October 5, 2017

Contact: Catherine Welker:, (413)-584-1300 x122

HCG is excited to announce a new grant awarded by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) through the Commonwealth Solar Hot Water program.  The $141,875 grant will fund three rounds of regional solar thermal outreach campaigns.  After a vigorous vetting process, HCG has been chosen to lead the pilot campaign expected to run from Fall 2017 into the first quarter of 2018, with campaigns in the Greater Boston area led by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Merrimack Planning Commission following later in 2018.

With support from Meister Consultants Group (MCG), a Boston-based sustainability consulting firm, HCG will design and implement community outreach, education, and group purchasing campaigns across Western Massachusetts to accelerate the adoption of small-scale solar hot water systems.

“This is a great opportunity for our community,” says Todd Ford, executive director, HCG.  “HCG has been on the forefront of local renewable energy projects, and we look forward to expanding into the solar thermal market.”

HCG’s campaign will be based on the successful Solarize Mass model, a grassroots outreach and education campaign model supported by MassCEC since 2011.  The campaign will seek to educate consumers on the benefits of a mature, well-established renewable energy technology that can help them save money on energy while reducing their carbon footprint.  In addition, it connects interested consumers with one or more solar hot water installers selected through a competitive process for their ability to provide high-quality installations and top-notch customer service at a special program-only discount.  Homeowners and small businesses across Western and Central Massachusetts will be eligible to participate and receive this program offer.

“HCG is the perfect choice to lead this pilot program,” says Chad Laurent, vice president and general counsel, MCG.  “HCG has long-standing relationships with dozens of cities and towns, and years of experience bringing cheaper and cleaner energy to residents and businesses across Western Massachusetts.”

The communities in Western Massachusetts are among the most suitable in the state for solar hot water: homes and businesses using oil, propane, or electricity for water heating are well-positioned to save money and take advantage of the thousands of dollars in state and federal incentives available for solar hot water systems. Moreover, residents in Western and Central Massachusetts have enthusiastically promoted 25 of the state’s Solarize Mass campaigns, which have supported the installation of nearly 1,000 solar electric systems.

HCG will host a regional planning workshop in the coming month. If you think your community would be interested in participating in organizing the campaign and getting the word out, please contact HCG.

About us

HCG supports communities by empowering local, sustainable and efficient economies.  The organization helps cities and towns, schools, nonprofits and businesses get the most value by pooling their buying power.  HCG’s Hampshire Power provides electricity services, including green and locally produced electricity.  The HCG Purchasing Co-op makes it easy for towns, cities, schools and nonprofits to save money, time and effort on major and everyday purchases.  And HCG supports communities with its own, uniquely effective service organizations: RSVP and Tobacco Free Community Partnership.  Every cent HCG earns goes back to supporting the communities of Western Massachusetts. HCG is funded by its own revenue.

MassCEC is a publicly-funded agency dedicated to accelerating the success of clean energy technologies, companies and projects in Massachusetts – while creating high-quality jobs and long-term economic growth for the people of Massachusetts.

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