FAQs

To qualify, your nonprofit must:
– Own and occupy the building(s) you want upgraded. If your nonprofit owns more than 1 building, you can submit your buildings as a portfolio.
– Be located in Boston, Cambridge, Quincy or Salem.
– Have annual energy bills (heat + electricity) over $15,000 total for its building(s).
– Join WegoWise (an online energy-monitoring site).  WegoWise will verify savings and can spot future problems with your building’s systems before – they become catastrophic. Through our program, WegoWise is free.
– Send five emails to local businesses in your community to explain some of the state’s energy efficiency programs.  The goal of our program is to help the whole community become more environmentally and economically sustainable. 

How do we define a “nonprofit?”
If your organization is registered as a nonprofit with the state, that’s fine. It doesn’t have to be a federally recognized 501(c)3.  A church, preschool, community center, dance space, shelter, foundation, or mosque are all good examples of nonprofits.

How do you know for certain if your nonprofit has a high energy use for its size?
Are you an energy hog will tell you if your building is likely to have high energy use. If you want to be certain your nonprofit is an energy hog, then locate 1 heating and 1 recent electrical bill for your building(s) and contact us (516 900 HEET or info@helpforhogs.org).  We will ask you a few questions and calculate your energy use.

Can your nonprofit get an upgrade for more than one building?
Oh yes. At least one building must be in Boston, Cambridge, Quincy or Salem. The total portfolios of buildings you enroll must have an annual energy bill over $15,000.

What is WegoWise?
WegoWise (an online energy-benchmarking and tracking system) energy use graph final_updatedcan help you quantify your savings and can help you spot future problems with your plumbing or heating systems before those problems become catastrophic. Through our program, WegoWise is free and HEET staff will help you sign up.  Wegowise will automatically download all your energy use data from the utility each month and then graph it for you (while controlling for how cold the weather is), allowing you and HEET to verify your energy savings.

Is there a deadline?
Yes. Your nonprofit should be qualified for the program by March 31st, 2015 to receive an upgrade by the next winter. After that, you have until June 30th, 2015 to decide if you want to get the upgrade through the program. This gives you time to get consensus in your organization to get the upgrade.

What type of outreach does your nonprofit have to provide?
You have to send five emails to small businesses in your community to explain energy efficiency rebates and services available through Mass Save. The outreach will help your community save money and energy and fight climate change.

Why Boston, Cambridge, Quincy or Salem?
We got funding and support to work in these municipalities. If you have other municipalities you’d like us to work in, contact us.  We hope to scale the program up in 2016.

What is HEET?
HEET is an award-winning nonprofit organization that helps other nonprofits lower their energy use and bills. We are primarily funded by grants.  If your nonprofit doesn’t qualify for the program, HEET will advise you about other available options to lower your energy bills and use.

FINANCING FACTS

Will there be an upfront cost for your nonprofit?
No. Some combination of Mass Save and/or RENEW will pay the upfront cost for the upgrade.  If your nonprofit qualifies for both, you can choose between the two.  Under certain conditions, you will have to prove your nonprofit is financially stable.

Where does Mass Save’s money come from?
Mass Save is funded by an energy-efficiency surcharge on gas and electricity bills in Massachusetts. The funds goes into a large pot of money.  You’ve been paying this surcharge for years.  You might as well use the service.  Mass Save can potentially provide on-bill financing to your nonprofit at 0% interest for up to three years.

What is RENEW?
RENEW is an energy efficiency developer. They develop and fund energy-efficient projects in buildings. If you want to extend the payments for the upgrade longer than Mass Save’s offer, the developer will finance the upgrade and you can pay the cost back over a longer period of time allowing you to get more of the energy savings now.  RENEW was selected for this project through a competitive process with an advisory panel.

Where does RENEW get its money?
Boston Impact Initiative is financing this work.  Boston Impact Initiative is a social impact investor that invests to create systemic shifts in opportunities in urban communities.

How does RENEW get paid back?
RENEW gets paid back through the energy bill savings. The larger the energy savings, the more you and RENEW save. RENEW designs the projects to give you the option of keeping the project off the balance sheet. If your nonprofit chose to have RENEW pay for the upgrade, you would pay RENEW for energy savings, an operating expense.

What is the process for participating?

  • Qualify for the program:
  1. Share your energy bills with HEET to confirm your building(s) is/are a likely site.
  2. If your building(s) look(s) like an energy hog, then HEET or one of Mass Save’s contractors will need to walk through your building(s) for an energy assessment.
  3. If your building needs energy efficiency work, HEET will explain what the options are for getting the performed and paid for (either through Mass Save or through RENEW).
  • You and your organization have until June 30th 2015 to choose which option you want.  This gives you time to get consensus and still get the energy upgrade before the cold weather hits.
  • Get the upgrade and start saving money.

PARTNERS

HEET is an award-winning community-based nonprofit, we work to make the world a greener place to live with stronger nonprofits that can afford to deliver more community services. We have won an EPA Regional Merit Award for our work and have partnered with the City of Boston and Cambridge on past programs.

NATIONAL GRID is an international electricity and gas company and one of the largest investor-owned energy companies in the world. It plays a vital role in providing energy to millions of customers across the northeastern U.S. and Great Britain in an efficient, reliable and safe manner.

Black Ministerial Alliance of Greater Boston (BMA) is an alliance of over 80 faith-based and community-based organizations with a 40+ year history of serving the Black community in Boston. The BMA’s mission is to provide spiritual nurture for clergy, and advocacy and program services for the larger Black community.

Our implementation partner is:

RENEW is an energy efficiency and on-site clean energy development and finance company with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. Renew Energy Partners was selected for participation in Help for Houses of Worship using a competitive process and evaluated by an Advisory Panel.  They offer deep expertise in deep energy retrofit analysis and optimization, energy efficiency programs, project management and implementation, and energy finance solutions.

BOSTON IMPACT INITIATIVE is an impact investing fund that partners with businesses and organizations throughout our city to create systemic shifts in opportunities for urban communities. They are committed to creating a better future for those communities who have been impacted by racial, social and economic inequality. Boston Impact Initiative is providing the funding through RENEW to make the energy improvements made to nonprofits’ buildings.

Contact us to sign up or ask questions:
516 900 HEET
info@helpforHogs.org


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