One-hundred-ten cities and towns from all regions of the state, populations from 393 to 617,594 residents, are now designated as Commonwealth "Green Communities." Seven towns were added in December to the fifth group of successful July, 2012 applicants. The newest Green Communities, which met five program criteria, are now ranked as clean energy leaders and are eligible for municipal renewable power and energy efficiency grants.
In Faces of Green Communities, many of the designated cities and towns have shared their unique features, including what they are doing on the clean energy front.
- The Green Communities Division's charge is to guide all 351 cities and towns along a path of enhanced energy efficiency and renewable energy toward zero net energy.
- The Green Communities Designation and Grant Program, an initiative of the Green Communities Division, works with municipalities toward qualification as a Green Community and provides funding to qualified municipalities for energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives.
- DOER's Green Communities Division is available to work with all local and regional government entities to pursue energy efficiency improvements. DOER collaborates with Mass Save to administer efficiency services to local and regional government entities. We also provide a range of educational materials to assist in efficiency planning and implementation, including ideas for municipalities aiming for Green Community designation.
- Energy Management Services (energy saving performance contracting) is a streamlined procurement process used by public agencies to conduct solicitations under G.L. 25A, §11C (RFP) or §11I (RFQ) for the purpose of financing and implementing cost-saving energy-efficiency improvements and renewable electricity generation projects. DOER staff can assist jurisdictions to help them prevent problems during the procurement process.
- MassEnergyInsight is a web-based tool to help cities and towns manage energy use of municipally owned buildings, streetlights, and vehicles.
The U.S. Department of Education's Green Ribbon Schools award honors K-12 schools for exemplary reduction in environmental impact and costs, improvements in the health and wellness of students and staff, and delivery of effective environmental and sustainability education that incorporates Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM), civic skills, and green career pathways. In 2012, for the first time, schools across Massachusetts are eligible to apply.
- The Green Communities regional coordinators provide hands-on, focused assistance to help cities and towns decrease energy bills through local policies and targeted investments that encourage greater energy efficiency and use of renewable energy. Find your regional coordinator through the Massachusetts region associated with your community.
- Collaboration is essential to build Green Communities in Massachusetts. The plans and processes featured in this library are examples provided by cities and towns to share with other municipalities throughout the Commonwealth. Use these samples as reference tools to mobilize your community.
- Many companies and organizations, including local utilities, offer resources and support to help cities and towns advance energy efficiency projects.