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City of Cambridge Announces $800,000 in Multifamily Decarbonization Subsidies Through Partnership with Massachusetts Clean Energy Center and BlocPower

Multifamily building owners in Cambridge, MA can now leverage support from $800,000 in new subsidies when they complete decarbonization projects. The funds are made possible through an innovative partnership between the City of Cambridge, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC)— a state economic development agency dedicated to accelerating the growth of the clean energy sector—and BlocPower, a national climate technology company that earlier this year launched a pilot program in collaboration with the City of Cambridge for multifamily building electrification.

The grants are anticipated to enable up to 10 multifamily buildings to affordably perform energy efficiency and electrification upgrades such as installing cold climate heat pumps for heating, cooling and hot water; rooftop solar and battery storage; induction ranges and other energy efficient appliances; EV charging, LED lighting, smart thermostats and other electrical upgrades. Grants can also be used for necessary capital improvements supportive of clean energy upgrades, including roof and window replacement, mold or asbestos remediation, and other weatherization projects.

Funding will range from $1,000 to $10,000 per unit, with higher allocations available for the first buildings to complete projects in key categories—including buildings using heating oil, rental buildings, or those serving low income residents. Combined with other incentives like those available through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) as well as BlocPower's no-money-down, no-building-lien financing, building owners could potentially break even or better on these upgrades over the life of the system. These projects will deliver more comfortable, efficient, and lower-maintenance heating, cooling and hot water systems to building owners and residents, while reducing each building’s carbon pollution in support of Cambridge’s Net Zero Action Plan.

“We are excited that MassCEC is supporting Cambridge residents and building owners as we find new ways to make decarbonization upgrades easier for our residents. This partnership offers an innovative approach to help multifamily buildings make energy and comfort upgrades  while making important progress towards Cambridge’s climate goals,” said Susanne Rasmussen, Director of Environmental and Transportation Planning for the City of Cambridge. “We’re looking forward to our continued collaboration with BlocPower and MassCEC to make this pilot a success.”

“At BlocPower, we’re constantly looking for ways to bring down the cost of clean energy upgrades for building owners and residents, through the use of advanced technologies, innovative financing solutions, federal, state and local incentives and project funding from corporations and organizations like MassCEC,” said Donnel Baird, CEO of BlocPower. “The City of Cambridge is blazing a decarbonization trail for other New England cities to follow, and the project funding from MassCEC will make these clean energy solutions more accessible to building owners and residents who need climate relief the most.”

The Cambridge BlocPower Pilot focuses on multifamily buildings of five or more units. BlocPower estimates the support from MassCEC will enable decarbonization projects for a total of up to 125 residential units. MassCEC’s funding is made available through an initiative intended to support demonstrations of innovative financing approaches to decarbonization through implementation on real projects. The pilot and the new subsidies will also provide an affordable way to deliver projects for multifamily buildings that have been working with the City’s Electrify Cambridge program, which provides no-cost advising on electrification measures in all residential buildings.

“With innovation in clean energy and climate solutions, as well as new financing approaches needed to implement projects, we can equitably deliver the health and economic benefits of clean energy to people across the Commonwealth,” said MassCEC CEO Jennifer Daloisio. “MassCEC is proud to support this decarbonization program in Cambridge, which will help improve the health and wellness of residents, increase energy efficiency and clean energy solutions, and enable both the city and state to achieve carbon neutrality goals.”

Informational Sessions for Cambridge Building Owners
The City of Cambridge and BlocPower will be hosting two informational meetings for Cambridge building owners to learn more about the benefits of electrification and available incentives, including a “lunch and learn” in the 2nd Floor Conference Room of 344 Broadway (City Hall Annex) on Sept. 13 at Noon, and a virtual session on Sept. 18 at 6:30pm. Seating at the lunch and learn event is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please RSVP for either event by visiting this page.

For more information, building owners can visit the Cambridge BlocPower Pilot website, call the Cambridge Energy Helpline at 617-430-6230, or email climate@cambridgema.gov.

Page was posted on 9/7/2023 10:37 AM
Page was last modified on 9/25/2023 12:44 PM
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