- Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Celebrates Green Communities Grant in Dartmouth
Eric Noreen, Communications Director
DARTMOUTH — Continuing the Baker-Polito Administration’s celebration of Climate Week in Massachusetts, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides today visited the Town of Dartmouth to celebrate its recent $200,000 grant to support energy efficiency and energy conservation projects. The grant, awarded through the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER) Green Communities program, follows a 2017 grant totaling $223,750 that supported a water heater project at the Dartmouth High School annex as well as an exterior lighting project at the town senior center. Since 2010, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has awarded over $136 million to support municipal clean energy projects through the Green Communities program.
“Cities and towns across the Commonwealth continue to make meaningful reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and contribute to building a clean energy future for our state,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Our administration supports the energy efficiency and clean energy efforts made by these municipalities and local officials who are often on the frontlines in the fight against climate change.”
“Dartmouth, and the South Coast region, have made tremendous progress in pursuing clean energy projects and energy efficiency solutions,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “With this Green Communities grant, local officials will be able to update and improve heating and lighting systems and add weatherization to municipal buildings and facilities, making Dartmouth a more sustainable place to live.”
Under the Green Communities Act, cities and towns must meet five criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding. 271 Massachusetts cities and towns have earned the Green Communities designation, which is 77 percent of the cities and towns in the Commonwealth and accounts for 84 percent of the state’s population.
The $200,000 competitive grant awarded to Dartmouth, part of $13 million awarded in Green Communities grants to 103 municipalities announced on August 27, 2020, will go towards energy efficiency and energy conservation efforts. Projects include a heating system fuel conversion, LED lighting, and weatherization in municipal facilities including the Middle School, Smith Neck Recreation Center, Community TV, The Ice Cream Bucket, and the Council on Aging. Green Communities Competitive Grants are capped at $200,000 per municipality. Funding for these grants is available through proceeds from carbon allowance auctions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
“The Green Communities program supports the work that cities and towns across the Commonwealth are undertaking in order to reduce their carbon footprints and make their communities more sustainable,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “The projects that will be completed as a result of this grant will help Dartmouth improve its energy efficiency and reduce costs for many years to come.”
“The work that municipalities do to create and implement clean energy and energy efficiency projects is vitally important to the Commonwealth’s overall effort to reduce carbon emissions,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock. “This event highlights the dedicated municipal partners and officials from Dartmouth and the Green Communities team and their continued efforts to increase energy resilience and reduce our reliance on fossil fuels.”
The following municipalities in the South Coast region received competitive grant awards:
Acushnet – $153,358 – Projects include energy conservation measures consisting of interior and exterior LED lighting upgrades at Acushnet Elementary School and Ford Middle School.
Dartmouth – $200,000 – Projects include energy conservation measures consisting of heating system fuel conversion, LED lighting, and weatherization, in municipal facilities including the Middle School, Smith Neck Recreation Center, Community TV, Oxford Creamery, and Council on Aging.
Marion – $120,238 – Projects include energy conservation measures consisting of a heat pump with fuel conversion, weatherization, storm windows, unit heater with fuel conversion, LED lighting upgrades at the Community Center, Music Hall, Library, Silvershell and Main Pumping Stations.
“These grants will help towns throughout the South Coast to increase energy efficiency and reduce their carbon footprint at a time when we all must do our part to combat climate change,” said State Senator Mark Montigny (D-New Bedford). “Increasing efficiency also means less energy usage and reduced costs for our towns, which ultimately helps ease the financial burden on our hardworking taxpayers. Today’s awards are a total win for our communities, and I thank the Baker Administration for their commitment to this program.”
All Green Communities commit to reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent over five years. These commitments amount to collective savings of 2,534,787 MMBtu, energy use equivalent to heating and powering nearly 20,000 homes and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 233,640 tons, equivalent to taking over 45,000 cars off the road.
For additional information on awarded projects and funding amounts, please see here.
This year’s Climate Week marks four years since Governor Baker signed Executive Order 569 which lays out a comprehensive approach to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions, safeguard residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, and build a more resilient Commonwealth. More recently, the Administration has committed to investing $1 billion in climate resiliency by 2022 and achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The Commonwealth is working to determine how best to achieve this emissions limit through its 2050 Roadmap, a nation-leading quantitative and qualitative planning effort that will chart multiple technical and policy pathways by which the Commonwealth can equitably and cost-effectively achieve net zero emissions by 2050, and will conclude with the publication of a long-range 2050 Roadmap report. Additionally, the Administration is working with municipalities throughout the Commonwealth to prepare for the impacts of climate change through the nation-leading Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Program, which has now enrolled 89 percent of cities and towns.