Community First Partnership

Empowering communities through energy efficiency

Energy bills can be a significant burden for many of our Massachusetts families and small businesses, which can disproportionately affect  residents of Environmental Justice communities. Energy efficiency solutions can dramatically reduce energy bills, improve indoor air quality, and create more home comfort, and are available for everyone.*


The Sponsors of Mass Save have a number of programs to help families and small businesses manage their energy costs—from fuel assistance, to heating equipment upgrades, and to weatherization upgrades. We are partnering with organizations and local communities across the state as trusted local experts to help Massachusetts families and small businesses located in Environmental Justice communities save money and energy through our programs.


*Everyone is defined as all residential and commercial gas and/or electric account holders with Berkshire Gas, Cape Light Compact, Eversource, Liberty, National Grid, and Unitil  

How Community First Helps Massachusetts Residents

Community Partner Teams will be eligible for up to $60,000 in funding annually for three years, as well as in-kind marketing and technical support from Program Sponsors.

In 2020, the seven Community Partner Teams efforts helped achieve:

  • 1,500 online Home Energy Assessments
  • 2,354 home heating and cooling upgrades

674 small businesses served with energy efficiency upgrades

Selected applicants may receive:

  • Up to $60,000 per year to support project costs and funding to hire a part-time Energy Advocate
  • Comprehensive training in energy efficiency offerings, especially residential weatherization, residential heating and cooling upgrades, and Small Business Turnkey program
  • Co-branded marketing materials
  • Monthly progress reports
  • Program participation guide
  • Best practices to encourage program participation, training; and
  • Local event support, such as guest speakers for local events

What will I need to do as a Community First Partner?

All partners will need to commit to participating for three years with annual program progress review.

Host a variety of activities, including but not limited to:

  • Collaborating with participating Mass Save Program Sponsors (Local utility companies)
  • Including a member of your Community First Partner team to work 5-10 hours a week as an Energy Advocate to help residents and reach program goals
  • Submitting outreach, marketing, public engagement activities and communications plans
  • Actively tracking participation barriers and program performance
  • Engaging in community based social marketing
  • Participating in monthly calls and submit monthly activity reports
  • Participating in training to learn about energy efficiency offerings
  • Completing local community organizing
  • Creating innovative strategies and initiatives to engage residents
  • Work closely with Community First Program Manager and team of coordinators to create a robust strategy to reach customers

 

Community First Partner Orientation will be on February 10th, 2022.

 

Eligibility Requirements

Municipalities and registered non-profit organizations (or those with a fiscal agent), as well as teams of municipalities and/or registered 501c3 and 501c6 non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Additional program requirements include:

  • Must commit to a 3 year participation in the program
  • Must participate in monthly calls and submit monthly outreach reports
  • Must track and report progress
  • Must be open to building partnerships with local community organizations
  • Must propose to focus outreach in Environmental Justice census blocks among renters/landlords, low and moderate income residents (at/below 80% state median income), English isolated residents, and/or small businesses.

 

How Do I Apply? (Deadline Extended)

To apply to be a Community Partner for the priority application deadline, please apply by 5pm on December 3rd, 2021. To be considered in the second round of applicants, please submit an application by 5pm on January 10, 2022.

Applications, including budget, should be emailed to [email protected].


Applications should include:

  • An outreach, marketing, and communication plan
  • An annual budget of how funds will be spent
  • A letter of support from local municipality(ies) or letter of intent showing that the applicant communicated with local municipalities where outreach will be completed

 

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Find Out More

Learn More About the Program’s Application Process and Impact:

To learn more about Mass Save Community First Partnership, please connect with us.