Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Awards to Southeastern Massachusetts Municipalities
Six Communities Receive $1,830,735 for Clean Energy Projects
Boston – April 12, 2017 – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $1,830,735 to Brockton, Medfield, Dartmouth, Dover, Marshfield, and New Bedford. The awards will fund clean energy projects and were presented by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito at a ceremony at Brockton City Hall.
Earlier this year, 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:
A full list of projects funded by the Green Communities program can be found here .
“I am thrilled to see Marshfield be designated as a Green Community,” said State Senator Patrick O'Connor (R-Weymouth). “I thank Governor Baker and Lieutenant Governor Polito for promoting sustainability and environmental consciousness, especially in areas of greater environmental concern. As a coastal community, Marshfield, and the entire South Shore are taking on the responsibility to promote and use renewable resources, and I look forward to our future investments in greener communities.”
“It is great to see Medfield joining over 175 communities in the Commonwealth committed to prioritizing forward-thinking energy strategies. I’m thankful to the Baker-Polito administration and the Department of Energy Resources for including Medfield in this most recent group of grant recipients,” said State Senator James Timilty (D-Walpole). “The Green Communities initiative is a perfect example of what makes Massachusetts a national leader in enacting responsible energy policy.”
“Congratulations to New Bedford and Dartmouth for being designated as Green Communities,” said Assistant Majority Leader Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford). “I am proud to have a role in the legislative leadership that ensures both communities have the resources to pioneer the way in solar energy and numerous other green initiatives making our environment cleaner and securing it for future generations.”
“The old adage, ‘think globally, act locally’, applies most truly to efforts addressing climate change and sustainability,” said State Representative Jim Cantwell (D-Marshfield). “Our cities and towns are the prime movers and shakers in promoting renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, and I commend the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary Beaton for their continued support of these local efforts.”
“Brockton’s designation as a Green Community demonstrates our commitment to furthering clean energy and energy efficient projects in our city,” said State Representative Claire Cronin (D-Easton). “This designation is a great example of state and local partnerships investing in and supporting local renewable energy initiatives.”
“This designation means a lot to New Bedford, because it proves that we have re-established ourselves as leaders in energy and highlights our dedication to clean, renewable sources.” said State Representative Antonio F.D. Cabral (D – New Bedford). “If we want to succeed as a state in achieving our clean energy, efficiency and emissions goals, all cities and towns have to work together and I’m proud that New Bedford has been recognized for contributing to this collective effort.”
“I am thrilled that Brockton is one of 30 new communities to be named a Green Community and has committed to reducing energy consumption by 20 percent in five years,” said State Representative Gerry Cassidy (D-Brockton). “This grant will allow the city to achieve these goals and work towards cleaner, renewable energy.”
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.