Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Awards to Northeast Massachusetts Municipalities
Three Communities Receive $478,755 for Clean Energy Projects
NORTH ANDOVER – March 3, 2017 – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $478,755 to North Andover, Rockport and Salisbury. The awards announced today will fund clean energy projects and they were presented by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito in a ceremony at North Andover Town Hall.
In February, 30 Massachusetts cities and towns were designated by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) as Green Communities, committing to an ambitious renewable energy agenda to reduce energy consumption and emissions. Over half of the Commonwealth’s municipalities have earned their Green Communities designation and 64 percent of residents live in a Green Community. Since the program began in 2010, DOER’s Green Communities division has awarded over $65 million in grant funding to the Commonwealth’s cities and towns through designation and competitive grant rounds.
“The Green Communities program is an excellent example of how state and local governments can work together to save taxpayer money and promote responsible energy policies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our newest Green Communities will now have additional resources to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, locking in energy savings for residents and reducing their carbon footprints.”
“Our municipal partners continue to help us lead the way on renewable energy by adopting practices that allow them to reduce energy consumption, while saving money that can be directed to vital municipal functions, like public safety and education,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to continuing to provide cities and towns across the Commonwealth the tools they need to reduce energy costs, usage and emissions.”
The Commonwealth’s 185 Green Communities file size 1MB range from the Berkshires to Cape Cod and are home to 64 percent of Massachusetts’ population in municipalities as large as Boston and as small as Rowe. Under the Green Communities Act, cities and towns must meet five criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding, including reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent over five years. The 30 newly designated Green Communities have committed to reducing their energy consumption amounting to savings of $6,241,862 of energy costs and 2,234,090 MMBtu in five years, energy use equivalent to heating and powering nearly 2,718 homes, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 27,641 metric tons, equivalent to taking 5,819 cars off the roads.
“When Massachusetts’ cities and towns invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency programs everyone wins, from taxpayers savings to a statewide reduction in emissions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beaton. “With these designations, DOER’s Green Communities program continues to prove an effective tool in building a clean, renewable energy future for the Commonwealth.”
“DOER is proud to work with cities and towns across Massachusetts as they take important steps in embracing renewable energy and energy efficiency at the local level,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judson. “These designations are simply the beginning of an important relationship between the Commonwealth and our municipal partners as we work towards our shared clean energy goals.”
DOER awarded funding for projects in these newly designated Green Communities include:
North Andover $169,390
“Leadership and action at the municipal level are essential to our state's success in conserving resources and capturing renewable energy,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce E. Tarr (R-Gloucester). “Rockport and North Andover are making an important commitment to our future by becoming Green Communities, and receiving significant grant funding to propel initiatives that work for people in each town and will make a difference for our Commonwealth.”
“Congratulations to North Andover and Salisbury on being designated as Green Communities by the State's Department of Energy Resources,” said State Senator Kathleen O'Connor Ives (D-Newburyport). “Both communities have taken important steps in maximizing energy efficiency in their municipal vehicle purchases and in implementing energy conservation requirements for commercial construction, and have committed to further energy use reductions. Their efforts are to be commended.”
“This is fantastic news for the Town of Salisbury” said State Representative James Kelcourse (R-Amesbury). “Salisbury is taking an important step towards a more sustainable future and this grant will enable the town to continue investing in the environment.”
“I am pleased that the Administration is continuing its commitment to establishing Green Communities and has awarded funding to Rockport for its efforts,” said State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester). “I recognize the importance of this partnership with municipalities as they move toward their goals of clean energy and environmental protection.”
“North Andover's designation as a Green Community is a testament to the town’s unwavering commitment to reducing energy use and initiating projects that will lead to a clean and affordable energy future,” said State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen).
Under the Green Communities Act, DOER’s Green Communities Designation and Grant Program can provide up to $20 million annually to qualified cities and towns. The goal of the Designation Grant Program is support communities’ investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the clean energy goals determined by the designated communities. Initial Designation Grants are based on a $125,000 base for each designated Green Community, plus additional amounts tied to per capita income and population, and for municipalities that provide as-of-right siting for renewable energy generation.
“The Green Communities Program is an outstanding example of the strong partnership that the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature have forged with cities and towns,” said Geoffrey C. Beckwith, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. “Communities all across the state will use these grant funds for innovative programs to reduce energy usage and invest in renewable energy projects, and the benefits will flow to taxpayers and the environment.”
Funding for these grants is available through proceeds from carbon allowance auctions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP) paid by retail electric suppliers that do not meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard compliance obligations through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates.
Led by Commissioner Judith Judson, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) develops and implements policies and programs aimed at ensuring the adequacy, security, diversity, and cost-effectiveness of the Commonwealth's energy supply to create a clean, affordable and resilient energy future. To that end, DOER strives to ensure deployment of all cost-effective energy efficiency, maximize development of clean energy resources, create and implement energy strategies to assure reliable supplies and improve the cost of clean energy relative to fossil-fuel based generation and support Massachusetts' clean energy companies and spur Massachusetts' clean energy employment. DOER is an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).
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