For Immediate Release - December 07, 2011

Patrick-Murray Administration Presents Green Communities Award to Truro

Map of Green Communities Statewide

TRURO – Wednesday, December 7, 2011 – During a ceremony today in Truro, Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Mark Sylvia presented one of the state's newest Green Communities – Truro – with an award to finance clean energy projects. Municipal officials plan to use the award of $141,200, to fund several energy conservation measures including the installation of anti-idling devices on police cruisers, energy audits, and efficiency measures at several municipal buildings including new boiler systems and new roof insulation.

“Communities across Massachusetts are making investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy that create local jobs, cut energy costs, and protect our environment,” said Secretary Sullivan. “On behalf of the Patrick-Murray Administration, I congratulate Truro on its clean energy leadership.”

Projects such as the lighting upgrades and insulation improvements planned in Truro are the types of activities that helped Massachusetts reach a national energy efficiency milestone in October, when the Bay State was ranked first in the nation in a report by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). ACEE honored Massachusetts as first in the nation 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.

“As the second community on the Cape to receive a Green Community designation, Truro is taking a regional leadership role in adopting clean energy and energy efficiency programs that cut long-term municipal costs and reduce energy consumption,” said DOER Commissioner Sylvia. “We congratulate Truro in embracing Governor Patrick’s statewide energy efficiency goals and acting as a model for smart municipal energy investing.”

In November, DOER awarded its latest round of grants worth $3.7 million to the state's newest 21 Green Communities, which joined 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. Mashpee was designated as the first Cape Cod Green Community in 2010. 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.

"This is just the kind of grassroots, energy-saving, job-creating focus that deserves celebration and state support," said Sen. Dan Wolf. "Hats off to Truro, hats off to Mashpee, and we stand ready to help every Cape and Islands town go green."

“Truro is delighted to be named a Green Community and these funds will help bring down long-term municipal energy costs while protecting our environment with reduced energy use,” said Truro Assistant Town Administrator Charleen Greenhalgh.

Massachusetts is at the end of the energy pipeline and imports all of its fossil-fuel based energy sources from other regions of the country or other parts of the world - many of them unstable or hostile to the U.S. Of the $22 billion Massachusetts spends annually to buy the energy that runs its power plants, buildings and vehicles, 80 percent flows out of state to purchase coal from Colombia, oil from Venezuela, and natural gas and oil from the Middle East and Canada.  That’s nearly $18 billion in lost economic opportunity that Massachusetts stands poised to reclaim through investments in home-grown renewable energy and energy efficiency such as those supported by Green Communities grants.

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 Truro, awards were made to Ayer, Bedford, Brookline, Buckland, Carlisle, Deerfield, Granby, Holland, Mendon, Middlefield, Millbury, Monson, Revere, Sherborn, Shutesbury, Somerville, Sutton, Tewksbury, Topsfield, 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 criteria for energy generation.

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.

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