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Being a Green Community

Once designated, Green Communities apply for grants and demonstrate energy leadership through best practices

Green Communities are eligible to apply for grants to implement energy conservation measures that help them cut energy use and costs.  They track their actual energy use and costs, acquire fuel-efficient vehicles as required by their Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Policy, and ensure new construction activities are in compliance with the Stretch Energy Code.

Key Program Dates Calendar (Jan - Dec 2024)

Map of state showing 291 municipalities designed as Green Communities

Table of Contents

Annual Reporting

Green Communities must submit an Annual Report to demonstrate they continue to meet the Five Designation Criteria and to remain eligible for program grants. The annual report also includes updates on how the community is progressing toward its 20 percent energy reduction goal.  

Green Communities can prepare throughout the year for the annual reporting process by reviewing and updating municipal energy data in MassEnergyInsight (MEI). Green Communities are encouraged to review that all gas and electric utility data in MEI have been properly assigned to its buildings and facilities. Any delivered fuels (e.g. oil, propane, gasoline, and diesel) need to be added to the community’s account by the user – it is recommended that this be done quarterly. Communities can confirm data has been added to the accounts by reviewing the “Data Loaded” report in MEI. Please note that manually entered delivered fuels can take up to 24 hours to appear in your account. 

Beginning in FY23, communities will no longer use a spreadsheet for annual reporting. A web-based form was developed in MEI for communities to complete the Annual Report. Authorized users can access the web-based form through the toolbar in MEI after logging in. 

Helpful rsources including training videos are available.

Contact your Regional Coordinator if you would like him or her to provide your community's approved report from last year.

Tracking Energy Use

Most Green Communities use MassEnergyInsight (MEI), a web-based tool, to track their energy use. It is important for MEI users to regularly check their accounts to make sure energy consumption is on target. Municipalities with delivered fuels (oil, propane, gasoline, and diesel) should upload this data on a quarterly basis.

Additional Resources

Efficient Vehicles

Vehicle fleets are often overlooked as opportunities for efficiency upgrades and can use a significant percentage of a community's total energy use, especially in smaller towns with fewer buildings with energy savings potential. Vehicle fuel consumption on average represents approximately 22% of total municipal energy usage for Green Communities.

While reducing fuel usage can be challenging there are a number of resources and opportunities available to municipal fleet managers. Several statewide contracts for fuel-efficient vehicles, electric vehicle charging stations, and anti-reduction equipment are available for use by all public entities in Massachusetts.

The Massachusetts Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP) helps eligible public entities acquire electric vehicles and install charging stations for their fleets. 

Additional Resources

New Construction Best Practices

To create efficient residential, commercial, and municipal buildings, designers and builders utilize integrated design and building techniques. They determine which energy efficiency strategies and technologies, including on-site generation, to utilize to enhance buildings' performance, minimize energy use and costs, and improve occupancy comfort and productivity. 

Additional Resources

Implement Energy Efficiency Measures

To assist cities, towns, and regional entities undertake energy efficiency measures, the Green Communities Division and Mass DOER work with partners and other state agencies to make energy efficiency achievable in Massachusetts. 

For low-no-cost actions communities can take, refer to the UMass Clean Energy Extension’s checklist and other resources on their website.

Additional Resources

Grant Opportunities

Competitive Grants –

A Competitive Grant for existing Green Communities is offered on an annual basis as long as funding is available.  Applicants must demonstrate they are Green Communities “in good standing” by completing the Annual Report that confirms the applicant still meets the Five Criteria of the Green Communities Designation Program.

Applicants also need to have closed any prior designation and competitive grants by providing a final report and having a site inspection before being eligible for a new competitive grant opportunity.

Fall Application Period Closed.

View previous PON on Commbuys-

DOER PON-ENE-2023-018 2023 Green Communities Competitive Grant Program


Municipal Energy Technical Assistance – 

Municipal Energy Technical Assistance Grants provide funding to independent third parties to aid municipalities, regional school districts, and water/wastewater districts in the study, negotiation, development and/or management of clean energy projects.

The Grants are offered on an annual basis, as long as funding is available. The amount of available funding, for future Grant rounds may vary. The cumulative total of actual awards depends upon the number of applications received, their eligibility and the funding allocation available for this Grant program. 

Application Period is Closed

View previous PON on Commbuys--

DOER PON-ENE-2024-005 Green Communities Municipal Energy Technical Assistance Grant Program Round 12

Regional Energy Planning Assistance Grants

Regional Energy Planning Assistance (REPA) Grants are available for eligible Technical Assistance Agencies to augment municipal capacity necessary to: 1) participate in the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program; and 2) advance clean energy projects in under-resourced municipalities.

Application Period is Closed

View previous PON on Commbuys -- 

DOER PON ENE 2023-019 2023 Regional Energy Planning Assistance Grant Program

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