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Certification of Mass Save installers

woobagooba
woobagooba Member Posts: 168
Today I learned from Mass Save that my new ducted Mitsubishi heat pump install will not qualify for any rebate because my installer is not on their approved list. Town had previously been offering these rebates through their muni electric but this year National Grid gas (!?) was paying the heat pump rebates. Weird.

Anyway. I am curious. What is the Mass Save process and costs to become an approved installer?

Cheers

Comments

  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,620
    That must be something new. When I was in business a few years back all you needed to do was get a permit, have it inspected and send in the documentation.

    Maybe some other MA contractors will chime in. @GW , @Charlie from wmass , @New England SteamWorks
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,620
    edited August 17
    here is the form. I still think any licensed contractor that follows the regs. can do it

    It says they "urge you" to use a MA save contractor. don't think they can make you
  • woobagooba
    woobagooba Member Posts: 168
    Thanks Ed. I too noticed this language. I will go through the process and hope for the best.

    I am still curious though, what amount of time and expense is required of an installer trying to get listed with Mass Save?
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 326
    The way I read step 2 "Work with a Mass Save® heat pump installer" makes it sound like they require you to use a mass save contractor, the wording could definitely use some changing though. They "urge you to work closely with a mass save contractor" it certainly sounds like they require the contractor to be on the list, the "urge" is used in this case to "work closely" so its not required that you work closely with them, that is just an "urge" but they do require the contractor be a "mass save contractor".

    we have many different rebates in Michigan, there are a couple that require the contractor to be on their approved list. Generally the requirements on the contractors end (again this is in MI) are fairly minimal. They have a meeting with the people who run the rebates, sign a few forms, and get on the list. From my experience the primary thing the rebate companies are concerned with is making sure the contractor understands what is required of them on an invoice, and the proper filing of paperwork permits etc.

    Mass save has a page discussing contractors getting on the list here
    https://www.masssave.com/en/learn/partners/heat-pump-installer-network

    If I were you I would just call them, the wording seems a bit too vague to not at least try to get the rebates, or to get your contractor on the list and maybe you can file the rebates after. Generally it is in the rebate sponsors best interest to be lenient on these things. I am curious what you find out
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,620
    I seriously doubt that a state can require you to use an approved contractor. They can require licensing and insurance.

    How can a state dictate to you what contractor you must use?
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,620
    @woobagooba

    I would call ma save and find out the problem. if the paperwork permit etc was submitted properly and the contractor is licensed and insured the rebate should be approved.
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 326
    edited August 17
    Mass Save is run by EFI which is a private company. I don't think this would be a case of the state dictating anything as this is a private company. That being said their website also has a page about air source heat pump rebates, in which the only contractor requirement is that they be licensed. Either way it is in the rebate providers best interest to allow more rebates, as it shows a greater therm reduction which is usually how they get paid from the utility companies
  • woobagooba
    woobagooba Member Posts: 168
    Scheduled the required home inspection today. They again told me I must work with a contractor from their approved list. I write technical specs for a living, "urge" is not a MUST requirement. Lets see how this goes.

    @ GGross, please send the link to the EFI text you mentioned. Cheers
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 326
    Middle of the page give or take they have a contact there, I was snooping around trying to find who the parent company is, I have a ton of experience with other rebate companies, as I said before I was surprised there was an entire for profit industry in the processing of efficiency rebates.

    https://www.masssave.com/en/saving/residential-rebates/air-source-heat-pumps

    "For more information about program details and the rebates offered on qualified equipment, call 1-800-232-0672 or email [email protected]"

    https://www.efi.org/

    "About EFI
    Since 1982 EFI has been helping people and organizations purchase quality conservation products at affordable prices. EFI provides incentive fulfillment services to utility clients throughout the US. For over 30 years we have been delivering innovative, high-quality programs that provide real, measurable savings. Upstream, Midstream, or Downstream EFI can help you save."

    I still think if you re-read that section where they use the word "urge" in it's entirety you will see the first statement of step 2 says "Work with a Mass Save® heat pump installer" The word Urge is used in regards to working closely with that contractor to make sure the system meets your homes needs, its confusing, so defer to the only clear language used which is the first line in bold text.

    I would add.... That more often than not the rebate companies themselves do not know their own rules very well. I am in wholesale and process more rebates than you can imagine (many are switching to going through the contractor now), it is incredibly frustrating as the contractors and the end user often do not understand the rebate programs, then you add in that the people answering the hotline are wrong at least half the time and you see its a bit of a cluster. More than once I have had to explain to the people on the hotline that my signed contract directly contradicts what they are telling end users, or contractors, after a bit usually a program director will have to step in to correct the error


  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 19,907

    I seriously doubt that a state can require you to use an approved contractor. They can require licensing and insurance.

    How can a state dictate to you what contractor you must use?

    It ain't right, @EBEBRATT-Ed , but the State can, and often does, require -- in one way or another -- that a contractor be on a preapproved list to bid on a job; this requirement is no different.
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,620
    @Jamie Hall

    I would agree with you IF this was public bid and public money. It's not. I don't think they can dictate to a private property owner what contractor they must use...or be on an approved list. License, insurance and permit is all they used to require.
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,579
    Yes they’ve been saying this would be coming for some time. MassSave isn’t a government agency- nothing to do with code enforcement. It’s a collection of all the major utilities. So if you want MassSaves rebates or 0% loan you kinda have to follow their rules. It’s clear they are trying hard to keep the bar raised 

    heat pumps are all the rage this year. In past years I’d be booked 2 or 3 weeks at the beginning of summer. Now we are booked 2 or 3 months. This new $10,000 rebate is making the phone ring 

    all you need is to partake in their trainings, I think. I’ve been a MassSave hvac contractor for many years. Actually, when the program first rolled out, the program was called CoolSmart. I was either the first or one of the first 3 contractors is MA to be “QIV” certified (quality installation verification). We had Palm Pilots back in the day that collected data on an ac start up- and we uploaded the date here and there. That was 17 or 18 years ago. 


    Gary 
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    GGross
  • GGross
    GGross Member Posts: 326

    @Jamie Hall

    I would agree with you IF this was public bid and public money. It's not. I don't think they can dictate to a private property owner what contractor they must use...or be on an approved list. License, insurance and permit is all they used to require.

    This is not a state run program
  • woobagooba
    woobagooba Member Posts: 168
    @GW. What time commitment (required training) and costs are required to get an installer on the Mass Save certified list?
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,579
    There are no costs, but I have to watch these training videos, which is hard sometimes. I spend an hour watching a video and I might pick up a small tip  here and there. 90 something % is stuff I already know

    Example, MassSave wants all the heat pumps off the ground 18 inches this year. While that’s not too uncommon for minisplits, it’s pretty funny looking for central systems. That’s just an example, what I learned in the videos.

    Also, in tall rooms, we used to install the wall units up pretty high. This year, they’re saying they don’t want them higher than 8 feet, or something along those lines I can’t remember.

     I have a PDF stored on my desktop, with little nuanced things for 2022

    Also, 2022, dual fuel, propane systems need to switch at 15°, or colder. Natural gas and oil is 30°. Last year and years prior it was 40° (Or colder) for everything.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    GGrosswoobagooba
  • EBEBRATT-Ed
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 12,620
    Anything overhead is considered "unconditioned space" because cold air drops. The reason they want the mini-split height at 8' is because the air temp above 8' does not matter unless you climb a ladder to feel it.
    The hotter air above also acts as an insulator
  • mattmia2
    mattmia2 Member Posts: 6,591
    Note that most videos have a setting that allows you to play them at a faster speed usually up to 2x and if the video player they use in their web pages does not there is a plugin for chrome that will do it.
    woobagoobaGW
  • GW
    GW Member Posts: 4,579
    Yes Ed, all these jacked up wall units we did in the past where mainly for air-conditioning. I’m completely fine with leaving the 10 or 12 foot ladder at the shop anyways.
    Gary Wilson
    Wilson Services, Inc
    Northampton, MA
    [email protected]
    GGross