ARRA Best Practices Report

May 24, 2013

Dear Clean Energy Supporter:

In June of 2012, more than 200 state, municipal, and private sector representatives joined the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) at American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Best Practices Forums at Greenfield Community College and Massasoit Community College. I am pleased to share the detailed report DOER has completed, which documents the observations and recommendations made during the thoughtful, insightful discussions about the Massachusetts ARRA-funded energy projects. This report is available at the DOER website.

Since we held these forums, DOER has acted on a number of the recommendations we received. As clean energy opportunities and accomplishments continue to increase in Massachusetts, we know that this progress is due in large part to the efforts of clean energy champions like you.

Since these Best Practices Forums took place, we have continued to move our clean energy agenda forward:

  • Massachusetts was once again ranked as the #1 energy efficient state in the nation by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE).
  • Governor Patrick was presented with the Green Governor of The Year award.
  • Installed solar power in the Commonwealth increased to 243 Megawatts (MW), up from less than 2 MW in 2007, and fast approaching the 250 MW goal the Governor set for 2017.
  • New three-year energy efficiency plans submitted by the gas and electric utilities were approved, with proposed investments of more than $2 billion and net benefits to consumers of more than $6.7 billion.
  • New incentive programs for technologies such as solar thermal, biomass, and heat pump technology have been or soon will be available.
  • There are now 110 Green Communities throughout the Commonwealth, and 123 municipalities that have adopted the stretch energy code.
  • The Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) and DOER jointly announced an ambitious plan to undertake energy efficiency projects at more than 50 million square feet of state buildings by the end of 2014.
  • The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center issued a report issued documenting more than 70,000 people employed in the clean energy sector at close to 5,000 firms, with a growth rate of more than 11 percent in the previous year.

While we are proud of these and other successes, DOER continues to explore additional ways to expand our nation-leading clean energy efforts. We are anxious to explore and, wherever possible, implement many of the suggestions and recommendations made at the Best Practices Forums, including simplifying access to clean energy incentive information, streamlining regulations, and assisting with financial analysis of clean energy projects, to name just a few.

We are truly appreciative of the time and effort taken by those of you who were able to attend the Forums, as well as all the efforts taken to support our clean energy programs across the Commonwealth. We look forward to working with many of you in the months and years to come and will continue to provide updates on progress, resources, and any information that may be helpful. If you have any questions or comments about the Best Practices Exchange Forum Summary, or any other matter related to our programs, please do not hesitate to call the main DOER number: 617-626-7300.

Thanks again for all you do.

Sincerely,

Mark D. Sylvia
Commissioner
Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources