For Immediate Release - February 10, 2014

Patrick Administration Energy Officials Present Three Green Communities Awards

Amesbury, Manchester-by-the-Sea, West Newbury receive Green Communities designations and more than $450,000 in grant funds

WEST NEWBURY– Monday, February 10, 2014 – Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Rick Sullivan today presented Amesbury, Manchester-by-the-Sea and West Newbury with $453,000 in Green Communities grants to fund local clean energy projects.

These municipalities are now three of the 123 Green Communities across the Commonwealth making smart investments in clean energy,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Community by community, we are protecting our environment, reducing municipal costs and making Massachusetts a clean energy leader.”

“It’s exciting to see these communities count themselves among the leaders taking charge of their clean energy future,” said Secretary Sullivan. “The Patrick Administration continues to support municipalities that are cutting energy use, creating jobs and protecting the environment. Their efforts are critical to the Commonwealth’s clean energy revolution.”

The municipalities received a certificate from the Commonwealth and road signs identifying them as Green Communities. The Department of Energy Resources’ Green Communities Division officially designated the communities in December, recognizing achievements in meeting five clean energy benchmarks. The grants each community received are as follows:

Amesbury                               $173,775
Manchester-by-the-Sea          $138,850
West Newbury                        $140,900

“Massachusetts’ clean energy revolution continues its momentum in large part because of leadership at the local level,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “These communities continue to spread renewable energy and efficiency efforts across our Commonwealth, saving money and energy for their residents and businesses, and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.”

The grants are part of more than $2 million in funding awarded to the state’s 13 newest Green Communities. In addition to those awarded in West Newbury today, Acushnet, Ashby, Blackstone, Concord, Framingham, Longmeadow, Lunenburg, Plympton, Westford, Williamsburg will receive awards and designations.

“Congratulations to Amesbury for earning designation as a Green Community,” said Senator Kathleen O’Connor Ives. “This is an opportunity to qualify for state grants to renovate municipal buildings and update equipment to improve energy efficiency and reduce the city’s energy cost.”

“I congratulate Amesbury on joining the innovative Green Communities program,” said Representative Michael A. Costello. “The energy improvements from this grant will help make Amesbury a more efficient community. I look forward to the new LED replacement lighting in the historic downtown that will add brighter illumination and long-term energy savings.”

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 have funded a variety 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 energy efficiency upgrades.

Including this seventh round of designation grants and two rounds of competitive grants, the Patrick Administration has awarded nearly $30 million in grants to the Commonwealth’s 123 Green Communities. Available to eligible Green Communities that have successfully invested their previous Green Communities grants, applications for DOER’s third round of Green Communities Competitive Grants will be due at the end of March.

To date, the 123 Green Communities have committed to a total energy reduction equivalent to the annual energy consumption of approximately 15,000 homes. In greenhouse gas reduction terms, this commitment equates to taking approximately 34,000 cars off the road.

DOER’s Green Communities Designation and Grant Program, a result of the Green Communities Act signed by Governor Patrick in 2008, is funded through auctions of carbon emissions permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, as well as Alternative Compliance Payments made by electricity suppliers under the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard.

The Patrick Administration’s aggressive clean energy initiatives have made Massachusetts a leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy and emissions reductions. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has named Massachusetts number one for three years running. This year, Governor Patrick set a new solar goal after reaching the previous goal of 250 megawatts four years early. The Commonwealth now aims to install 1,600 megawatts of solar capacity by 2020. The clean energy revolution is yielding economic benefits as well, with 11.8 percent job growth in the last year and 24 percent growth in the last two years; nearly 80,000 people are employed in the cleantech industry in Massachusetts.

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