Massachusetts Legislature Passes Landmark Climate Bill to Grow Clean Energy Economy

The bill sets ambitious goals for offshore wind, EV rebates, and energy efficiency

Adil Trehan, Sierra Club,, 202-630-7275

Boston — Today, the Massachusetts State Legislature passed ‘An Act driving clean energy and offshore wind,’ a climate bill that will expand clean energy, transportation electrification, and building decarbonization measures to create jobs and help reach statewide emissions reduction targets. The provisions in this bill will support much needed progress to reduce emissions 50% by 2030 as required by law. Governor Baker must now sign the bill into law by the end of the month. 

The key provisions of the bill include:

  • Sets a minimum target of 5,600MW of offshore wind development through infrastructure investment, workforce development and economic inclusion;

  • Provides up to $5000 in rebates, with an additional $1500 rebate for low-income individuals, for the purchase of electric passenger cars and light duty vehicles less than $55,000. Provides rebates of at least $4500 for medium and heavy duty electric vehicles and for those trading in their internal combustion engine vehicle. Offers rebates at point-of-sale;

  • Reforms ratepayer-funded efficiency programs by reducing incentives for fossil fuel equipment starting in 2025 and increasing accountability in the efficacy of energy efficiency services to low-income ratepayers and households;

  • Mandates all vehicles sold in the state to be zero-emission starting 2035;

  • Expands solar by removing impediments to medium-sized solar developments, freeing solar arrays up to 25 kw from net metering cap restraints, and investigating responsible barrier removal for “dual use” solar and agriculture projects;

  • Allows 10 municipalities to pilot fossil-free new and major renovations, excluding life science labs and health care facilities, providing (1) each community meets the 10% affordable housing target set by state law (chapter 40B); or (2) have approved a zoning ordinance permitting multi-family housing by-right in at least one area;

  • Requires that large buildings (20,000 sq. ft. and larger) across the Commonwealth report their energy usage annually;

  • Mandates that the utility-controlled investigation into the “future of gas” and our pipeline replacement program (GSEP) receive additional scrutiny to ensure alignment with the state’s climate goals;

  • Calls for the MBTA bus fleet to be all-electric by 2040 and prioritizes deployment on routes that go through underserved communities;

  • Paves the way for expanded use of renewable thermal energy, including geothermal networks;

  • Takes steps toward modernizing the grid by establishing a grid modernization advisory council and requiring distribution companies to submit regular modernization plans;

  • Prevents wood-burning biomass plants from qualifying for clean energy incentives in the Renewable Portfolio Standard;

  • Creates an interagency coordinating Council to develop and implement a plan for deploying EV charging infrastructure in an equitable and accessible manner and establishes a Charging Infrastructure Deployment Fund; 

  • Mandates off-peak rates for EV charging and requires distribution companies to submit proposals for time-of-use rates; 

  • Requires DPU to promulgate vehicle electrification and GHG emission regulations for transportation network companies. 


“This climate bill is a huge step toward getting off fossil fuels while growing a local clean energy economy that creates good-paying jobs for the people of Massachusetts,” said Jess Nahigian, State Political Director of Sierra Club Massachusetts. “Our state will become a leader in offshore wind while ensuring that local communities receive the benefits of workforce training and infrastructure investment. Decarbonizing the Commonwealth will make our grid more reliable, our homes more comfortable, our transportation cleaner, and our communities stronger. We look forward to working with the legislature next session to continue equitably decarbonizing in a way that lifts up everyone - particularly people who are highly impacted by pollution. We thank Chair Roy, Chair Barrett, Speaker Mariano, President Spilka, and the members of the joint conference committee for their hard work to get this bill to Governor Baker's desk. Governor Baker has a chance to cement his legacy by signing this landmark bill into law.”

“The transportation provisions in the climate bill provide a much needed boost to the Commonwealth’s efforts to respond to the accelerating climate crisis,” said Veena Dharmaraj, Director of Transportation of Sierra Club Massachusetts. “We are encouraged that the bill makes electric vehicles affordable and accessible to more people, creates a new outreach program for underserved and low-income communities, and sets up an interagency council to oversee the equitable expansion of charging infrastructure across the state. We look forward to working with the legislature to build on this progress in the next session and push for bold targets to electrify the commuter rail and public fleets. We thank the members of the conference committee for a bill that moves us towards our shared climate goals and urge Governor Baker to sign this into law.”


About the Sierra Club

The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with millions of members and supporters. In addition to protecting every person's right to get outdoors and access the healing power of nature, the Sierra Club works to promote clean energy, safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and legal action. For more information, visit