitted as commercial.
  • AHRI equipment numbers must be reported for all heating and cooling systems in order to get equipment rebates. Program participants should ask their contractors for AHRI certification numbers on the systems they install and provide that information to their HERS Rater. If an AHRI certificate is not available, a copy of OEM-provided catalog data indicating acceptable combination selection and performance data will be accepted.
  • All cooling equipment must be sized according to the latest editions of ACCA Manuals J and S, ASHRAE 2001 Handbook of Fundamentals, or an equivalent computation procedure. The maximum over sizing limit for air conditioners is 15%, 25% for heat pumps. Documentation must be provided to the HERS Rater. Cooling systems with variable speed compressors are exempt from this requirement.
  • Recommend appliances (refrigerator and dishwasher) be ENERGY STAR® qualified.
  • A Thermal Expansion Valve (TXV) or Electronic Expansion Valve (EXV) is required on all cooling systems.
  • All homes must have at least one of the following Program outlined mechanical ventilation devices:
    • One bath fan rated for continuous use at < 1.5 sones and controlled by a 24-hour programmable timer OR
    • One whole house mechanical ventilation system (includes an ERV or HRV) OR
    • A balanced supply and exhaust system without heat recovery OR
    • A multi-port exhausts only system with a remote mounted fan

2016 Prescriptive Path Eligibility Requirements

  • A project that originally applies for Prescriptive Path Option 1, but upgrades to meet the requirements of Prescriptive Path Option 2, will need Program approval to upgrade to Prescriptive Path Option 2.
  • Projects must apply for either Performance or Prescriptive Low Rise and cannot switch between Paths after Incentive Request forms have been received.
  • All homes must meet the requirements of the Prescriptive Measures List.

2016 Performance Path Eligibility Requirements

  • All Tier I, II, & III homes must achieve savings above the Massachusetts User Defined Reference Home (UDRH) that is in effect at the time that a project is registered as evidenced by a REM Rate file.
  • A minimum of 80 percent of the lamps in permanently installed lighting fixtures shall be CFL and/or LED lamps as verified by a HERS Rater during the final inspection.
  • Homes with HVAC ducted systems have a leakage rate at or below six (6) CFM to outdoors per 100 sq. ft. of conditioned floor area. Testing is required on ALL ducted systems, including systems with all the ductwork located within conditioned space.
  • Installed heating and domestic hot water systems must generate positive energy savings.
  • All homes participating in the 2016 Performance Path will be required to have an air infiltration rate under 0.35ACHnat.
  • Mechanical ventilation is required for all homes.
    • Homes must fully comply with all sections of R403.5 of the Massachusetts Residential Code, 8th Edition, which amended the 2012 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC). The intended design average measured flow rate (as installed) shall equal the design flow rate, as calculated using any of the approved calculation methods.
    • Supply and Exhaust only ventilation systems must not utilize an intake duct to the return side of the HVAC system unless the system is designed to operate intermittently and automatically based on a timer and to restrict outdoor air intake when not in use (e.g., motorized damper).
    • HERS Raters are required to report fan wattage ratings from manufacturer listed wattage rating; conversions of fan voltage or amperage rating are not acceptable.
    • Compliance with sections 3 and 5 of the EPA's ENERGY STAR® for Homes V3 Thermal Enclosure System Rater Checklist or compliance with sections 2 and 4 of the EPA’s ENERGY STAR® for Homes V3/3.1 (Rev.08) Rater Field Checklist
    • Envelope leakage must be determined by a RESNET certified HERS Rater using a RESNET approved testing protocol.

Incentive Guidelines

  • The submission of this Application does not guarantee receipt of incentives. Written approval from the Program will state the number of incentives awarded, incentives will not be paid prior to home testing and verification.
  • The incentives awarded are to assist in the defrayment of certification cost to the applicant and help cover some of the incremental costs, if applicable. The applicant may need to contribute to the construction costs to meet the program defined performance or prescriptive requirements. Program Administrators pay the HERS Rating Company a fixed certification incentive for verifying a home earns the program performance requirements. Any certification fee balance is the sole responsibility of the Participant and should be paid directly to the HERS Rating Company.
  • Participants who receive equipment incentives through the Program are not eligible to receive incentives, directly through Mass Save Heating & Cooling and/or GasNetworks. Exception: Airflow and Charge Check(AC Check) is available for every AC system by applying separately to Mass Save Heating & Cooling
  • Participants who receive equipment incentives through GasNetworks and/or Mass Save Heating & Cooling are not eligible to participate in the Residential New Construction Program.
  • Incentive payments are directly tied to a home’s modeled energy Performance or Prescriptive measures installed. Any changes to the design or specifications of the units may result in a reduction or loss of incentive(s).
  • Participating homes must be located in a service territory of one of the participating Program Administrators as evidenced by town, zip code and, ultimately, a permanent electric and/or gas meter number.
  • Incentives associated with this Agreement are paid for by the sponsoring gas utility for the service territory in homes with individually metered natural gas heating. Incentives associated with this Agreement are paid for by the appropriate electric utility or energy efficiency service provider Sponsor for the service territory when homes are heated by a fuel other than natural gas.
  • Homes serviced by a municipal electric company are eligible for 100% sponsorship only when heated with natural gas by a participating gas Program Administrator. Municipal electric multifamily projects that are master-metered gas cannot participate in the Program. These projects will be referred to the appropriate commercial energy efficiency program.
  • High efficiency heating and hot water heating incentives apply to non-master metered gas and natural gas heated units only. Propane and oil systems are not eligible for incentives.
  • Tier III and Prescriptive Option II units must apply for Tier III or Prescriptive Option II on the original application submitted through the Online Intake Tool in order to receive the incentive amount.
  • Projects in Municipal Electric territories without Natural Gas as the primary heating fuel are ineligible for any other Program Administrator rebates (i.e. heating, water heating and cooling incentives).
  • Equipment incentives requested through the Program for high efficiency heating and cooling equipment must follow the Eligibility & Requirements defined by the Massachusetts Residential New Construction Program.
  • SPONSORS, ITS AGENTS, AND EMPLOYEES DO NOT WARRANT THE PERFORMANCE OF INSTALLED OR SERVICED EQUIPMENT EXPRESSLY OR IMPLICITLY. Program sponsors make no warranties or representation of any kind whether statutory, expressed or implied, including without limitations, warranties or merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose regarding the HVAC equipment or services provided by a manufacturer or vendor. Contact your contractor for details regarding equipment performance or warranties .
  • Projects remain Active in the Program for 24 months, if no inspections are reported after 24 months the project will be updated to "Inactive" in Vision and the Rater/Participant will be notified that they will need to reapply.

Additional Information

  • In order for a project to be labeled as ENERGY STAR, all minimum national ENERGY STAR guidelines must be met. Meeting the Massachusetts Residential New Construction Program Requirements does not guarantee the home will meet national ENERGY STAR guidelines.
  • Participation in the Massachusetts Residential New Construction Program is voluntary on behalf of the Program Administrators and the applicants. The Program Administrators have the right to change or modify the existing Program at any time. The Program Administrators, its agents, and employees are indemnified against all loss, damage, expense, and liability resulting from injury to or death of persons, and against all injury to property arising out of or in any way connected with the performance of this Agreement.
  • The Energy Efficiency Program Provider (EEPP) is entitled to 100% of the energy benefits associated with the Energy Cost Measurements, excluding the value of energy cost savings realized by the customer, but including all rights to all associated ISO-NE Energy Capacity and Reserves Products, and the customer agrees to provide the EEPP with such further documentation as the EPP may request to confirm the EEPP’s ownership of such benefits and product.