If you live in Massachusetts, there's a good chance you're eligible for a huge rebate on a heat pump—a super-efficient, all-in-one heating and cooling system for your home. (They're also often called mini splits.) Here's what you need to know.
High-efficiency, cold-climate air-source heat pumps are eligible for a rebate of up to $10,000—possibly more, depending on your income.
You must live in Massachusetts and be a customer of Berkshire Gas, Cape Light Compact, Eversource, Liberty Utilities, National Grid, or Unitil.
Need financing? 0% interest loans are available through the HEAT Loan program.
Check out the EnergySage Heat Pump Marketplace to receive heat pump quotes from qualified local installers. Want to maximize your savings? Pair your air source heat pumps with solar—which you can also shop for in our Solar Marketplace.
The biggest heat pump incentive program in the state is administered by Mass Save, which is a partnership between several Massachusetts electric and natural gas utilities and energy efficiency service providers. They offer two main types of air-source heat pump rebates:
If your home meets specific weatherization requirements, and you're a customer of one of the eligible utility companies, and you hire a qualified contractor to install a qualified air-source heat pump to heat and cool your entire home, you're likely eligible for a $10,000 rebate. (According to the fine print on the rebate form, you can keep your existing heating system as long as it's disconnected, and will only activate in an emergency when the heat pump doesn't work.)
You could be eligible for an even larger rebate, depending on your income and other details, which we cover below.
Even if you're not replacing your entire HVAC system with air source heat pumps, or just using them to heat and cool part of your home, the Mass Save partial-home or supplemental rebate is still an option. This partial-home rebate is based on the size of your heat pump—you'll get $1,250 back per "ton" of capacity, up to $10,000.
If you'll keep a fossil fuel system (oil, gas, or propane) that you plan to use regularly, you'll also need to install "integrated controls" to qualify for this rebate. An integrated control system is a thermostat that automatically switches between the heat pump and the fossil system at a particular outdoor temperature, usually around 35 degrees F. The control system helps you maximize the use of a heat pump in milder weather when it costs much less to run than a fossil system. The integrated control system has a separate Mass Save rebate, too.
Mass Save air-source heat pump rebate levels
|Whole-home cold-climate heat pump||$10,000|
|Whole-home w/ income-based enhanced rebates||$16,000|
|Partial-home / supplemental heat pump||$1,500 / ton|
Ground-source heat pumps are also eligible for enormous rebates—more below.
The complete details are listed on Mass Save's website, but here's the quick version.
Location: You must be a gas or electric residential customer in Massachusetts of Berkshire Gas, Cape Light Compact, Eversource, Liberty Utilities, National Grid, or Unitil. You only need to be a customer for one type of service—it's OK if you're only a gas customer or only an electric customer.
Type of home: All rebates are available for homeowners in detached one- to four-unit buildings. Customers in complexes with five or more units, including buildings of one to four units that are part of larger complexes, are not eligible for whole-home rebates but may receive the partial home rebate amounts.
Timeframe: Air source heat pump equipment must be purchased and installed between January 1, 2023, and December 31, 2023. Mass Save renews this program annually, so it has yet to be decided whether this program will stay in place for 2024 and beyond. That said, identical rebates were in place throughout 2022.
Weatherization: To qualify for the whole-home, $10,000 rebate, your house must meet some basic insulation and air sealing requirements. According to the program details, your home has "sufficient weatherization" if: it was built in the year 2000 or later; if a free Mass Save home energy assessment finds that you need less than $1,000 worth of recommended upgrades; or if upgrades that were recommended during a home energy assessment in 2012 or later have been performed. (A little weatherization can save a lot of energy regardless of your HVAC system, and it keeps your home more comfortable.) Mass Save offers significant subsidies on the kinds of weatherization upgrades that their assessments recommend, and the projects typically pay for themselves through savings on your energy bills within a couple of years.
Contractor: A contractor participating in the Mass Save Heat Pump Installer Network must install your heat pump. More than 1,000 installers are in this network—you should have no trouble finding someone.
Equipment: Air source heat pumps must be listed on the Mass Save air source heat pump qualified product list. The qualifying models tend to be among the highest-performance, highest-efficiency products—and they can all handle our cold winters. If you get a partial-home system, your integrated controller must also be on the Mass Save list of qualified products. Of note: Some air-to-water heat pumps are eligible for these rebates.
Financing: Mass Save also has a program called the HEAT Loan, which offers up to a 7-year, zero-interest payment option depending on your utility company and the installer. You can borrow up to $50,000 for the cost of a heat pump (far, far more than a typical system costs) and $25,000 for weatherization (again, much more than the amounts typically recommended during a home energy assessment).
Form submission: You must complete and sign the rebate form and include dated invoices for the installation work. These must be submitted within 60 days of your heat pump installation. Many contractors will help you with the paperwork or even complete it for you.
Verification: You might need a post-installation verification inspection before rebate reimbursement.
Usually, your heat pump contractor will help you submit the proper rebate documentation, but this can vary depending on who you go with to install your heat pumps. Ask them or look for a line item on your proposal that states something like: "We will assist the customer with rebate preparation for any equipment we install."
Here are the steps you'll need to take before you can claim your heat pump rebate:
1. Get a home energy assessment
The best first step to accessing most Mass Save programs, including rebates and incentives, is to get a home energy assessment, which is free through Mass Save. You can call Mass Save at 1-866-527-7283, and they'll set up a virtual or on-site evaluation. Or, you can reach out directly to one of their qualified home performance contractors, some of which offer online scheduling. You can do this step at any time (even right now!), even if you aren't planning to install a heat pump soon.
If you've already had a Mass Save home energy assessment, you might not need another one. If the assessment happened after 2012, and you can show that you made the weatherization upgrades recommended during the assessment, you should be all set. But call Mass Save to confirm what you'll need to do.
2. Make any necessary weatherization upgrades
During your assessment, the energy specialist will look around for weather-sealing basics: Is there any insulation in your walls? Or your attic? How about around your ducts? Do the exterior doors have any weather stripping? They'll write up a list of recommended upgrades, the estimated costs (discounted 75% or more through Mass Save), and the estimated return on investment based on the money you'll save on your utility bills. Then you can schedule the work with one of Mass Save's qualified installers.
You can weatherize your home after the heat pump gets installed if needed. So if it's a my-furnace-died-and-it's-February type of situation, you get the heat pump in a hurry, then add the insulation later before submitting the rebate form. But weatherizing ahead of time will save you money and make your home more comfortable even before you switch to a heat pump, so you might as well get it done ASAP.
3. Find a heat pump contractor near you
You'll need to hire a qualified installer to get the heat pump rebate through Mass Save. Ditto if you plan to finance the project with the 0% Mass Save HEAT Loan. The good news: More than 1,000 installers in Massachusetts are on Mass Save's official list, so you should have no trouble finding a contractor. And most of them are willing to help with the proper paperwork for financing.
Like any major home project, getting multiple quotes is a good idea to ensure you're getting a reasonable price. We have a marketplace for heat pumps here at EnergySage, where installers compete for your business. (Everyone on our platform is also on Mass Save's list.)
4. Confirm your heat pump equipment is eligible for Mass Save rebates
Not all heat pumps will qualify for the Mass Save rebate. For the most part, only models with very high efficiency ratings and superior cold-weather performance can get the rebate. (Based on wholesale prices, the $10,000 rebate is more than enough to offset the extra costs of installing these high-end models versus a cheaper heat pump better suited for mild weather.)
Qualified installers should know which models to choose, and they'll tell you on your quote which models they plan to install. You should double-check their selection on the approved product list here.
5. Install your heat pumps
You're not eligible for the rebate until your heat pumps are installed. So usually, you'll need to pay for the work out of pocket, which could mean waiting for funds from the HEAT Loan to hit your bank account first. (It's usually one-third to one-half of the cost upfront and then the balance at the time of installation or shortly afterward.) The installer will provide you with an invoice for the work, and then you'll be ready to complete the next steps and wait for the rebate to come back to you.
However, there's a relatively new exception: It's possible to designate your rebate to the installer—meaning that the installer will reduce the price they charge you for the heat pump in exchange for collecting the rebate directly from Mass Save, with your permission. There are some hoops to jump through, and contractors aren't obligated to participate, but it's an option that you can discuss with them.
6. Complete an online rebate form
Once you've installed your heat pumps, gotten your invoice from the contractor, and gathered your paperwork (if necessary) from your weatherization project, it's time to fill out some forms. Your contractor might be willing to handle some or all of this process for you, so don't be afraid to ask—it's a big part of their business these days.
If you're handling it on your own, the online rebate form is the easiest and quickest method. This form works for heat pump rebates and any other Mass Save rebates for products like high-efficiency water heaters, qualified thermostats, induction stoves, and more.
You'll need to enter information about your utility accounts, the details of your new heat pump (which get pretty specific—see the image below), and a few other points.
You'll need to know some very specific details about your heat pump for the rebate form. Remember: Most contractors are willing to help you figure this stuff out, or even complete the forms for you, so don’t be afraid to ask.
If you've installed a partial-home system, you can also claim a rebate on a qualified integrated control system. This part switches the system back and forth between the heat pump and a fossil-fuel system at a set temperature. The rebate is $500 per indoor unit, up to $1,500. See details of the integrated controls covered in the rebate and the online rebate submission form.
You'll then need to upload your documents; usually, this will include weatherization forms, the initial project quote with your contractor's information, the equipment they installed, and the total cost, as well as an invoice or documentation noting the installation date and proof of payment.
6. Wait for the rebate
Once you submit your rebate form online, Mass Save indicates you should allow six to eight weeks for your rebate to be processed and mailed as a check, though there could be delays. Mass Save notes that they reserve the right to conduct an onsite verification that the equipment has been installed.
If you meet specific income eligibility requirements, you could get an even bigger rebate on your heat pump: As much as $16,000 for a whole-home system if you have a moderate income, you live in a 1- to 4-unit building, and you're replacing an oil, propane, or electric resistance system (not natural gas). Partial-home systems can be eligible for up to an $8,000 rebate. The rebate is slightly different for Cape Light customers: It'll cover 80 percent of the costs.
A few dozen towns and cities in Massachusetts have municipally owned utility companies. If you get both your natural gas and electricity through a municipal company, you aren't eligible for the heat pump rebate through Mass Save.
However, you are eligible if you get natural gas through one of the sponsor companies. For example, if you get electricity from the Reading Municipal Light Department but get gas through National Grid, you qualify.
And some municipal utility departments have their own heat pump rebate programs. Wellesley Municipal Light Plant offers up to $10,000, just like Mass Save. Reading Municipal Light Department offers $1,000 per ton for new heat pump owners, up to $6,000. Check your town or muni's website to see if any incentives are available in your area.
Ground-source heat pumps (aka geothermal heat pumps) are also eligible for big rebates through Mass Save. Whole-home systems can qualify for $15,000 back, while partial-home systems can claim $2,000 per ton (up to $15,000). Moderate- and low-income households might also be eligible for larger rebates. All the eligibility requirements for air-source rebates also apply to ground-source systems—except the list of qualified equipment differs. As long as the ground-source equipment meets Energy Star standards, it's eligible for the rebate.
Signing up for this zero-interest, 7-year loan for up to $50,000 on a heat pump (and another $25,000 on weatherization) follows many of the same steps as the heat pump rebate. After your energy assessment, you'll apply for the HEAT Loan, pick a qualified contractor, and receive a quote, including the specific heat pump you'll be installing. The contractor might also be willing to handle most of the paperwork for you. If you need to handle it yourself, here's the rundown.
You'll use the Mass Save Heat Loan online portal to complete and submit a copy of the intake form. Have a copy of a recent electric bill (or a gas bill if applicable) because you'll need to enter your account number. Once it's verified that you're eligible for the loan based on your utility accounts, you can finish logging in with an existing Mass Save account or create a new one. (You'll likely use it again for the rebate.)
Then you'll enter information about your house, followed by the type of system you're installing. Select Heating & Cooling from the drop-down, and then pick Air Source Heat Pump (or Ground Source Heat Pump, if that's what you're getting). If you're getting a hybrid system, you'll also need to select the Integrated Controls option.
Next, you'll need to input the information for the specific equipment your contractor will install. The easiest way to input equipment information is using the reference number for the AHRI (Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute). Usually, your contractor will provide you with this information via an AHRI certificate for any equipment they recommend. If they haven't provided the certificate, ask for it, because it's much easier to enter the reference number than to manually fill out the details. You'll still need to do a bit of clicking around even with the AHRI number, but it saves a bunch of time and dramatically reduces the chance of error.
(If it turns out that the equipment your contractor recommended doesn't qualify for the loan or the rebate, you'll find out at this point. It's rare, but it has happened. Better now than after you've already paid for the installation.)
Then, you'll answer a few more questions about the installation, including related electrical or HVAC upgrades that might be bundled into the quote, and the contractor's quoted price and business information.
Finally, you'll need to upload a handful of documents on the next screen. It's OK to use your phone's camera if you don't have a scanner. Here's what you'll need:
The HEAT Loan Intake Form you received during your energy assessment
The proposal from your heat pump contractor with the details of the equipment they're installing and the work they're doing
Your completed whole home verification form if you are installing a "whole home system" that will cover your entire home (this form is available here for you to complete, scan, and upload)
Any additional supporting documentation, such as other files provided by your contractor on your project or equipment
Completing your application if you live in a municipal electric town
If you live in a municipal electric town and are a customer of Cape Light Compact, Unitil Electric, or Liberty, you'll use this separate link to complete and submit your HEAT Loan Application online.
Find a lender
Once you submit your initial application, you can work on researching, comparing, and selecting an approved Mass Save HEAT Loan lender to secure the financing piece.
Check out Mass Save's site to find participating HEAT Loan lenders. You can search using your county to see:
Loan types offered (usually unsecured loans, but sometimes they'll offer unsecured and secured loans or just secured loans)
Amounts offered (many are up to $50,000) and their location(s).
Some lenders provide loans throughout the state, and others offer more localized options.
Like other solar and clean energy financing lenders, many HEAT Loan lenders offer pre-approval via their website, at a branch, or by phone. The participating lender list includes various types of lenders, such as banks, credit unions, and even specialty lenders focused on lending for clean energy upgrades.
From the Mass Save list, you can click through to the lender's website and find out more about their HEAT Loan offerings and how to apply. Many lenders call out HEAT Loans in their main website navigation or as part of their consumer or residential lending products. You'll then follow the lender's process to continue the approval process and provide your HEAT Loan Authorization Form to your lender.
Once your loan is approved, secured, and signed, you can usually have monthly withdrawals come directly from your bank account. Getting 0% interest is a fantastic deal – so it's great to take advantage of the opportunity to electrify your home's heating and cooling interest-free!
We've heard from homeowners who have used the Mass Save HEAT Loan that the most significant lift is finding a lender near you and securing the loan. Expect this part of the process to take up to a few weeks.
Massachusetts offers an additional incentive program for heat pumps known as the Alternative Energy Credit (AEC) program. Best case, homeowners might earn a few thousand dollars through these credits.
Essentially, it's designed to reward heat pump owners for the energy they won't consume, as a thank-you for installing this super-efficient tech. Credits typically get sold to organizations looking to boost their green credentials (though the real-world benefit of credit programs like this one is a matter of debate).
The heat pump needs to meet certain efficiency requirements. After the installation application approval, ten years' worth of credits get "minted" all at once, with a value determined by the market value at the time. As best we can tell, the price sits somewhere between $5 and $20, and heat pumps could get somewhere between 60 and 240 credits depending on the size of the building and the size of the heat pump. The homeowner is then free to sell the credits, typically to an AEC aggregator.
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center's website has a more thorough rundown of the AEC program.
Mass Save is an extensive program with tons of rebates and incentives for everything from water heaters to deep-energy retrofits to energy-efficient home appliances—even battery-powered garden tools. Seriously, give their list of programs a look because you might be surprised at the breadth of free money that's available.
And here are some links to relevant forms and pages on the Mass Save site to help you navigate your heat pump project.
Form to print and mail your heat pump rebate claim (note that processing for mailed forms may take longer, so we recommend using the online claim form, if possible)
Mass Save Links
The primary contact information listed for the Mass Save heat pump rebates program is as follows:
Heat pump program phone: 1-800-232-0672
HEAT Loan and energy assessment phone: 1-866-527-7283
In Massachusetts, electricity from the grid is some of the most expensive in the entire country, and because of that, heat pumps won't always save money compared to other types of heating systems.
But when you can run your heat pump with free, clean electricity generated from your own solar panels, you're looking at enormous savings over time.
Create a free account on the EnergySage Solar Marketplace to quickly get solar quotes, compare offers from qualified, trusted local installers, and speak with an Energy Advisor if you have any questions. You can also get a quick savings estimate using our Solar Calculator.
If you're looking to install air-source heat pumps in your home and want to power them with solar electricity, just note it in your account so potential installers can design a system that will accommodate this addition. Some solar installers can also help you design and price out a heat pump system for your home (or refer you to someone who can).