Renewable Energy Trust Fund (Massachusetts)

From Open Energy Information

Last modified on February 12, 2015.

Rules Regulations Policies Program

Place Massachusetts
Name Renewable Energy Trust Fund
Incentive Type Public Benefits Fund
Applicable Sector Agricultural, Commercial, Industrial, Institutional, Nonprofit, Residential, Schools, Utility
Eligible Technologies Anaerobic Digestion, Biomass, CHP/Cogeneration, Fuel Cells, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels, Geothermal Electric, Geothermal Heat Pumps, Hydroelectric, Landfill Gas, Municipal Solid Waste, Ocean Thermal, Photovoltaics, Renewable Fuels, Small Hydroelectric, Solar Thermal Electric, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy, Wind, Energy Storage, Storage/conversion techs connected to renewables
Active Incentive Yes
Implementing Sector State/Territory
Energy Category Renewable Energy Incentive Programs

Charge $0.0005 per kilowatt-hour (0.5 mill/kWh) in 2003 and in each following year

Total Fund $150 million over a five-year period (1998-2002); $25 million per year from 2003 to 2010 and $23 million starting in 2011.
Types Renewables

Date added to DSIRE 2000-01-01
Last DSIRE Review 2012-06-04
Last Substantive Modification
to Summary by DSIRE

References DSIRE[1]


The renewable energy fund, known as the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust Fund, is supported by a non-bypassable surcharge of $0.0005 per kilowatt-hour (0.5 mill/kWh), imposed on customers of all investor-owned electric utilities and competitive municipal utilities in Massachusetts. (Non-competitive municipal utilities generally may opt into the Fund by agreeing to the same provisions that apply to investor-owned utilities and competitive municipal utilities.) The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, a quasi-public research and development entity, administers the Fund with oversight and planning assistance from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and an advisory board. The Fund does not have an expiration date.

The Fund may provide grants, contracts, loans, equity investments, energy production credits, bill credits and rebates to customers. The fund is authorized to support “Class I” and “Class II” renewables, which generally include solar photovoltaics (PV); solar thermal electric energy; wind energy; ocean thermal, wave or tidal energy; fuel cells utilizing renewable fuels; landfill gas; energy generated by certain existing hydroelectric facilities up to five megawatts in capacity; certain waste-to-energy which is a component of conventional municipal solid waste plant technology in commercial use; low-emission advanced biomass power conversion technologies using fuels such as wood, by-products or waste from agricultural crops, food or animals, energy crops, biogas, liquid biofuels; marine or hydrokinetic energy; and geothermal energy. In addition, the fund may support combined heat and power (CHP) systems less than 60 kilowatts (kW) and solar hot water.

The Fund is required to transfer, upon the written request of the governor, moneys in the fund, in an amount not exceeding $17 million in the aggregate, for deposit in the state's general fund. In turn, the state must use any transferred money to enter into long-term contracts for the purchase of renewable energy. The maximum payment in any fiscal year under all such contracts is limited to $5 million.

Additional information regarding the Fund and the programs it supports is available on the Fund’s web site, listed above.


Massachusetts's 1997 electric-utility restructuring legislation created separate public benefits funds to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency for all customer classes. Both funds were significantly revised by legislation enacted in July 2008 (The Green Communities Act S.B. 2768). In 2009, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center became the administrator of the Renewable Energy Trust Fund. Previously, the Trust Fund was administered by Massachusetts Technology Collaborative. For a thorough report on the history of the fund under the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative administration, please refer to the Renewable Energy Results for Massachusetts: A Report on the Renewable Energy Trust Fund 1998–2008. The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative's last annual report is from 2009. See Massachusetts Technology Collaborative 2009 Annual Report.

Massachusetts also established a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) through restructuring in 1997. It was the first state to have enacted both an RPS and a public benefits fund for renewables.

Incentive Contact

Contact Name MassCEC Information
Department Massachusetts Clean Energy Center
Address 55 Summer Street, 9th Floor
Place Boston, MA
Zip/Postal Code 02110


Authorities (Please contact the if there are any file problems.)

Authority 1: M.G.L. ch. 25, § 20
Date Effective 3/1/1998 (subsequently amended)
Date Enacted 1997-11-25

Authority 2: M.G.L. ch. 23J, § 9
Date Effective 11/23/2009 (subsequently amended)
Date Enacted 2009-11-23

  • Incentive and policy data are reviewed and approved by the N.C. Solar Center's DSIRE project staff.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1  "Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency (DSIRE)"