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Patrick-Murray Administration Awards $2 million 12 Green Communities


Fourth round of grants for municipal clean energy investments including lighting upgrades, energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects

Map of Green Communities Statewide

BOSTON — May 1, 2012 — Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. today announced $2 million in grants to Massachusetts’ newest Green Communities – 12 cities and towns that earned the designation in December, making them eligible for renewable power and energy efficiency project funding.

“We are making real progress in achieving a clean energy future for the Commonwealth, one community at a time,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “These investments encourage energy savings, create jobs and protect our environment – boosting our economy and improving our quality of life.”

The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) today detailed the funding for an array of projects, including the installation of energy efficient lighting upgrades at municipal buildings, funding for efficient furnaces and windows, solar photovoltaic (PV) projects, and ventilation equipment at schools in the following Green Communities: Ashfield, Barre, Beverly, Bridgewater, Chesterfield, Leverett, Maynard, Provincetown, Quincy, Rowe, Shirley, and Weston.

With these latest designations, 42 percent of Massachusetts residents or 2.7 million people now live in Green Communities across the Commonwealth. All of the 86 Green Communities committed to reduce their municipal energy consumption by 20 percent.  This commitment collectively equates to the annual energy consumption of more than 13,000 Massachusetts homes and the greenhouse gases from more than 16,800 cars.

“These Green Communities are taking charge of their energy futures by adopting strategies and technologies that cut energy use, reduce annual operating costs and create local jobs,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.

The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) named Massachusetts number one in ACEEE’s latest annual state-by-state energy efficiency scorecard. Massachusetts topped California in the ranking for the first time with ACEEE noting the Patrick-Murray Administration’s clean energy agenda, which includes the Green Communities Act of 2008 and innovative energy efficiency programs like Leading by Example. View ACEEE’s report here.

“Investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy stabilizes energy costs, which is important in Massachusetts because $18 billion of the $22 billion we spend annually on energy gets sent out of state and out of the country,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “Our Green Communities are helping us keep more of those dollars here in Massachusetts.”

DOER calculates Green Communities grants using a formula that caps awards at $1 million and provides each community with a $125,000 base grant – plus additional amounts based on per capita income and population, and for municipalities that meet Green Communities Criterion 1 for energy generation. There are 86 Green Communities in Massachusetts.

Grants announced today include:

Ashfield: $141,025 to fund a feasibility study for a solar PV system, bike racks for high traffic public locations, and multiple energy efficiency measures including lighting improvements, tankless water heaters, energy audits at several municipal buildings.

Barre: $143,575 for energy audits at several municipal building and multiple energy efficiency projects including lighting upgrades at several buildings along with funding for a program administrator to manage energy projects.

Beverly: $206,475 to fund an energy management system and ventilation and air conditioning equipment upgrades at multiple schools.

Bridgewater: $200,800 to fund energy audits as eight municipal buildings and implementation of approved energy conservation measures identified from these audits.

Chesterfield: $140,000 to fund a pilot Clean Energy Fund grant program for residents to implement energy efficiency measures identified in Mass Save audits; an energy efficient boiler and air sealing at the Fire House; furnace replacement, an on-demand water heater, air sealing and exterior door replacement at the Senior Center; and other energy conservation measures and upgrades.

Leverett: $138,750 to fund a solar PV roof-mounted system at the Public Safety Complex and energy efficient lighting upgrades at the Town Hall, Library, and the Public Safety Complex.

Maynard: $160,025 to fund several energy efficiency projects at the Green Meadow School and the Fowler Middle School including an energy management system, energy efficient indoor and outdoor lights, and air sealing.

Provincetown: $143,600 for an energy efficient heating system replacement at Veteran’s Memorial School.

Quincy: $370,325 for energy efficient LED streetlights.

Rowe: $135,725 to fund energy education and outreach workshops for residents; a feasibility study for the development of a residential home energy incentive program; a solar PV roof-mounted system on Department of Public Works Building; installation of efficient water heaters and window quilts at municipal buildings; exterior light upgrades at the Fire Station; and other energy conservation measures and energy upgrades.

Shirley: $152,975 to fund administrative support for a performance contract and the installation of idle reduction units in municipal vehicles.

Weston: $138,675 to fund multiple energy efficiency measures in municipal buildings.

In addition to grant eligibility, each Green Community designated today will also receive a certificate from the Commonwealth and four road signs identifying it as an official Green Community.

Click here for more information on DOER’s Green Communities program.

DOER’s Green Communities Grant Program uses funding from auctions of carbon emissions permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reward communities that win Green Communities designation by meeting five clean energy benchmarks:

  • Adopting local zoning bylaw or ordinance that allows “as-of-right siting” for renewable and/or alternative energy R&D facilities, manufacturing facilities or generation units.
  • Adopting an expedited permitting process related to the as-of-right facilities;
  • Establishing a municipal energy use baseline and a program to reduce use by 20 percent within five years;
  • Purchasing only fuel-efficient vehicles for municipal use, whenever such vehicles are commercially available and practicable; and
  • Requiring all new residential construction over 3,000 square feet and all new commercial and industrial real estate construction to reduce lifecycle energy costs (i.e., adoption of an energy-saving building “stretch code”).