- Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
- Green Communities Division
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Designates Four Towns as Green Communities
Lauren Diggin, External Affairs Manager
Boston — The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that the Towns of Plymouth, Wakefield, Washington, and Wrentham have been designated as Green Communities, committing to clean energy and energy efficiency goals to reduce energy usage and lower greenhouse gas emissions, and are now eligible for grants totaling more than $730,000. With today’s designation, 290 of the Commonwealth’s municipalities have earned a Green Communities designation. Since the program began, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has awarded more than $160 million in grant funding to the Commonwealth’s cities and towns through designation and competitive grant rounds.
“The work of the Commonwealth’s Green Communities to implement local projects that reduce long-term energy costs and carbon emissions is essential to helping Massachusetts meet its climate goals and achieve Net Zero emissions,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “We congratulate these four newly designated Green Communities and applaud their commitment to reduce energy consumption and adopt clean energy initiatives.”
“Green Communities are champions for clean energy practices across Massachusetts, and we commend these four communities for helping to create cleaner, healthier, and more affordable places to live,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “By working closely with our local leaders, Massachusetts will continue to be a national leader in energy efficiency, clean energy policies, and reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions.”
The 290 Green Communities commit to reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent each. The commitment of this new group of four towns to reduce their energy consumption amounts to a savings of 57,667 MMBTUs in five years, energy use equivalent to heating and powering 447 homes, and greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reductions of 3,902 tons, equivalent to taking 821 cars off the road. Since 2015, the Baker-Polito Administration has designated 154 cities and towns as Green Communities and awarded 773 grant awards totaling nearly $122 million. These municipal projects have contributed an estimated 52,231 metric tons of GHG reductions, which is the equivalent of taking more than 11,000 cars off the road. Green Communities’ projects have included weatherization improvements in schools and municipal buildings, electric vehicles for town and school fleets, and renewable thermal technologies, such as air source heat pumps.
“The Green Communities program serves as a vital tool for Massachusetts to aid its cities and towns in making important investments at the local level to combat climate change by reducing harmful emissions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “Importantly, the hard work and dedication of our partners in Plymouth, Wakefield, Washington, Wrentham, and all of the Green Communities, helps the Commonwealth achieve its national-leading climate and clean energy goals.”
“The vision, hard work, and leadership of these four newly dedicated Green Communities to implement clean energy projects and reduce building and transportation emissions is helping move Massachusetts to a clean energy future,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock. “The transition to efficient, clean technologies is increasingly critical for both municipal budgets and our transition to a net-zero economy.”
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 to 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. DOER is awarding the Town of Plymouth with $270,000, the Town of Wakefield with $189,100, the Town of Washington with $126,500, and the Town of Wrentham with $144,600 for projects within the municipalities.
“I am so pleased that we were able to help Wrentham get this designation and bring home this money to Wrentham to make these energy improvements for the town,” said State Representative Shawn Dooley (R-Norfolk).
“I am thrilled to see Plymouth designated as a Green Community by the Baker Administration and receive a $270,000 grant to begin reducing Plymouth’s carbon footprint,” said State Representative Kathy LaNatra (D-Kingston). “Tackling the issue of climate change is going to take the partnership of many different entities, the Green Communities program is an excellent example of State-Local partnership that is needed to reduce carbon emissions, become more energy efficient and stave off the effects of climate change.”
“The Green Communities program has been very successful in helping our cities and towns to reduce their energy usage, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and generate savings for tight municipal budgets,” said State Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester). “I’m thrilled that Wakefield has now been designated as a Green Community, and grateful to Town Councilor Julie Smith-Galvin and Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Commissioner Jennifer Kallay for their leadership in making this happen.”
“I’m thrilled that Wakefield has been designated as a Green Community and awarded $189,100 in State funds,” said State Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian (D-Melrose). “I applaud the Town’s ongoing commitment to reducing energy consumption in furtherance of the Commonwealth’s climate goals and look forward to celebrating the initiatives it stands up with the support of this funding.”
“Towns like Plymouth are on the front lines of combatting the climate crisis,” said State Senator Susan Moran (D-Falmouth). “This funding will give our municipal leaders the flexibility they need to create policies that work for their towns and identify opportunities to revamp our energy efficiency infrastructure.”
“Proud of Plymouth’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase measures to cut energy costs for the town,” said State Representative Mathew Muratore (R-Plymouth). “Being a Green Community will better enable Plymouth to meet its energy goals through increased grant opportunities and technical assistance.”
“The path to meeting our clean energy and energy efficiency goals begins locally. I applaud the town of Washington for committing to reducing energy usage and lowering greenhouse gas emissions, and I congratulate them on being named a Green Community,” said State Representative Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox). “Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration for investing in our municipalities and supporting them in their pursuit of energy efficiency.”
“Reducing our energy consumption and committing to green energy and energy efficiency are integral parts in the fight against climate change,” said State Senator Becca Rausch (D-Needham). “I am proud that the Town of Wrentham has been designated as a Green Community for their commitment to reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent. As both the Town of Wrentham’s State Senator and the Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture, I look forward to working alongside local leaders to further their green energy goals in the years to come.”
To advance the Commonwealth’s efforts to reduce GHG emissions, the Baker-Polito Administration released the Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2025 and 2030 (2025/2030 CECP) on June 30, 2022. The plan provides a comprehensive and wide-ranging approach to achieve a 33 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in 2025, a 50 percent reduction in 2030, and to maximize the Commonwealth’s ability to achieve Net Zero in 2050. The 2025/2030 CECP development was informed by the 2050 Decarbonization Roadmap that the Administration released in December 2020, along with updated analyses, and offers key strategies, policies, and actions that are outlined in the plan that will put the Commonwealth on a pathway to achieving Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions.