For Immediate Release - June 09, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration Presents Green Communities Awards to Harvard, Marlborough, Medway and Wayland

Green Communities grants will fund municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy projects

Map of Green Communities Statewide pdf format of Meet the 123 Green Communities

MARLBOROUGH - June 9, 2011 - During a ceremony today in Marlborough, Patrick-Murray Administration officials presented four of the state's newest Green Communities - Harvard, Marlborough, Medway and Wayland - with awards to finance clean energy projects. Municipal officials plan to use awards, totaling $648,550 for ventilation improvements, building energy efficiency upgrades, and energy efficient lighting.

"These communities are doing their part to embrace Massachusetts' clean energy and energy efficiency goals, which save money, create jobs and protect the environment," said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.

In March, EEA's Department of Energy Resources (DOER) awarded its latest round of grants worth $3.6 million to the state's newest Green Communities - 18 cities and towns from Boston to the Berkshires that earned the designation, making them eligible for awards to fund local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that will advance both municipal and state clean energy goals.

"With these funds communities across the state can begin to cut their operating costs and energy consumption, savings that will pass directly through to their residents and benefits to the environment for everyone for years to come," said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia.

The Green Communities awards will fund:

Harvard: $141,200 for energy conservation measures, including demand control ventilation and mechanical upgrades at the elementary school, an HVAC upgrade at the police station, energy efficient boiler replacement at the fire station, and a deep energy retrofit analysis for town hall.

Marlborough: $217,125 for energy conservation measures at several municipal buildings, purchase of a hybrid vehicle, a site evaluation for a solar PV system, and to fund an Energy Efficiency Manager position.

Medway: $158,450 for energy conservation measures and energy audits at several town buildings including LED lighting replacements, anti-idling devices on all town vehicles, and window replacements.

Wayland: $131,775 for energy conservation measures at several municipal and school buildings, including lighting upgrades and design of an energy retrofit for town hall to improve energy efficiency.

"I am pleased to see the state help towns realize the benefits of green technology, which not only helps the environment but also the town's finances," said Sen. Richard Ross. "With Wayland now being listed as a Green Community, I am excited to see the execution of the new energy efficiency upgrades and how they can serve as a great example for other local communities throughout the Commonwealth."

"I am pleased to see Medway recognized for the incredible work the town has done to promote clean energy and energy efficiency. The town has set a fine example of how smart energy conservation and an openness to clean energy projects can save money and build community. The Green Community designation is richly deserved," Senator Karen Spilka.

"I want to thank and congratulate the Medway officials and citizens who provided leadership and tireless support to make this achievement possible." said Rep. Carolyn C. Dykema. "State support for increased energy efficiency and renewable energy is a key to easing the pressure on the town's budget while bettering the environment and it couldn't have come at a better time for our communities."

"I am proud that Harvard has been designated as a Green Community," said Rep. Jennifer Benson. "The town has been a leader in preserving open space, promoting energy efficiency, and implementing green technology. They deserve this recognition for their tireless efforts."

"Medway's designation as a Green Community is indicative of the town's commitment to fostering a more energy-efficient, cost-effective community," said Rep. James E. Vallee. "I congratulate the town of Medway for its work on not only a local level to lower energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions, but also from a global perspective. This is a step toward reducing our overall dependency on oil in the long run."

DOER's March grant round funded an array of projects across the state, including the purchase of hybrid municipal vehicles, installation of solar panels on town office buildings, funding for a municipal wind turbine, installation of high-efficiency street lights, and energy efficiency upgrades. In addition to these four communities, awards were made to Boston, Dedham, Easton, Gardner, Gloucester, Harvard, Hatfield, Milton, Newburyport, New Salem, Scituate, Swampscott, Watertown, Winchester and Williamstown.

There are now 53 official Green Communities in Massachusetts, including 35 cities and towns named in the DOER's inaugural round of Green Communities designations last year.

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").

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.

In addition to grants, each Green Community is presented with a certificate from the Commonwealth, four road signs identifying it as an official Green Community, and receives at least one Big Belly solar trash compactor for municipal use.

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

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