As part of its ongoing work to help Hosts take action toward sustainability, Airbnb is launching a home energy efficiency program in Massachusetts to help Hosts in the state make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes that will reduce both their carbon footprint and their energy bills.
Working in partnership with Massachusetts-based Abode Energy Management, we will support Hosts on their home improvement journey in several ways. To start, Abode will match eligible Hosts with a Home Performance Contractor (HPC) to schedule a no-cost Mass Save® Home Energy Assessment, which will inform Hosts on upgrades they need. Additionally, Abode will work with Hosts to address their questions and discuss financing options that meet their individual needs as they take steps to make their homes more energy efficient.
To make these home improvements affordable, Abode will help Hosts access rebates of up to $10,000 to convert to air-source heat pumps and additional rebates for weatherization upgrades, depending on eligibility. The rebates are available through Mass Save,1 a collaborative of Massachusetts’ electric utilities and energy efficiency service providers working to empower residents, businesses, and communities to make energy efficient upgrades. On top of the rebates that Hosts may be eligible for through Mass Save, Airbnb will provide additional grants of up to $2,500:
- Up to $500 for completed weatherization upgrades, including air sealing and insulation. According to Mass Save, properly insulating and air sealing a home can cut heating and cooling costs for the typical homeowner by 20%.
- Up to $2,000 for completed air-source heat pump installations. A heat pump is a single electric appliance that can replace both your traditional air conditioner and home heating system (like a furnace or boiler). They are three to five times more energy efficient than traditional heating systems, run on electricity, and work in all climates.
Between Airbnb grants and Mass Save rebates, Hosts in Massachusetts have the potential to lower weatherization project costs by up to 100 percent and reduce heat pump costs by up to $12,000.
Taking action to improve the energy efficiency of your home can lead to significant savings on utility costs while improving comfort, but there’s a lot to consider. That’s why Airbnb’s efforts to help Hosts in Massachusetts access generous Mass Save rebates and incentives, further lower project costs with grants, and provide a trusted set of partners is going to make such a huge difference.
—Travis Estes, Chief Operating Officer, Abode
Our first home energy efficiency program in the US
In 2022, Airbnb launched similar programs in the UK and France. Massachusetts marks our first home energy efficiency program in the US and is the latest example of our ongoing work to help Hosts make more sustainable choices.
Nearly two-thirds of Hosts in the US say they plan to use the money they make on Airbnb to cover rising costs of living. With energy prices increasing, this program provides another way to support Hosts and save them money. Our goal is to enable our Massachusetts Host community to use more of their earnings for essential costs rather than their energy bills, all while doing what’s best for the environment.
—Ameet Konkar, Head of Sustainability, Airbnb
According to a recent report by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), one in four Massachusetts homes—the equivalent of over 650,000 homes—uses expensive fuel oil for heat in the winter with each of those homes burning 440 gallons of oil for space heat each year. The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center estimates that by switching from an oil or electric resistance system to a new, efficient heat pump, the average Massachusetts home can reduce its annual carbon emissions by more than three metric tons.
In addition to the environmental impact, there are clear cost benefits for Hosts who upgrade their insulation and electrify their heat systems as part of the Massachusetts program. According to data from EIA, fuel oil prices have increased dramatically in recent years, skyrocketing from $1,200 in the winter of 2020-21 to nearly $2,100 in the winter of 2022-23.
I’ve been a Superhost for over five years and keep close track of my energy bill. This program would save me a ton of money, especially since Airbnb will partner with Mass Save to cover part of the cost. As a Host in a home built in the 1970s, I’ve been wanting to make upgrades to improve my insulation and heating systems not only for my pocket, but also for the environmental impact.
—Elle Michelle, Airbnb Superhost and Community Leader in Massachusetts
What’s more, 13 percent of homes in Massachusetts do not have air conditioning. The benefit of modern heat pumps is that they both heat and cool homes, allowing Hosts who upgrade to an electric heat pump as part of the program to enjoy greater comfort, lower energy bills, and reduced carbon emissions all year round.
Continuing our commitment to sustainability
The Massachusetts home energy efficiency program builds on ongoing sustainability efforts across our platform, including giving our Host community access to the tools and resources to host more sustainably. We provide educational resources with actionable advice on how Hosts can advance sustainable travel and tourism.
In 2021, Airbnb committed to a goal of operating as a net zero company by 2030 by reducing carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions associated with our global corporate operations and investing in quality nature-based solutions to offset residual emissions. At the end of 2022, we shared an update on our progress.
Hosts in Massachusetts can learn more about the home energy efficiency program in Massachusetts and whether they’re eligible to participate by visiting www.AbodeEM.com/Airbnb.