In this podcast, Brett Rogenski explains the Mass Save rebate program. He talks about the available rebates, and then, he explains how NETR, Inc helps customers get all available rebates.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher. I’m here today with Brett Rogenski, General Manager of N.E.T.R, Inc, a heating and cooling company in Massachusetts with a focus on Mitsubishi ductless heating and cooling products. And today we’re talking about the Mass Save Rebates for 2023. Welcome, Brett.
Brett Rogenski: Hey John, thank you for having me.
John: Sure. So Brett, tell me a little bit in general about what Mass Save is and how it works.
Brett: Sure. So Mass Save is actually funded by the utilities in Massachusetts. So there’s a little piece of your bill that actually goes towards, if you will, endowing money for Mass Save to make energy efficiency improvements for homeowners and also business owners in Massachusetts. And really what Mass Save has become over time is a tool to help reduce two things.
Number one, reduce energy usage, so increase energy efficiency within Massachusetts homes and businesses. And the other part that’s kind of developed over the last few years is carbon reduction. So if you look at the Mass Save Rebates, a lot of them are very much focused now about moving either through increased efficiency, or moving to alternative heating and cooling products about reducing your carbon footprint. So that’s really what Mass Save is and it is designed to help make it more affordable for homeowners.
John: Okay. And so N.E.T.R does a lot of work installing ductless and other heat pump systems. What are some of the rebates and incentives for ductless and heat pump systems that will be offered through Mass Save in 2023?
Brett: Sure. So basically most of the ductless air source heat pump rebates that are built in 2023 are built around two things. It’s either a partial home rebate, or a whole home rebate. So in a whole home rebate you are literally moving to an air source heat pump that has the capability of providing all the heating needs for your home based on our climate here, and there’s design specific specifications that we have to use to meet that. So you’re taking your, let’s say, gas furnace and your gas furnace is being retired and removed, or at least moved into a dormant state. And you’re now going to have an air sourced heat pump and the appropriate heads, or even air handlers in your duct work, that is now going to be providing all the heat for your home.
So that’s a whole home rebate. And whole home rebates are up to $10,000 from Mass Save to the homeowner on qualifying systems. The other is a partial home. So a partial home is where again you’re reducing that use of fossil fuels, you’re reducing that carbon footprint, but not entirely eliminating that as a heating, or a fuel source in your home. And that works out to be about $1,250 per ton of heating that you can be claiming as a Mass Save Rebate. So that’s about $1,250 a ton for a partial home, and again there’s qualifying systems and some requirements with those, and up to $10,000 for a whole home rebate by moving to an air source heat pump.
John: Okay. In that partial home is it that you’re installing the ductless system in just part of the home and not the other part of the home? So you’re using the heat and air conditioning in one part of the home with ductless and then you’re using your traditional heating system in the other part of the home? Or is it that you’re installing ductless throughout the home, but maybe you’re using it for only part of the year and maybe in the deepest part of the winter you’re still using the fossil fuels, or could it be either?
Brett: Sure, and that’s a great question, John. And the answer is the last choice, it could be either. So some homes due to various applications, you can’t properly heat or cool the whole home just with ductless, or maybe the homeowner … I shouldn’t say you can’t, homeowner doesn’t want to.
So maybe their primary living areas they’re going to heat with ductless, but they’re not going to heat other areas, so they still need their furnace for certain things. The other option is exactly that, that they’re going to keep their existing heating source, fossil fuel heat source, because they don’t want as robust of a system that can actually provide 100% of the heat down to negative temperatures. So whether it be a boiler, whether it be a furnace, they keep that as a supplemental heat source for those really cold days, or in the other description, for parts of the house that they’re not treating with the ductless. So the answer is both.
John: Okay. And are there upgrades or improvements that homeowners have to make in order to be eligible for these rebates through the Mass Save program?
Brett: Sure. Great question. So especially the whole home rebates, but the first thing that you really have to do is have an energy audit and you have to have had one within the last two years. So some folks have had that already through a Mass Save provider, and maybe they had it a year ago, other folks haven’t had one ever. So you have to have a valid energy audit by a certified provider within the last two years. And then if we are going to move forward with the whole home rebate, etc, you’re actually going to have to execute on those improvements as well.
So it’s a really great program. The air ceiling which is eliminating drafts and stuff to the envelope of the home, the air ceiling is 100% paid for by Mass Save. So they come in and they do the air ceiling based on the audit at 100%, they cover the entire cost.
For most people any additional insulation, etc that is required, if it’s required, is reimbursed at a 75% rate. So to re-insulate your house to meet their qualifications was going to be $5,000, probably the bill to the homeowner is only going to be about $1,000, it’s 75 to 80% of that is covered by Mass Save. So you go get $5,000 worth of insulation, plus your air ceiling for $1,000, so pretty great deal. And now the home is ready because it’s now tighter and better insulated to be served by something like air source heat pumps.
John: Okay. So how can homeowners take advantage of these rebates and incentives?
Brett: Well, the homeowner actually has to apply, but we work and we outfit essentially a concierge service on that. So the first call when working with N.E.T.R is actually to reach out directly to us, and we’re going to go through and ask some very specific questions. Have you had that energy audit? Have you executed on the energy audit? There’s a certification that you get once it’s done, and if so, they provide us with that number.
If not, we actually work with partners, we can help schedule that for you. So getting that energy audit set up and in place, we’re going to help you do that. And then the second part is we’re going to help you design the air source heat pump solution for whatever you’re trying to achieve in the home. So if it’s a whole home rebate, we’re going to come in and we are going to design a system that’s going to meet all of your home’s heating needs. And we’ll also provide you with that, there’s what’s called the heat load calculator, we’ll show you our design methodology and show you that we’re designing something that’s going to keep you warm in the winter, and obviously cool in the summer is a benefit as well.
John: And so does N.E.T.R actually help the homeowner to apply for the Mass Save Rebates?
Brett: Yeah, we actually do. So we provide all the information that the homeowner needs to submit the application. We can’t submit it on their behalf, but essentially we provide you everything and you simply go through and fill in step 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and six if you will, through the information we’ve given you. And then you have to apply directly because obviously the rebate is going to the homeowner, not to N.E.T.R. That’s the way Mass Save works.
So we can’t apply on your behalf, but we give you everything right in the sequence you need to go ahead and do that submission. Where we can also help you is there’s a program with Mass Save called a heat loan, and heat loans are 0% interest loans for up to 84 months. And we can actually help you with that application process with one of their qualified banks. So if you qualify for a Mass Save heat loan, which is up to $50,000, you can get up to $50,000 loan, 0% interest for 84 months on those improvements to your home on that heat pump. So we can absolutely help you with that too.
John: All right. Well that’s really great information, Brett. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Brett: Hey, I appreciate it. Thank you, John.
John: And for more information you can visit the N.E.T.R website at netrinc.com, or call (781) 933-NETR. That’s (781) 933-6387.