Skip to Content
December 11, 2023 Clouds | 45°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 6: Powers and duties

Section 6. The department and its appropriate administrative units shall:—

(1) develop and administer programs relating to energy conservation, alternative energy development, non-renewable energy supply and resource development, energy bond authority, energy information, and energy emergencies;

(2) advise, assist, and cooperate with other state, local, regional, and federal agencies in developing appropriate programs and policies relating to energy planning and regulation in the commonwealth including assistance and advice in the preparation of loan or grant applications with respect to energy programs for state, local and regional agencies;

(3) develop energy data and information management capabilities to aid energy planning and decision-making;

(4) promote the development of sound energy education programs;

(5) apply for, receive, expend, represent and act on behalf of the commonwealth in connection with federal grants, grant programs or reimbursements, or private grants, keep accounts, records, personal data, enter into contracts, including contracts for the insurance of vehicles in the alternative fuel vehicle demonstration program, and adjust claims;

(6) accept gifts, grants, funds, monies, bequests, and devises, whether real or personal, from any source, whether public or private, for the purpose of assisting the commissioner in the discharge of his duties;

(7) subject to appropriation, acquire real or personal property;

(8) promulgate rules and regulations necessary to carry out their statutory responsibilities;

(9) seek the laboratory, technical, educational, and research skills of state institutions of higher education in order to carry out the provisions of this chapter;

(10) plan, develop, oversee, and operate programs to help consumers understand, evaluate, and select retail energy supplies and related services offered as a consequence of electric and gas utility restructuring, in accordance with the provisions of section 11D;

(11) provide technical assistance to municipalities and governmental bodies seeking assistance during the transition to a competitive market, including, but not limited to, the voluntary aggregation of their citizens' demand for electricity pursuant to section 134 of chapter 164; and

(12) intervene and advocate on behalf of small commercial and industrial users before the department of public utilities in any dispute between such businesses and generation or distribution companies, as defined pursuant to section 1 of chapter 164;

(13) plan, develop, oversee and operate the commercial sustainable energy program, with the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 23M. In accordance with this section, the department shall approve each commercial PACE project prior to the issuance of a PACE bond under chapter 23M and in so doing shall consider whether the energy cost savings of the commercial energy improvements over the useful life of such improvements exceed required energy code requirements at the time of project permitting or the project meets another nationally-recognized building standard for energy performance as deemed appropriate by the department of energy resources in coordination with the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency; and

(14) develop and promulgate, in consultation with the state board of building regulations and standards, a municipal opt-in specialized stretch energy code that includes, but is not limited to, net-zero building performance standards and a definition of net-zero building, designed to achieve compliance with the commonwealth's statewide greenhouse gas emission limits and sublimits established pursuant to chapter 21N.