For Immediate Release - December 02, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration Presents Green Communities Awards to Six Communities

Green Communities grants to fund municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in Holland, Mendon, Millbury, Monson, Sherborn and Sutton

Map of Green Communities Statewide

SUTTON – Friday, December 2, 2011 – During a ceremony today in Sutton, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr. presented six of the state's newest Green Communities – Holland, Millbury, Monson, Mendon, Sherborn and Sutton – with awards to finance clean energy projects. Municipal officials plan to use the awards, totaling $902,675, for energy management systems, high-efficiency street lights, building weatherization, and other projects.

"Leading the way in energy efficiency and clean energy adoption in Massachusetts, these communities are building a clean energy future that will lead to cuts in long-term energy costs, increased savings and local jobs," 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

“These 74 communities are using these grants to upgrade inefficient lighting systems, identify infrastructure ripe for energy efficiency improvements and adopt renewable energy sources, which cut municipal costs while protecting our environment,” said Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia.

In November, 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.

The award details are listed below.

Holland: $143,250 to fund an energy audit to identify energy conservation measures for the elementary school and the fire and police garage and the implementation of DOER-approved measures from the completed audits.

Mendon: $145,925 to fund the following energy conservation measures: installation of new energy efficient lights in the library, police station, fire station, and senior center; installation of a new high-efficiency furnace for the library; an energy audit to identify potential additional energy conservation measures for the town hall, library, police station, fire station, highway building and senior center; and implementation of DOER-approved measures from the completed audits.

Monson: $165,975 to fund an improved energy management system for Quarry Hill Elementary School and a fuel efficient replacement vehicle for the senior center.

Millbury: $167,025 to fund energy conservation measures at various municipal buildings including Millbury Memorial High School, the Elmwood Street and Shaw Middle Schools, and the library and fire station. The measures include the installation of occupancy motion sensors in bathrooms for lighting and exhaust fans, lighting upgrades, improvements to motors and evaporator fan controls in walk-in coolers, and replacement of a boiler reset control system.

Sherborn: $137,450 to fund the following energy conservation measures: lighting upgrades at the fire and police stations, town hall, and the Pine Hill School; heating and ventilation work at the fire station and Pine Hill School; at the library, conversion of the existing boiler from oil to gas; installation of anti-idling devices on municipal vehicles as well as technical services toward the installation of a solar PV system on the town’s closed landfill and an energy assessment of the Pine Hill School.

Sutton: $143,050 to fund an assessment of the feasibility of hydropower at Stevens and Manchaug Dams; an energy audit to identify potential additional energy conservation measures at the wastewater treatment plant, Sutton Senior Center and fire stations; and the following energy conservation measures: replacement of existing parking lot pole light heads with induction/LED fixtures; and, at the municipal complex, installation of a heat recovery system.

"We are proud to be named one of the 21 communities to obtain the green communities designation. The board of selectmen has taken the next step to make Sutton a more sustainable community," said Sutton Town Administrator James Smith.

“Monson is proud to recognize the importance of conserving energy and embracing the use of renewable energy by participating in the Green Communities program,” said Monson Town Administrator Gretchen E. Neggers. “The program provides immediate results by offering financing of municipal projects that will save both energy and money. Also, while no one anticipated the destruction caused by the June 1, 2011 tornado, as the community rebuilds to the stretch code, benefits will continue to accrue for both the people and the environment. Our energy consumption as a community will decline and renewable energy will become integrated into our residents' daily experiences.”

DOER's November grants 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 six communities, awards were made to Ayer, Bedford, Brookline, Buckland, Carlisle, Deerfield, Granby, Middlefield, Revere, Shutesbury, Somerville, Tewksbury, Topsfield, 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 and 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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