For Immediate Release - November 28, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration Presents Green Communities Awards to Revere, Somerville and Topsfield

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

Map of Green Communities Statewide

REVERE – Monday, November 28, 2011 – During a ceremony today in Revere, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. presented three of the state's newest Green Communities - Revere, Somerville, and Topsfield - with awards to finance clean energy projects. Municipal officials plan to use the awards, totaling $861,750, for energy management systems, high-efficiency street lights, building weatherization, and other projects.

"These communities are leading the way in helping the Commonwealth build a clean energy future that lowers energy costs, invests in long-term savings and fuels our local economy," said Secretary Sullivan.

Massachusetts was recently ranked first in the nation in a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for its energy efficiency policies and programs, moving California out of the top spot for the first time since the ranking was first published four years ago. The report cited the Green Communities Act as central to Massachusetts’ success and pointed to the effectiveness of the Patrick-Murray Administration’s integrated approach to creating jobs, helping clean energy businesses thrive, improving energy security and lowering energy costs, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions

“Across the Commonwealth, communities are taking advantage of these grants to fund cost-cutting energy efficiency measures such as new lighting, insulation and weatherizing measures,” said Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “These measures cut long-term municipal energy costs, freeing up municipal dollars for other needs.”

In July, DOER awarded its latest round of grants worth $3.7 million to the state's newest 21 Green Communities, which join 53 other cities and towns named in previous rounds of Green Communities designations. The additions bring the total number of official Green Communities to 74. These communities are eligible for awards to fund local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that will advance both municipal and state clean energy goals.

“I am proud to say that the city of Revere is officially a Green Community,” said Speaker Robert A. DeLeo. “Thanks to the Patrick-Murray Administration for their support and to the Department of Energy Resources for the $336,600 grant, the city of Revere will now be able to fund more energy-efficient projects throughout the community.”

“The Green Communities Act grants have helped us prepare long-term goals in an effort to use municipal dollars more efficiently.  The grants have played an integral role, with cities like Revere, in implementing green goals as a part of capital projects,” commented Senator Anthony Petruccelli. 

“This grant will cut energy consumption and costs for the city, allocating more municipal money to be spent on other critical services today and creating a cleaner Revere tomorrow” said State Representative Kathi-Anne Reinstein.

“The Green Communities Award will help Somerville to continue to lessen its impact on the environment, while also saving valuable public dollars to be spent on other municipal projects,” said Rep. Timothy Toomey. “This type of investment is both fiscally prudent and socially responsible.”

“We appreciate the support of the Patrick-Murray Administration to make some of our most used public spaces energy efficient, which will save municipal costs and cut our overall energy use,” said Mayor Thomas G. Ambrisino.

“Once again, the Patrick-Murray administration is demonstrating a steady commitment to helping communities like Somerville enhance and expand our environmental programs,” said Somerville Mayor Joseph A. Curtatone. “Through this Green Communities grant, DOER  is assisting our efforts to switch to more energy-efficient LED streetlights, to use green, energy-efficient and recycled materials in our municipal buildings, and to reduce the carbon footprint and emissions profiles of our vehicle fleet.  This is yet another reminder that government policy and public investment can have a positive impact on our shared quality of life – and I really appreciate the way the Governor and the Lt. Governor are providing leadership on this issue.”

The award details are listed below.

Revere: $366,600 to fund energy conservation and efficiency measures in Revere City Hall, a senior center, and a youth center: installation of energy management systems; replacement of steam traps; installation of computer management systems; installation of pipe and attic insulation; lighting retrofits; weather sealing; and controls on vending machines.

Somerville: $362,175 to fund high-efficiency street light installation at Davis Square, Union Square, along the Community Path, and in several other areas in the city; the implementation of an energy management system at the Somerville High School; and the retrofitting of two of the Fire Department’s hybrid vehicles to extend the vehicle range to operate using electricity.

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

DOER's July grant round will fund an array of projects across the state, including the installation of solar panels on town office buildings, weatherization at schools and municipal buildings, installation of high-efficiency street lights, and several energy efficiency upgrades. In addition to these three communities, awards were made to Ayer, Bedford, Brookline, Buckland, Carlisle, Deerfield, Granby, Holland, Mendon, Middlefield, Millbury, Monson, Sherborn, Shutesbury, Sutton, Tewksbury, Truro, and Woburn.

The 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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