Mass Power Forward Summary of Climate Bill

Offshore Wind

  • Establishes a Massachusetts Offshore Wind Industry Investment Program, administered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), consisting of annual tax incentives, grants, loans, and other investments
  • Creates the Massachusetts Offshore Wind Industry Investment Trust Fund to promote the manufacture of domestic supply chain components of the offshore wind industry; stimulate increased financing for permanent manufacturing facilities; advance clean energy research, technology, and innovation; and prepare individuals for offshore wind careers by supporting workforce training
  • Accepted Governor’s Amendment: Removes the price cap for new offshore wind projects, which requires each new project to offer power at a lower price than its predecessor
  • Gives preference to offshore wind bids from companies that invest in local manufacturing, provide employment opportunities for underrepresented populations, adopt good labor practices, and mitigate environmental impacts, and takes utilities out of the bid selection process. 
  • Prioritizes projects that meaningfully consult local stakeholders, including fishing communities and federally and state recognized tribes. 
  • Establishes a commercial fisheries commission to provide input on best practices for avoiding, minimizing, and mitigating impacts to wildlife related to offshore wind

Solar Energy

  • Allows agricultural and horticultural land to be used to site solar panels and establishes a commission to study the deployment of these “dual use sites” while minimizing ecosystem and agricultural impact
  • Removes net metering constraints on small solar arrays (up to 25kw) and removes a loophole preventing medium-sized arrays on multiple land parcels, like some governmental buildings, from receiving incentives.
  • Accepted Governor’s amendment: Added and strengthened requirements for pollinator-friendly provisions on solar installations that disturb natural habitat 

Other Renewable Energy Measures

  • Retained: Prevents wood-burning biomass power plants from qualifying for renewable energy incentives in the Renewable Portfolio Standard Program but, lamentably, does not exclude it from other incentive programs 
  • Directs a study of the advantages and disadvantages of a regional or multi-state clean energy market
  • Enhances regional collaboration by allowing the Commonwealth to coordinate with nearby states on clean energy solicitation and transmission

Shifting Utilities Away from Fossil Fuels

  • Requires utility companies to proactively and regularly submit plans to upgrade the transmission and distribution grid, as overseen by a new grid modernization advisory council (the council lacks the public input requirements in the Senate plan) to improve reliability and resilience and accommodate the shift to renewables
  • Reduces incentives for fossil fuels by limiting ratepayer-funded efficiency programs from incentivizing fossil fuel equipment starting in 2025 
  • Retained: Creates a working group to develop recommendations for regulatory and legislative changes necessary to align our pipeline replacement program (GSEP) with the state’s climate goals
  • Requires additional scrutiny of the utility-controlled investigation into the “future of gas” 
  • Paves the way for expanded use of renewable thermal energy, including geothermal networks


  • Ensures clean energy workforce development programs include workers in impacted and disadvantaged communities, including federally and state recognized tribes
  • Expands and develops workforce development programs in clean energy, particularly wind


  • Requires an assessment of K-12 schools with an eye toward improving efficiency, air quality
  • Allows 10 municipalities to pilot fossil-free new and major renovations, but with specifications that exclude life science labs and health care facilities, and requires any participating community to (a) meet the 10% affordable housing target set by state law (chapter 40B) or (b) have approved a zoning ordinance permitting multi-family housing by-right in at least one area. Accepted Governor’s addition: Hospitals were added as an exception in the final bill. Also added were requirements that any rules promulgated about the pilot be finished no later than July 2023.
  • Requires that large buildings (20,000 sq. ft. and larger, more expansive than the Senate’s original 25,000 sq. ft. and larger) report their energy usage annually, and allows only Boston and Cambridge to set their own building energy reporting requirements (as opposed to allowing any city/town to do so, as in the Senate bill)
  • Increases public accountability and reporting requirements to ensure utilities are providing efficiency services to low-income ratepayers and households. Amended: clarification that these will begin with the new 2025 Mass Save 3-year plan.
  • Accepted Governor’s addition: Creates a pilot program for whole home building retrofits in low and moderate income buildings, to be started by July 2023,  and to be reported on by August 2026 (earlier than the Governor proposed)


  • Requires all new MBTA bus purchases to be electric by 2030 and the entire  bus fleet to be all-electric by 2040. Prioritizes deployment on routes that go through underserved communities.
  • Requires MBTA to factor greenhouse gas emissions, climate change, and environmental resiliency into its capital planning processes.  
  • Requires MasDOT to provide Regional Transportation Authorities (RTAs) with technical and funding assistance to electrify their fleet.
  • Accepted Governor’s addition: Directs MassDOT (NEW) in collaboration with DESE and DOER to study the opportunities and challenges ahead for electrifying school bus fleets.
  • Increases the MOR-EV rebate by $1000 (to $3500) for the purchase or lease of new and used  electric passenger cars and light duty trucks less than $55,000. 
  • Offers an additional $1500 MOR-EV rebate for low-income individuals 
  • Provides MOR-EV rebates of not less than $4500 for medium and heavy duty electric vehicles 
  • Offers an additional $1000 for those trading in their internal combustion engine vehicle 
  • Authorizes MOR-EV program to offer rebate at point-of-sale and directs creation of a new outreach program for underserved and low-income communities, as well as communities with high proportions of high-emission vehicles. 
  • Retained: Mandates  all new passenger cars and light-duty trucks sold in the state be zero-emission  starting 2035 (rejected Governor’s amendment)
  • Creates an Electric Vehicle Adoption Incentive Trust Fund
  • Modified language: Requires DPU to promulgate vehicle electrification and GHG emission regulations for transportation network companies (TNC). Requires TNCs to submit biennial reports on progress. Calls for negative impacts of the program to be minimized for drivers that have an annual median household income of not more than 65% of the statewide annual median household income. (NEW).
  • Requires DOER  to provide MOR-EV program data, including data on participation on low-and moderate-income households, for the previous calendar year by June 30th of each year to MassDOT. Cost-effectiveness of MOR-EV program to be reviewed every 3 years.  
  • Instructs MassCEC to develop a guide and website detailing the costs and availability of electric vehicles.
  • Accepted Governor’s amendment:Creates an  interagency coordinating Council to develop and implement a  plan for deploying EV charging infrastructure in an equitable and accessible manner. The 11 member Council will include the Chairs of the TUE Committee but they will serve as non-voting members on any spending matter (NEW).
  • Establishes a Charging Infrastructure Deployment Fund 
  • Removed: Provision requiring distribution companies to submit proposals for off-peak rebates for EV charging 
  • Requires distribution companies to submit proposals for time-of-use rates for charging EVs
  • Requires MassDOT to install EV charging stations at all service plazas on the MA Turnpike, at least five commuter rail stations, at least five subway stations, and at least one ferry terminal.
  • Rejected Governor’s amendment allocating ARPA funding of $42M for programs which support clean transportation and $2M to expand the electric vehicle rapid charging infrastructure at Logan Airport