THE REVERE ADVOCATE – FRIDAY, JULY 29, 2022 Page 15 ACT | FROM Page 5 metering to promote residential solar and loosens the so-called single parcel rule to help expand solar on sites where it already exists. In addition to wind and solar power, the bill addresses other innovative sources of clean energy, such as fusion energy and geothermal power. Acknowledging the harmful health and environmental impacts of utility-scale biomass power plant facilities, this legislation removes biomass from the list of energy-generating sources that are allowed to receive certain state incentives for generating clean electricity. To ensure that the Commonwealth has adequate storage systems to accommodate increasing amounts of clean energy that Massachusetts will be adding to its energy portfolio, this bill directs a study of how to optimize the deployment of long-term energy storage systems. Grid readiness The legislation also modernizes Massachusetts’s electrical grid and energy storage infrastructure. It requires utility companies to proactively upgrade the transmission and distribution grid to improve reliability and resilience and accommodate the anticipated signifi cant shift to renewable forms of energy. Green transportation As the transportation sector is the largest source of fuel emissions in Massachusetts, the bill takes steps to encourage the use of electric vehicles, including expanding and codifying the Massachusetts Offers Rebates for Electric Vehicles (MOR-EV) incentive program into statute. Under the bill, the rebate amount will increase by $1,000, to $3,500 for passenger cars and light-duty trucks. Moreover, electric vehicle purchasers who trade in their emission-producing vehicles will be eligible for an additional incentive of $1,000. The program may include a pointof-sale rebate model for individual purchases that off ers consumers savings at the point of purchase or lease. The bill also makes used vehicles eligible for rebates. Further, the bill directs the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) to conduct an outreach campaign to promote awareness about the MOR-EV program among consumers and businesses in underserved and low-income communities, as well as in communities with a large proportion of high-emission vehicles. To expand access to electric vehicle charging stations, this bill convenes an interagency coordinating council to develop and implement a charging infrastructure deployment plan in an equitable and comprehensive manner. The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) would be required to set vehicle electrifi cation and greenhouse gas emission requirements for electric vehicles for transportation network companies. In addition, to ensure that zero-emission vehicle charging remains aff ordable for consumers, the bill requires all electricity companies to submit proposals to DPU for how they will offer reduced electricity rates for consumers who charge their zero-emission vehicles at off -peak times. Finally, the bill takes historic steps to address emissions that come from MBTA bus fleets. Starting in 2030, this bill requires every passenger bus that is purchased or leased by the MBTA to be a zero-emission vehicle. By the end of 2040, the MBTA will be required to operate exclusively zero-emission vehicles. Underserved and low-income communities would be prioritized for the equitable deployment of these zero-emission buses. Building decarbonization To tackle the difficult issue of emissions from the building sector, the bill creates a 10-municipality demonstration project allowing all-electric building construction by local option. Participating municipalities must receive local approval before applying into the demonstration project. The measure has two important provisos: first, each community must meet certain aff ordable housing or multifamily development thresholds; and second, each must exempt life sciences labs and health care facilities from the all-electric requirement. The bill makes targeted enhancements to the Mass Save program, which provides rebates and incentives for owners and renters related to effi cient appliances and other home energy improvements. Under the bill, priority for Mass Save projects will be given to those that maximize net climate, environmental and equity impacts. Beginning in 2025, Mass Save funds will also be limited in most instances from going to any fossil fuel equipment. This bill requires DPU to conduct an adjudicatory proceeding prior to approving any company-specific plan under the DPU’s future of heat proceedings. In addition, the bill requires DPU to convene a stakeholder working group to develop regulatory and legislative recommendations for how Massachusetts can best align the Commonwealth’s gas system enhancement program with the state’s 2050 net-zero goal. The working group must submit its fi nal recommendations to the Legislature by July 31, 2023.    Attorneys at Law                   14 Norwood St., Everett, MA 02149 Phone: (617) 387-4900 Fax: (617) 381-1755  John Mackey, Esq. * Katherine M. Brown, Esq. Patricia Ridge, Esq.

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