12 August 2019 Passive House Massachusetts legislates incentive path to PH

12 August 2019 by Jason Quinn
I’m originally from Massachusetts (it’s the state with Boston on the east coast of the USA) and have spent some time with the Passive House community there back in 2012 so it it good to see the changes they are shaping. To give those of us in NZ scale Massachusetts is about twice the population of NZ.
Good news is they are continuing the path to Passive House performance level there and recently announced that the state will fund Passive House training and incentives.
Passive House Massachusetts, Massachusetts Climate Action Network (MCAN), and a whole bunch of partners have pushed for this for years.
“The approved plan includes funding for Passive House training for contractors and consultants, Passive House pilot projects and data benchmarking, and green design charrettes, and includes a stated goal of doubling the number of trained and certified Passive House professionals within Massachusetts over the next three years.
Specifically, the plan states that they will develop Passive House offerings including incentives to mitigate soft costs to help provide financial certainty early in projects, including an early modeling subsidy, design team incentives, design charrette incentives, and a certification subsidy. These programs will cover both residential and commercial projects. How exactly this will work is still under development and the Program Administrators have until July 1st (2019) to implement the new incentive programs.”
You can view the plan and all the details at Massachusetts Energy Efficiency Advisory Council (EEAC): http://ma-eeac.org/plans-updates/
Reading through this it is a solid set of incentives covering from cost share for software and training through design charrettes, certification subsidies and performance incentives.
“To ensure early intervention and guarantee more design teams and owners are ready to
make a commitment to Passive House projects, the Program Administrators plan to nearly double the number of trained and certified Passive House professionals across the state over the next three years, with a target of adding approximately 90 Passive House professionals. As part of this workforce development effort, the Program Administrators will offer subsidized trainings and certifications to develop the expertise needed to achieve certified buildings, including Certified Passive House Consultant (“CPHC”), Certified Passive House Designer/Consultant, Certified Passive House Builder, Certified Passive House Tradesperson (“CPHT-E”, “CPHT-MBS”), Rater and Verifier certifications. The Program Administrators will require a small cost share from participants for these trainings and certifications. Additionally, the Program Administrators will provide Passive House outreach and education to other project stakeholders, such as architects and lenders, and provide hands-on building science technical trainings to installation contractors to ensure that all involved in a Passive House project have the information and skills necessary to achieve Passive House certification.
The Program Administrators also plan to provide additional Passive House project support and incentives including:
• An early modeling subsidy for building owners to motivate design teams, architects
and engineers, to take the time to integrate energy efficiency into building plans from
the start.
• Support and incentives for architects and design teams to bring building owners,
architects, and design teams to the table early to consider efficiency as integral to the
project design and provide independent review of the strategies through
• Certification incentives for owners to ensure follow-through on Passive House
• $/kWh and $/therm performance incentives for owners to motivate the inclusion of
more efficiency into the design. The more energy saved, the more the building owner
is incentivized.  “
The numbers approved so far are:
50% of Passive House training and certification fees (both through PHI and PHIUS)
For Multifamily buildings 4+ stories tall and with more than 5 units.
Feasibility study/costs: $7,750 NZD
Energy Modeling: 75% of energy modeling costs to $31,000 NZD
Performance Incentive paid after certification versus code baseline:
Certification: $3900/unit for PHIUS or PHI certification

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