Weatherization and energy efficiency contractors in Massachusetts are protesting changes to a state-wide energy efficiency program they say is sending potential customers to a preferred vendor, according to a report in the Boston Globe.
The complaints center around a program known as MassSAVE, which provides customers rebates when they improve the energy efficiency of their home or business.
Previously, many customers initially learned about MassSAVE through their contractors. The contractors would then assist the customer in applying for rebates for the efficiency improvements they had made. Customers are now required to go through MassSAVE directly for an energy audit prior to receiving the rebates.
The problem is that MassSAVE has itself outsourced the job of responding to customer calls for an audit, in some areas, to Conservation Services, itself a contracting firm. Conservation Services then assigns the work for the audit to either itself or another firm.
Many contractors say that, as a result, Conservation Services is doing the lion’s share of the efficiency improvements that come from the audit work.
Contractors voiced their opposition to the current policy at a meeting of Massachusetts’ Energy Efficiency Advisory Council, and said they are hopeful the policy will be changed.
Some contractors, however, said the new policy is simpler for customers to use and results in higher energy efficiencies than the previous system.