For Immediate Release - October 25, 2010

Patrick-Murray Administration Takes Part in "Harvest Your Energy Festival" in Medford

Regional clean energy event includes presentation of Green Communities grants to Arlington, Cambridge, Lexington, Medford, Melrose, Newton and Salem

MEDFORD - October 23, 2010 - Tips on saving money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions through energy efficiency and renewable energy; an all-electric car and a hybrid bicycle; a visit by Red Sox mascot Wally the Green Monster; and the presentation of Green Communities grants to municipal officials from Arlington, Cambridge, Lexington, Medford, Melrose, Newton and Salem highlighted today's "Harvest Your Energy Festival" co-sponsored by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER).

Held at the base of Medford's 100 kilowatt wind turbine at the McGlynn Elementary and Middle Schools, today's festival was the second of two regional DOER events this fall designed to spur clean energy action at the community and household level. The first took place last week at Acton-Boxborough Regional High School. The festival was co-sponsored by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), DOER, the city of Medford and MassEnergy Consumers Alliance.

"Congratulations to seven Green Communities honored today - and to the many people who devoted a Saturday afternoon to learning how to live greener," said EEA Secretary Ian Bowles. "The enthusiasm of these community organizations, municipalities, local businesses and families is vital as we work together to realize Governor Patrick's agenda for a vibrant clean energy future."

"Harvest Your Energy Festival" attendees greeted Wally at the MassSave ( www.masssave.com) booth, where they were able to spin an energy efficiency-themed trivia wheel for 'green" prizes. Festival goers also learned about solar energy installation and free home energy assessments, and visited an array of local energy and environment related organizations and vendors. Exhibitors included Eastern Massachusetts Solar Store, Pietzo-Hybrid Electric Bikes, Whole Foods Market, Medford Recycling Committee, Zip Car, Tufts University Institute for the Environment and more.

In addition, DOER Commissioner Phil Giudice congratulated officials from Arlington, Cambridge, Lexington, Medford, Melrose, Newton and Salem for clean energy efforts that qualified them to receive hundreds of thousands of dollars in state Green Communities grants to finance projects that cut energy use.

"Congratulations to Arlington, Cambridge, Lexington, Medford, Melrose, Newton and Salem for doing the hard work required to earn Green Communities grants that will help them take critical next steps to green their operations and reduce both their energy costs and their greenhouse gas emissions," Commissioner Giudice said. "These communities are among the Commonwealth's municipal clean energy pacesetters, setting an example for the many other cities and towns we hope will meet the criteria to be Green Communities and apply for our next round of grants next year."

At an award ceremony as part of today's fair, Commissioner Giudice presented municipal officials with Green Communities certificates and congratulated them on grants that will finance the following projects:

Arlington: $200,188 to improve energy efficiency of lighting and steam traps, and for an energy management system at the Hardy School.

Cambridge: $283,770 for an energy efficiency revolving fund for municipal facilities.

Lexington: $158,083 for an energy efficient street lighting project.

Medford: $271,651 for energy efficiency measures at Medford High School and to update the municipal climate action plan.

Melrose: $176,265 for an energy efficient roof at Melrose High School, for energy expert consulting services and to support the salary of an energy efficiency coordinator.

Newton: $179,500 to be leveraged with other funding for a deep energy efficiency retrofit of the Lower Falls Community Center.

Salem: $245,624 for energy efficient streetlights, to buy down the cost of an energy service company contract, a residential weatherization pilot program and a bike sharing pilot program.

The seven communities honored today were among the 35 cities and towns across the state that met the criteria to be designated as Green Communities pdf format of Meet the 123 Green Communities
by DOER's Green Communities Division last spring. These communities applied in June for grants to fund local clean energy projects, and were notified of their grants this summer.

DOER awarded $8.1 million in grants based on a minimum award of $125,000 for each Green Community, with the maximum amount adjusted for population and per capita income.

The signature program of the landmark Green Communities Act of 2008, the DOER's Green Communities Grant Program uses funding from auctions of carbon emissions permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reward communities that earn Green Communities designation by meeting five clean energy benchmarks:

  • Adopting local zoning bylaw or ordinance that allows "as-of-right-siting" of renewable energy projects;
  • Adopting an expedited permitting process related to the as-of-right facilities;
  • Establishing a municipal energy use baseline and establishing a program designed 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 pdf format of Stretch Code Adoption by Community
").

In preparation for upcoming Green Communities grants, DOER will take applications until November 19 from cities and towns interested in being designated as Green Communities. Designated communities will then have from December 17, 2010 to January 21, 2011 to apply for local clean energy grants.

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