Massachusetts House Passes Legislation to Encourage Energy Conservation Projects

Published on: May 1, 2010

The Massachusetts House of Representatives recently passed legislation that will allow municipalities to provide loans to owners of privately held property to finance energy conservation and renewable energy projects. The legislation included specific provisions to ensure that condominium associations will also be eligible for these loans. The language was included as part of a broader municipal relief bill, and it is likely that the Senate will pass this measure in the coming weeks.

If a municipality opts to establish an Energy Revolving Loan Fund, owners of private property, including condominium associations, may apply to the city or town for a loan to undertake a project that will improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As it pertains to condominiums, the condominium association may enter into a loan agreement with the municipality to finance an energy conservation and renewable energy project for part of the common areas and facilities. Any such agreement must be approved by a majority of the unit owners benefited by the project. If approved, the assessment under the agreement would be charged directly to the benefited unit owners in the same manner as town betterment assessments are currently charged. The amount of the assessment would be in proportion to the percentage interest of the unit owner, and would attach as a lien to the units identified in the recorded notice of the agreement.

This program is an excellent opportunity for a condominium association to undertaken energy improvements, while avoiding the need for a special assessment. If you would like more information about this program please do not hesitate to contact Matthew Gaines at mgaines@meeb.com.