MA Energy Policy

Massachusetts has made an historic shift toward clean energy by passing clean energy standards that are driving innovation, attracting investment, opening new businesses, and creating jobs.

Building Energy Efficiency Standards

Understanding that buildings account for approximately 40% of all energy use, Massachusetts’ officials have adopted standards to make buildings more efficient. As a result of energy efficiency policies, companies enjoy a clear competitive advantage. They can create more goods and services using less energy and they pay lower total energy bills. The money saved on energy bills can be reinvested back into growing businesses, buying new equipment, and hiring more people.

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Green Communities Act

The Green Communities Act established energy efficiency as the state’s first-priority fuel. By working with utilities to take advantage of the incentives GCA has created, businesses large and small are spending less on energy, and boosting the bottom line. After three years, the Act is creating jobs and making Massachusetts more competitive by delivering important economic, energy and environmental benefits.

Update on the 2012 Massachusetts “Energy Bill”

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Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative requires major power producers to buy allowances at auction for each ton of carbon dioxide they emit. In three years, RGGI added economic value worth more than $1.6 billion (or nearly $33 per person) to the region. RGGI generates greater economic growth in every one of the 10 states that participate in RGGI than would occur without a carbon price.

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The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA)

The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) is one of the first laws in the nation to confront climate change on a comprehensive basis. Signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick in August of 2008, the Act requires the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), other state agencies, and the public to design and implement a statewide framework to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By 2020, levels must be 25% lower than they were in 1990. By 2050, greenhouse gas emissions are required to be 80% lower than the level of emissions that were present in Massachusetts in 1990. The GWSA is designed to attract clean energy businesses and jobs, reduce energy costs, and increase the energy independence of Massachusetts by initiating improvements to transportation, buildings and new and cleaner energy supplies.

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The Green Jobs Act of 2008

The Green Jobs Act was passed into law in 2008 by Governor Deval Patrick. The act works to accelerate the growth of clean energy jobs and fund workforce training programs to prepare workers for these jobs. There are two major components of the Green Jobs Act. First is that it led to the creation of The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC), which is dedicated to job creation and economic development in the clean energy sector. Secondly, the Green Jobs Act established the Alternative and Clean Energy Trust Fund, to stimulate growth of the state’s clean energy economy.

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Clean Fuels Standard

The Clean Fuels Standard is a proposed performance standard for transportation fuels. A clean fuels standard could result in a more diverse and lower carbon fuel mix that includes advanced renewable fuels, electricity and natural gas in addition to traditional fuel sources. Since nearly all of the alternatives to gasoline and diesel are domestically produced, a clean fuels standard could provide important energy security benefits in the New England and Mid-Atlantic regions.

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