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A complete guide to Mass Save’s massive heat pump rebates

If you live in Massachusetts, there’s a good chance you’re eligible for a huge rebate on a heat pump—a super-efficient, all-in-one heating and cooling system for your home. (They’re also often called mini splits.) Here’s what you need to know.


Key takeaways

  1. Air-source heat pumps are eligible for up to a rebate of up to $10,000 for a whole-home system, or $1,500 per ton for a partial-home setup. (Some low-income households could be eligible for up to $16,000.)

  2. You must live in Massachusetts, and must be a customer of Berkshire Gas, Cape Light Compact, Eversource, Liberty Utilities, National Grid, or Unitil.

  3. Only approved heat pumps, installed by by Mass Save-qualified contractors, are eligible. In our experience, eligible contractors are glad to help you navigate the process, and even offer to handle the necessary paperwork.

  4. You’ll also need to have had a home energy assessment (free through Mass Save), and completed any recommended insulation or air sealing upgrades (heavily discounted through Mass Save).

  5. The full rebates are available if you install a “whole-home” system—that is, it’s meant to handle all of your heating and cooling. Partial rebates are available for partial-home systems.

  6. Qualified ground-source heat pumps can earn a $15,000 rebate (or $25,000 for some low-income households).

  7. Check out the EnergySage Heat Pump Marketplace to receive heat pump quotes from qualified local installers. Want to maximize your savings? Pair your air source heat pumps with solar—which you can also shop for in our Solar Marketplace.

What’s included in this guide?

What heat pump rebates are available in Massachusetts?

Mass Save is a collaborative of several Massachusetts electric and natural gas utilities and energy efficiency service providers. They offer two main types of air-source heat pump rebates available through Mass Save:

Whole-home rebate

If your home meets certain certain weatherization requirements, and you hire a qualified contractor to install a qualified air-source heat pump to heat and cool your entire home, you’re likely eligible for a $10,000 rebate. (According to the fine print on the rebate form, you can keep your existing heating system as long as it’s disconnected and will only be used as a backup.)

You could be eligible for an even larger rebate, depending on your income and other details, which we cover below.

Partial-home rebate

Even if you’re not replacing your entire HVAC system with air source heat pumps, or just using them to heat and cool part of your home, the Mass Save partial-home or supplemental rebate is still an option. This partial-home rebate is based on the size of your heat pump—you’ll get $1,250 back per “ton” of capacity, up to $10,000.

If you’ll be keeping a fossil fuel system (oil, gas, or propane) that you plan to use regularly, you’ll also need to install so-called “integrated controls” to qualify for this rebate. It’s sort of like a thermostat that automatically switches between the heat pump and fossil system at a particular outdoor temperature, usually around 35 degrees F. This helps you maximize the use of a heat pump when it makes the most sense—in milder weather, when it costs much less to run than a fossil system. Pro tip: There is also a Mass Save rebate for adding integrated controls to your home which you can use to save money as well.

Summary of Mass Save air-source heat pump rebates Mass Save Rebate typeRebate amount available Whole-home $10,000 per home Partial-home/ supplemental$1,250 per ton, up to $10,000 Whole-home (income-based: Enhanced Heating & Cooling Equipment Rebates)$16,000 per home

Ground-source heat pumps are also eligible for big rebates—more on that below.

More eligibility details

The complete details are listed on Mass Save’s website, but here’s the quick version.

  1. Location: You must be a residential customer in Massachusetts where Berkshire Gas, Cape Light Compact, Eversource, Liberty Utilities, National Grid, or Unitil is the program sponsor.

  2. Type of home: All rebates are available for homeowners in detached one- to four-unit buildings. Customers in complexes with five or more units, including buildings of one to four units that are part of larger complexes, are not eligible for whole-home rebates but may receive the partial home rebate amounts.

  3. Timeframe: Air source heat pump equipment must be purchased and installed between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023. Mass Save renews this program on an annual basis, so it hasn’t yet been decided whether this program will stay in place for 2024 and beyond. That said, identical rebates were in place throughout 2022.

  4. Weatherization: To qualify for the whole-home, $10,000 rebate, your house needs to meet some basic requirements for insulation and air sealing. According to the program details, your home has “sufficient weatherization” if: it was built in the year 2000 or later; if a free Mass Save home energy assessment finds that you need less than $1,000 worth of recommended upgrades; or if upgrades that were recommended during a home energy assessment in 2012 or later have been performed. This is a smart standard: A little weatherization can save a lot of energy regardless of your HVAC system, and it keeps your home more comfortable. Mass Save offers big subsidies on the kinds of weatherization upgrades that their assessments recommend, and the projects typically pay for themselves through savings on your energy bills within a couple of years.

  5. Contractor: Your air source heat pump equipment must be installed by a contractor participating in the Mass Save Heat Pump Installer Network. More than 1,000 installers are in this network—you should have no trouble finding someone.

  6. Equipment: Air source heat pumps must be listed on the Mass Save air source heat pump qualified product list. The qualifying models tend to be among the highest-performance, highest-efficiency products—and they can all handle our cold winters. If you’re getting a partial-home system, your integrated controller also needs to be on the Mass Save list of qualified products. Of note: Some air-to-water heat pumps are eligible for these rebates.

  7. Financing: Mass Save also has a program called the HEAT Loan, which offers up to a 7-year, zero-interest payment option depending on your utility company and the installer. You can borrow up to $50,000 for the cost of a heat pump (far, far more than a typical system costs) and $25,000 for the costs of weatherization (again, much more than the amounts typically recommended during a home energy assessment).

  8. Form submission: You must completely fill out and sign the rebate form as well as include dated invoices. These must be submitted within 60 days of your heat pump installation. Many contractors will help you with the paperwork, or even handle it in its entirety.

  9. Verification: You might need to get a post-installation verification inspection prior to rebate reimbursement.

Step-by-step guide to claiming Mass Save’s heat pump rebate

Usually your heat pump contractor will help you with submitting the proper rebate documentation, but this can vary depending on who you go with to install your heat pumps. Just ask them or look for a line item on your proposal that states something like: “we will assist the customer with rebate preparation for any equipment we install.”

Here are the steps you’ll need to take before you can claim your heat pump rebate:

1. Get a home energy assessment

The best first step to accessing most Mass Save programs, including rebates and incentives, is to get a home energy assessment, which is free through Mass Save. You can call Mass Save at 1-866-527-7283, and they’ll set up a virtual or on-site assessment. Or, you can reach out directly to one of their qualified home performance contractors, some of which offer online scheduling. You can do this step at any time (even right now!), even if you aren’t planning to get a heat pump installed in the near future.

If you’ve already had a Mass Save home energy assessment, you might not need to have another one. If the assessment happened since 2012, and you can show that you made the weatherization upgrades that were recommended during the assessment, you should be all set. But call Mass Save to confirm what you’ll need to do.

2. Make any necessary weatherization upgrades

During your assessment, the energy specialist will look around for some weather-sealing basics: Is there any insulation in your walls? Or your attic? How about around your ducts? Do the exterior doors have any weather stripping? They’ll write up a list of recommended upgrades, the estimated costs (discounted 75% or more through Mass Save), and the estimated return on investment based on the money you’ll save on your utility bills. Then you can schedule the work with one of Mass Save’s qualified installers.

You can weatherize your home after the heat pump gets installed, if needed. So if it’s a my-furnace-died-and-it’s-February type of situation, you get the heat pump in a hurry, then add the insulation later, before submitting the rebate form. But weatherizing ahead of time will save you money and make your home more comfortable even before you switch to a heat pump, so you might as well get it done ASAP.

3. Find a heat pump contractor near you

To get the heat pump rebate through Mass Save, you’ll need to hire a qualified installer. Ditto if you’re planning to finance the project with the zero percent–interest Mass Save HEAT Loan. The good news: More than 1,000 installers in Massachusetts are on Mass Save’s official list, so you should have no trouble finding a contractor. And most of them are willing to help with the proper paperwork for financing.

Like any major home project, it’s a good idea to get multiple quotes to ensure you’re getting a good price. We have a marketplace for heat pumps here at EnergySage, where installers compete for your business. (Everyone on our platform is also on Mass Save’s list.)

4. Confirm your heat pump equipment is eligible for Mass Save rebates

Not all heat pumps will qualify for the Mass Save rebate. For the most part, only models with very high efficiency ratings and superior cold-weather performance can get the rebate. (Based on wholesale prices, the $10,000 rebate is more than enough to offset the extra costs of installing these high-end models, vs. a cheaper heat pump better suited for mild weather.)

Qualified installers should all know which models to choose, and they’ll tell you on your quote which models they plan to install. But you should double-check their selection on the approved product list here.

5. Install your heat pumps

You’re not eligible for the rebate until you’ve had your heat pumps installed. So usually, you’ll need to pay for the work out of pocket, which could mean waiting for funds from the HEAT Loan to hit your bank account first. (It’s usually one-third to one-half of the cost up front, and then the balance at the time of installation or shortly afterward.) The installer will provide you with an invoice for the work, and then you’ll be ready to complete the next steps, and wait for the rebate to come back to you.

However, there’s a relatively new exception here: It’s possible to designate your rebate to the installer—meaning that the installer will reduce the price that they charge you for the heat pump, in exchange for collecting the rebate directly from Mass Save, with your permission. There are some hoops to jump through, and contractors aren’t obligated to participate. But it’s an option that you could discuss with potential contractors.

6. Complete an online rebate form

Once you’ve installed your heat pumps, gotten your invoice from the contractor, and gathered your paperwork (if necessary) from your weatherization project, it’s time to fill out some forms. Your contractor might be willing to handle some or all of this process for you, so don’t be afraid to ask—it’s a big part of their business these days.

If you’re handling it on your own, the online rebate form is the easiest and quickest method. This form works for heat pump rebates, as well as any other Mass Save rebates for products like like high-efficiency water heaters, qualified thermostats, induction stoves, and more.

You’ll need to enter information about your utility accounts, the details of your new heat pump (which get pretty specific—see the image below), and a few other points.

You’ll need to know some very specific details about your heat pump for the rebate form. Remember: Most contractors are willing to help you figure this stuff out, or even complete the forms for you, so don’t be afraid to ask.

If you’ve installed a partial-home system, you can also claim a rebate on a qualified integrated control system—the part that switches the system back and forth between the heat pump and a fossil-fuel system at a set temperature. The rebate amount is $500 per indoor unit, up to $1,500. See details of the integrated controls covered in the rebate and the online rebate submission form.

You’ll then need to upload your documents; usually this will include weatherization forms, the initial project quote with your contractor’s information, the equipment they installed, and total cost as well as an invoice or documentation noting the installation date and proof of payment.

6. Wait for the rebate

Once you submit your rebate form online, Mass Save indicates you should allow six to eight weeks for your rebate to be processed and mailed as a check, though there could be delays. Mass Save notes that they reserve the right to conduct an on-site verification that the equipment has been installed.

Additional income-based heat pump rebates

If you meet certain income eligibility requirements, you could get an even bigger rebate on your heat pump: As much as $16,000 for whole-home system if you have a moderate income, you live in a 1- to 4-unit building, and you’re replacing an oil, propane, or electric resistance system (not natural gas). Partial-home systems can be eligible for up to an $8,000 rebate. For Cape Light customers in particular, the rebate is slightly different: It’ll cover 80 percent of the costs.

What about rebates for ground-source systems?

Ground-source heat pumps (aka geothermal heat pumps) are also eligible for big rebates through Mass Save. Whole-home systems can qualify for a $15,000 rebate, while partial-home systems can claim $2,000 per ton (up to $15,000). Moderate- and low-income households might also qualify for larger rebates, too. All of the same eligibility requirements that apply to the air-source rebates also apply to ground-source systems—except the list of qualified equipment is different. As long as the ground-source equipment meets Energy Star standards, it’s eligible for the rebate.

Relevant links, forms, and contact info

Mass Save is an incredibly wide-ranging program, with tons of rebates and incentives for everything from water heaters to deep-energy retrofits to energy-efficient home appliances—even battery-powered garden tools. Seriously, give their list of programs a look, because you might be surprised at the breadth of free money that’s available.

And here are some links to some relevant forms and pages on the Mass Save site, to help you navigate your heat pump project.

Forms

  1. Mass Save 2022 Whole-home heat pump verification form

  2. Submit your heat pump rebate claim

  3. Form to print and mail your heat pump rebate claim (note that processing for mailed forms may take longer, so we recommend using the online claim form, if possible)

Mass Save Links

Contact information

The main contact information listed for the Mass Save heat pump rebates program is:

  1. Heat pump program phone: 1-800-232-0672

  2. HEAT Loan and energy assessment phone: 1-866-527-7283

  3. Email: MassSaveRebates@efi.org

Save more by powering your heat pump with solar energy

In Massachusetts, electricity from the grid is some of the most expensive in the entire country, and because of that, heat pumps won’t always save money compared to other types of heating systems.

But when you can run your heat pump with free, clean electricity generated from your own solar panels, you’re looking at enormous savings over time.

Create a free account on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace to quickly get solar quotes, compare offers from qualified, trusted local installers, and speak with an Energy Advisor if you have any questions. You can also get a quick savings estimate using our Solar Calculator.

If you’re looking to install air source heat pumps in your home and want to power them with solar electricity, just note it in your account so potential installers can design a system that will accommodate this addition. Some solar installers can also help you design and price out a heat pump system for your home (or refer you to someone who can).

Note: this article was originally published on June 30, 2022 and has been updated to reflect new Mass Save programs and information.

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