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 heating equipment upgrades, weatherization upgrades, to new appliances and income-based assistance. 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.


*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 two years, as well as in-kind marketing and technical support from Program Sponsors. Join and learn from 18 existing programs covering 30 municipalities that launched Community First Partnerships in 2022. The Community First Partnership will proved nearly $700,000 in annual funds to support these partners in implementing their energy efficiency residential and small business goals to ensure that all residents have equitable access to the benefits of energy efficiency and decarbonization of energy.

Selected 2023-2024 applicants may receive:

  • Up to $60,000 per year to support project costs, including 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 multilingual marketing materials designs (printed by communities)
  • 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 two 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 10 hours a week as an Energy Advocate to help residents and reach program goals (depending on your community's goals, you may want to consider a 19+ hour a week position)
  • Submitting outreach, marketing, public engagement activities and communications plans
  • Actively tracking participation barriers and program performance
  • Engaging in community based social marketing
  • Participating in initial trainings, as frequently as once per week for period of 1-2 months
  • Participating in monthly calls and submitting monthly activity reports
  • Participating in training to learn about energy efficiency offerings
  • Completing local community organizing
  • Creating innovative strategies and initiatives to engage residents
  • Working closely with Community First Program Manager and team of coordinators to create a robust strategy to reach customers

  

Eligibility Requirements

Municipalities and registered non-profit organizations (or those with a fiscal agent), as well as teams of municipalities and/or registered 501(c)(3) and 501(c)(6) non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Additional program requirements include:

  • Must commit to a 2 year participation in the program
  • Must participate in monthly calls and submit monthly outreach reports
  • Must participate in initial trainings, as frequent as once per week for two months
  • 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? 

To apply to be a Community Partner for the priority application deadline, please apply by 5pm on October 24, 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

Applications will be availably shortly. To receive a notice when it becomes available:

 

Have questions about the partnership or application process?

The Sponsors of Mass Save invite you to register for a webinar to learn more about the program on:

There will also be the following hours available to answer individual questions from communities after participating in the webinar:

2022-2024 Community First Partnership

The Mass Save® have selected 19 municipalities and 4 community-based organizations supporting 30 communities across the commonwealth to participate in the 2022-2024 Community First Partnership. These partners benefit from funding and support to implement energy efficiency outreach in their communities. The Community First Partnership will provide $700,000 in annual funds to support partners in implementing their energy efficiency residential and small business goals. These incentives to municipalities and community-based organizations are in addition to energy efficiency incentives already available to residents. Taken together, the selected participants have committed to helping nearly 25,000 residents decarbonize through energy efficiency upgrades by the end of 2024.



Community First Partnership 2022
Community/Team Weatherization HVAC Small Business 2022 Award-All PAs
Berkshire Community Planning Council: Williamstown 145 80 25 $25,000.00
Boston 300 150 150 $60,000.00
Cambridge 150 250 100 $50,000.00
Ener-G-Save: Springfield, West Springfield, Pittsfield 420 80 0 $25,000.00
Framingham - Natick 205 230 65 $50,000.00
Gloucester 200 200 200 $40,000.00
Groundwork Lawrence: Lawrence, Andover, North Andover 249 202 149 $60,000.00
Groundwork Lawrence: Haverhill, Methuen 194 197 209 $60,000.00
Lowell 190 250 10 $45,000.00
Malden 450 100 50 $60,000.00
Melrose 125 100 25 $25,000.00
Norwood 180 100 70 $35,000.00
Quincy Asian Resources Inc: Quincy, Randolph 285 285 30 $60,000.00
Shelburne 10 10 10 $15,400.00
Team - Beverly/Salem 516 73 11 $60,000.00
Team - Chelsea/Revere/Winthrop 300 200 100 $60,000.00
Wareham 80 145 20 $25,000.00
Westborough 125 200 75 $37,270.40

Find Out More

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