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Massachusetts Governor Signs Law Promoting Use of Renewable Energy Sources in Building or Cooling Systems

Gov. Deval Patrick has signed into law a bill that will promote the research, development and use of environmentally conscious technologies by awarding alternative energy credits to any building or cooling system that uses renewable energy sources.

Starting Jan. 1, 2015, The Renewable Thermal Energy Act (S. 2214) will provide financial incentives for several thermal renewable energy heating and cooling alternatives, including geothermal and air-source heat pumps, solar heating, and bio fuels such as wood pellets, wood chips, renewable bio-oils, or renewable natural gas. By awarding credits to these alternative energy technologies, S. 2214 also provides a financial incentive to invest in the advancement of these technologies. Additionally, the law supplies a measurement of system efficiencies that will provide tangible metrics of actual performance, an extremely valuable mechanism to further efforts in promoting renewability, efficiency and environmental benefits of alternative energy.

A copy of the legislation may be found at malegislature.gov/Bills/188/Senate/S2214.

Along with its positive impact on the environment through lower carbon emissions, The Renewable Thermal Energy Act is expected to positively influence the state's economy. Businesses and homes that install technology for alternative energy will reduce energy costs, consequently saving money for consumers and utilities. Moreover, an instituted market incentive for the advancement of biofuel technologies also supports the potential for more production and manufacturing jobs to be created, as some of the advanced biofuel technologies could be sustainably produced within the state.

The International Association of Plumbing and Mechanical Officials (IAPMO®) was an early supporter of S. 2214, which represents a tremendous step forward in promoting green alternatives and serves as a noteworthy example of how state lawmakers can make renewables and green alternatives a priority in their state.

"It is wonderful to see lawmakers thinking outside the box to incentivize proven, safe and reliable renewable technologies," said Dain Hansen, vice president of Government Relations for The IAPMO Group. "It is our hope other states will take note of what Massachusetts has accomplished and replicate similar laws nationwide."

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