Patrick-Murray Administration Designates 21 New "Green Communities" Across the Commonwealth
Third round of cities and towns named clean energy leaders; now eligible for municipal renewable power and energy efficiency grants
BOSTON - July 19, 2010 - The Patrick-Murray Administration today named 21 cities and towns from western Massachusetts to Cape Cod as "Green Communities," making these communities eligible for over $3.7 million in grants for local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that will advance both municipal and state clean energy goals.
Ayer, Bedford, Brookline, Buckland, Carlisle, Deerfield, Granby, Holland, Mendon, Middlefield, Millbury, Monson, Revere, Sherborn, Shutesbury, Somerville, Sutton, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Truro, and Woburn join 53 other cities and towns named in previous rounds of Green Communities designations - bringing the total number of official Green Communities to 74.
"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."
"Our Administration is proud to partner with cities and towns as we continue to promote clean energy initiatives across the Commonwealth," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "These newly designated Green Communities will join 53 other municipalities that are moving forward with renewable and efficient energy projects to help build a more sustainable and healthier environment for Massachusetts."
The Department of Energy Resources' (DOER) Green Communities Designation and Grant Program, which is a result of the Green Communities Act signed by Governor Patrick in 2008, 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").
"This program rewards cities and towns that face their energy challenges by adopting green energy practices, which reduce energy costs for municipal residents and create sustainable energy solutions for municipal operations," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.
June 10, 2011 was the deadline for municipalities to apply for Green Community designation in order to qualify for approximately $3.7 million in Green Communities grants. Communities designated today have until August 19, 2011 to submit applications for grants that will be awarded later this year.
"These projects serve as examples of smart energy use and renewable energy practices in communities across the Commonwealth - from installing solar arrays and energy efficient lighting in municipal buildings to purchasing hybrid vehicles for municipal fleets," DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia said.
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, DOER notified the selected communities of their eligibility for the following funding:
In addition to grant eligibility, each Green Community designated today will also receive a certificate from the Commonwealth, four road signs identifying it as an official Green Community, and at least one Big Belly solar trash compactor for municipal use.
Click here for more information on DOER's Green Communities program.