For Immediate Release - May 24, 2012

Patrick-Murray Administration Presents Green Communities Award to Provincetown

Map of Green Communities Statewide

PROVINCETOWN – Wednesday, May 23, 2012 – Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Mark Sylvia today presented a $143,600 grant to the town of Provincetown – one of the state's newest Green Communities – to fund a clean energy project in a municipal building.

“Our communities are at the heart of the clean energy revolution we’ve started here in Massachusetts. We’re proud to support municipal energy efficiency projects because they cut energy use, create local jobs and protect our environment," said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr., whose office includes DOER.

The grant presented today will fund an energy efficient heating system replacement at Provincetown’s  Veterans Memorial School building. In addition, Provincetown will receive a certificate from the Commonwealth and four road signs identifying it as an official Green Community.

Earlier this month, DOER announced its latest round of grants worth $2 million to the state's newest 12 Green Communities. In addition to Provincetown, awards were made to Ashfield, Barre, Beverly, Bridgewater, Chesterfield, Leverett, Maynard, Quincy, Rowe, Shirley and Weston. They joined 74 other cities and towns named in previous rounds of Green Communities designations, bringing the total number of official Green Communities to 86.  With these latest designations, 42 percent of Massachusetts residents - 2.7 million people - now live in Green Communities across the Commonwealth.

All of the 86 Green Communities committed to reduce their municipal energy consumption by 20 percent.  This commitment collectively equates to the annual energy consumption of more than 13,000 Massachusetts homes and the greenhouse gases from more than 16,800 cars. 

Once designated by DOER as official Green Communities, cities and towns are eligible for awards to fund local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that advance both municipal and state clean energy goals. Grants awarded so far assist 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 a host of energy efficiency upgrades.

“Green Community energy efficiency projects save municipal dollars, cut our dependence on foreign fossil fuel sources and help the Commonwealth meet its ambitious but achievable statewide clean energy goals,” said Commissioner Sylvia.

Massachusetts sits at the end of the energy pipeline, lacking indigenous fossil fuel sources and spending $22 billion each year to run power plants, fuel vehicles and businesses, and heat buildings. Of that sum, Massachusetts spends 80 percent on foreign energy sources such as those in other states, Canada and the Middle East. 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.

Massachusetts has increased solar installations 30-fold since Governor Deval Patrick took office – increasing from 3.5 megawatts (MW) in 2007 to 105 MW installed today. Solar installations are now in 334 of Massachusetts 351 cities and towns. The amount of wind energy installed has jumped from 3.1 MW in 2007 to more than 54 MW today. Governor Patrick has set statewide goals of 250 MW of solar power by 2017 and 2,000 MW of wind power by 2020.

DOER’ Green Communities Designation and Grant Program uses funding from auctions of carbon emissions permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, as well as Annual Compliance Payments made by electricity suppliers under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, to reward communities that earn Green Communities designation by meeting five clean energy benchmarks. 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 Criterion 1 with renewable energy generation.  

"Congratulations to Provincetown for taking up the challenge, and going Green," said Senator Dan Wolf. "This award is just one of many benefits the town will receive from this great decision, and we thank Secretary Sullivan and Commissioner Sylvia for their support."

"I applaud Provincetown for once again being a leader when it comes to our environment! Being designated a Green Community speaks volumes about the commitment and leadership of the Selectmen, administration, and all of the Provincetown's citizens. Congratulations!" said Rep Sarah Peake.

The Green Communities Act, which created DOER’s Green Communities Designation and Grant program, was cited by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) as a primary reason for ACEEE’s 2011 ranking of Massachusetts as first in the nation for 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. ACEEE’s October report 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.

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