Mass Solar Connect Program Helps Massachusetts Consumers Shop Around
By Joseph Bebon
July 7, 2017
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The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) recently partnered with nonprofit Mass Energy Consumers Alliance (Mass Energy) and Boston-based EnergySage to administer the 2017 Mass Solar Connect program, which aims to educate and help consumers go solar and level the playing field between large and small solar installers.
Building off the success of the original program that wrapped up in late 2015, the 2017 Mass Solar Connect initiative offers a simplified and trustworthy solar shopping experience, according to EnergySage. By leveraging an online solar marketplace powered by EnergySage, the Mass Solar Connect platform allows solar shoppers to compare quotes online from up to seven local solar installers, each of which has been vetted by both MassCEC and EnergySage. The quotes have standardized assumptions when calculating the financial benefits, offering an apples-to-apples comparison. The shopper retains control over how much contact information, if any, they chose to share with installers. The customer experience can be completed entirely online through the platform, which is now live.
“Mass Energy is thrilled to be partnering with the MassCEC and EnergySage on a new Mass Solar Connect program,” says Erin Taylor, marketing and membership director at nonprofit Mass Energy. “Two years ago, we were able to help 261 Massachusetts homeowners install rooftop solar affordably.”
“The solar energy industry has matured rapidly over the last few years, and Massachusetts continues to make the process of adopting solar as transparent, easy and affordable for its residents as possible,” says Tess O’Brien, vice president of strategy partnerships at EnergySage. “Mass Solar Connect builds on the success of the original program by empowering solar shoppers with an even more efficient way to explore their solar energy options.”
“Our partnerships with nonprofit groups like MassEnergy and marketplace provider EnergySage help spur the adoption of renewable energy across Massachusetts and drive down the associated costs of installation,” said MassCEC CEO Stephen Pike. “Through these key partnerships, the commonwealth is increasing access to solar energy for its residents while diversifying the state’s clean energy portfolio.”
“Currently, most people are only exposed to the information that reaches them from the solar companies with the biggest marketing budgets,” adds Taylor. “This program will allow people to shop more locally and benefit from greater competition.”
With a Mass Solar Loan, designed by the state to make solar accessible to all Massachusetts homeowners regardless of income levels, financing solar ownership has become feasible for households that might not have been able to afford it in the past, according to EnergySage.
Mass Solar Connect is targeted at Mass Energy members but is open to anyone who wants to shop for solar for a property in Massachusetts, including commercial properties. EnergySage says more than 200 households have already registered their homes.