GreenerU helps the MSPCA claim the state’s first alternative energy certificates for large air-source heat pumps

Thanks to help from GreenerU, the MSPCA’s Angell Medical Center in Jamaica Plain is set to receive the first alternative energy certificates for a large air-source heat pump system—one of several ways energy-efficient technologies are sound financial investments. Maybe now is a good time for your school to make the switch.


Starting in 2016, GreenerU made a number of much-needed energy-efficiency upgrades to the MSPCA’s aging HVAC system, including replacing an old steam boiler system with more efficient air-source heat pumps. Now, staff members have the ability to adjust room temperatures to their comfort level, and overall energy use at the Angell Facility is down more than 20%.

Years after securing more than $540,000 in utility incentives for installing the energy efficiency improvements, GreenerU found an opportunity to help one of the nation’s premiere animal hospitals in another way: through Massachusetts’ Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard (APS) program.

The Alternative Energy Portfolio Standard

The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) helps create a clean, affordable, and resilient energy future for the Commonwealth. In addition to programs serving municipalities, greening state-owned buildings, and advancing the renewable energy market, the DOER has an incentive program within the state’s APS that encourages the development of energy-saving technologies.

Similar to Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs), AECs are earned through the installation of energy-saving measures and eligible for sale, typically to retail electric suppliers. These utilities must not only meet the state’s minimum percentage of their output being from clean, renewable energy sources; they must contribute to reducing demand.

AEC eligibility

To qualify, institutions must have had their air-source heat pump (ASHP) system operational on or after January 1, 2015. Only a system’s heating functions can be tracked to be eligible for certificates; thus, when a system is in cooling mode, energy used cannot be applied toward earning AECs.

To capture these credits, a system owner must use electrical metering and system operating data collected in five-minute intervals. Calculations following DOER guidelines are then used to determine the number of credits generated based on heat energy delivered minus electricity used.

Since GreenerU began tracking and measuring AECs for the MSPCA in the fall of 2019, approximately $5,000 worth of AECs have accumulated in a three-month period. AECs first undergo verification before they can be minted and sold through the New England Power Pool (NEPOOL).

Finding financial incentives far and wide

As turnkey energy solutions providers, GreenerU has been involved in finding financial incentives for our clients in multiple states and from multiple sources. For example:

  • GreenerU partnered with Connecticut Green Bank to form Campus Efficiency Now, a program that made funding available for private colleges to fund energy-efficiency measures and see long-term cost savings with no money down. Read more about one beneficiary of that program: the University of New Haven. 
  • We also partnered with MassDevelopment to create a similar program called Mass College Green, which funded projects at five Massachusetts schools; see a case study with Mount Holyoke College that addressed a decades-old boiler economizer problem. We are currently offering an expanded program for all eligible Massachusetts nonprofits called GreenerMass. 
  • GreenerU has negotiated with utility companies to secure more than $4.6 million in incentives over the last ten years. For Dean College in Franklin, Massachusetts, this meant $368,000 in utility incentives for a campus-wide LED lighting project. For Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, we’ve secured $1.7 million. 
  • We are not only a participating contractor with ConEdison, which serves New York City and parts of upstate New York; we also pre-qualified consultants for the Real Time Energy Metering (RTEM) program of NYSERDA, which offers a 30% cost-share incentive to support building energy analysis and controls (up to $300,000 per account).
The bottom line

Don’t let financial challenges get in the way of having a conversation about energy savings opportunities on your campus. GreenerU may be able to help you find opportunities to make sound financial investments in energy-efficiency measures. Contact us today to schedule a conversation.

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