For Immediate Release - November 10, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration Awards $3.7 Million to 21 'Green Communities'

State’s third round of Green Communities grants will fund solar panels, energy efficiency projects and more in cities and towns across Massachusetts

Map of Green Communities

BOSTON — November 9, 2011 — As part of a statewide effort to advance municipal and state clean energy goals, the Patrick-Murray Administration today announced $3.7 million in grants to the state’s newest Green Communities – 21 cities and towns from across the Commonwealth that earned the designation this summer, making them eligible for awards to fund local renewable power and energy efficiency projects.

“I applaud all of our Green Communities for their efforts to reduce costs, increase energy efficiency and create jobs in the clean energy economy,” said Governor Deval Patrick. "These Green Communities are truly a model for the nation, and a big part of why Massachusetts has moved up to number one in energy efficiency."

The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) today announced the funding for an array of projects, including the installation of solar panels on town office buildings, funding for efficient furnaces and windows, installation of high-efficiency street lights, and energy efficiency upgrades in the following new Green Communities: Ayer, Bedford, Brookline, Buckland, Carlisle, Deerfield, Granby, Holland, Mendon, Middlefield, Millbury, Monson, Revere, Sherborn, Shutesbury, Somerville, Sutton, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Truro, and Woburn.

"The nationally-recognized Green Communities program gives cities and towns the tools to increase the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy alternatives," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray. "These municipalities are leading the way in support of our collective clean energy initiatives."

Recently, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) named Massachusetts number one in ACEEE's 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.

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”).

“Investments like these in municipal clean energy strategies empower communities to target individual projects that bring long-term energy savings for their taxpayers and help to protect our environment,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.

“With this program – the signature initiative of the Green Communities Act signed by Governor Patrick in 2008 – Massachusetts leads the nation in driving energy efficiency innovation while helping cities and towns reach critical clean energy benchmarks and energy savings goals,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia.

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 now 74 Green Communities in Massachusetts.

Grants announced today include:

Ayer: $151,175 towards energy conservation measures in municipal buildings including steam trap upgrades and a new high-efficiency gas furnace at the wastewater treatment plant, energy efficient exterior lighting at the police and fire stations and heating system controls at the town hall.

Bedford: $148,150 towards energy conservation measures at the Bedford Department of Public Works and multiple school buildings, including energy efficiency lighting and variable frequency drives on heating circulation pumps.

Brookline: $215,050 for energy conservation measures at municipal buildings including energy management systems at the Lincoln School, senior center and Coolidge Corner Library, LED Street lights, and efficient boiler for town hall and a solar photo voltaic (PV) assessment.

Buckland: $134,150 for energy audits to identify energy conservation measures in the town hall and police station and funds toward implementation of measures identified by the audits.

Carlisle: $139,300 for energy conservation measures at municipal buildings including an energy management system at the town hall, efficient parking lot lights at the town hall, the library and the Carlisle Public School as well as a 10 kilowatt PV system at the school.

Deerfield: $142,950 for energy conservation measures in multiple municipal buildings including energy efficient interior and exterior lighting, variable frequency drives, energy efficient windows, and efficient street lights and controls. 

Granby: $144,125 for a solar hot water system for the police and fire complex, energy audits for the junior and senior high school and elementary school and funds toward implementation of energy conservation measures identified by the audits.

Holland: $143,250 for energy audits to identify potential energy conservation measures in the elementary school and the fire/police garage and funds toward implementation of measures identified by the audits.

Mendon: $145,925 for energy efficient lighting in multiple municipal buildings, a high-efficiency furnace for the library, and energy audits for identification of additional energy conservation measures and funds toward implementation of those measures.

Middlefield: $138,025 for energy conservation measures in multiple municipal buildings including insulation, efficient hot water heaters and furnaces, efficient windows and doors and a 9.6 kW solar PV system on the town hall.

Millbury: $167,025 for energy conservation measures in multiple municipal buildings including occupancy sensors, retro-commissioning, energy efficient lighting, vending misers, energy efficient exterior lighting, and controls and efficient motors for kitchen system operations.

Monson: $165,975 for an energy management system for the Quarry Hill Elementary School and an energy efficient vehicle for the senior center

Revere: $366,600 for energy conservation measures in the city hall, the senior center, and the youth center including energy management systems, steam trap upgrades, computer management systems, pipe and attic insulation, lighting retrofits, weather sealing and controls on vending machines.

Sherborn: $137,450 for energy conservation measures at multiple municipal buildings including energy efficient lighting in the fire station, police station, town hall, and the Pine Hill School; heating and ventilation efficiency upgrades in the fire station and Pine Hill School; an energy efficient boiler for the library and anti-idling devices for municipal vehicles.

Shutesbury: $142,275 for energy conservation measures in multiple municipal buildings including heating ventilation and air conditioning and hot water systems efficiency upgrades, energy efficient lighting, air sealing and a 10 to 15 kW pole-mounted Solar PV system at the fire station

Somerville: $362,175 for LED streetlights and other energy efficiency projects.

Sutton: $143,050 for energy conservation measures including installation of a heat recovery system at the Municipal Complex and energy efficient parking lot lighting, energy audits of the wastewater treatment plant, Sutton Senior Center and fire stations and funds toward implementation of measure identified, and a hydro feasibility study of the Stevens and Manchaug Dams.

Tewksbury: $207,725 for energy conservation measures in multiple municipal buildings including building retro-commissioning of the police station, library, Center and South fire stations, and the Wynn, Ryan, Heath Brook and Trahan schools; and energy efficient lighting at the Dewing School 

Topsfield: $132,975 for energy conservation measures in the Proctor and Steward Schools, including lighting upgrades, weatherization, pipe insulation, and kitchen ventilation hood controls.

Truro: $141,200 for energy conservation measures and energy audits at multiple municipal buildings including insulation, heating system upgrades, hot water system upgrades and anti-idling devices for police cruisers.

Woburn: $231,925 for energy efficient lighting at the police station and the middle school, and LED Streetlights.

In addition to grants, each Green Community receives 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.