Cape Light Compact Electrifying 100 Low-Income Homes

HYANNIS – A new program from Cape Light Compact will electrify local low-income homes as the region continues efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Administrator Maggie Downey said the Cape and Vineyard Electrification Offering is a pilot project that will target 100 homes, with 80 of them being deed-restricted.

“So that when it’s sold, it’s sold to another person who is low- to moderate-income. Remember, we’re bringing potentially $50,000 worth of repair funds to the home and we want to make sure those improvements stay with the home regardless of who lives there,” said Downey.

Upgrades include electric heat pumps and solar arrays. For 25 participants, battery storage will also be installed, if the home is eligible.

The program took 6 years to develop, having to update its language several times to meet the requirements of the Department of Public Utilities. 

A climate bill approved by the legislature in 2022 clarified that electrifying a home can use Energy Efficiency funds for this kind of project, allowing the program to move ahead.

Downey said the project is vital, as the high up-front cost of solar or other tech can be a major hurdle for low income families who may otherwise get left behind as the Commonwealth pushes for greener heating technologies. 

“The data supports that low and moderate income customers have not been able to overcome the upfront cost of installing solar on their homes,” said Downey.

“You have to have the cash up front or you have to take out a loan. As we transition to electrify our homes, we don’t want this demographic to be left behind as they have been left behind in the installation of on-site renewables,” said Downey.

She added that the first round of participants has already been selected, but more will be chosen at a later date.

The program comes as Massachusetts aims for net-zero greenhouse gas emission by 2050. 


About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native from Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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