- Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Award to Cape Cod and South Coast Municipalities
YARMOUTH — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $1,295,805 to Dighton, Fairhaven, Harwich, Marion, Orleans, Seekonk, Wareham and Yarmouth. The awards will fund energy efficiency projects and were presented by Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson during ceremonies in Cape Cod and the South Coast.
In December of last year, 30 communities across Massachusetts 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. With 240 of the Commonwealth’s municipalities having earned their Green Communities designation, 78 percent of residents now live in a Green Community. Since the program began in 2010, DOER’s Green Communities division has awarded over $100 million in grant funding to the Commonwealth’s cities and towns through designation and competitive grant rounds.
“We are proud to support the Green Communities program and the work it allows state and local governments to do in order to protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through responsible clean energy policies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Cities and towns that participate in the Green Communities program have access to additional resources that help facilitate investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects while reducing energy costs and carbon footprints.”
“These towns are making tremendous strides to reduce energy consumption and save money and this grant funding is another step we are taking to provide cities and towns across the Commonwealth with the tools they need to continue to move Massachusetts forward as a leader in energy efficiency,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito.
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 reduce their energy consumption by 293,936 MMBTUs in five years, energy use equivalent to heating and powering 2,281 homes, and greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reduction of 21,380 metric tons equivalent to taking 4,501 cars off the roads.
“Close collaboration between communities and the Commonwealth is a critical component of efforts to create a cleaner energy future by investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Kathleen Theoharides. “With today’s designation, the Green Communities program continues to prove an effective tool in collaborating with our municipal partners to reduce energy costs, consumption and emissions.”
“The Green Communities program is an important partnership with cities and towns to help them find clean energy solutions that reduce long-term energy costs and strengthen local economies,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “These grants represent another milestone for both the communities and the Commonwealth as we continue to collaborate to meet our shared energy goals.”
DOER awarded funding for projects in these newly designated Green Communities:
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.
“This is a great day for Wareham. The designation of Green Community status has far reaching benefits for our town. Reducing energy consumption not only saves municipal tax dollars, but we are also now eligible for programs that will provide additional resources to further improve energy efficiency and continue the move toward renewable energy,” said State Representative Susan Williams Gifford (R-Wareham). “Our local officials, led by Town Administrator Derek Sullivan and Town Planner Kenneth Buckland, worked diligently to achieve this designation and I thank the Baker-Polito Administration for continuing their efforts for a clean energy future in the Commonwealth.”
“I want to congratulate the towns of Orleans, Harwich and Yarmouth for receiving the designation as a ‘Green Community’ by dedicating their municipal buildings, vehicles and other town infrastructure to energy efficiency, which will reduce energy consumption and emissions by twenty percent over the next five years,” said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). “These towns join Mashpee, Wellfleet, Truro and Provincetown in leading the way on Cape Cod by their commitment to use renewable energy and other environmentally conscious practices to contribute less to global warming and reduce long-term energy costs. With our peninsula vulnerable to rising sea levels, I hope we can anticipate more towns throughout the region will strive for the ‘Green Community’ designation.”
“I am most thankful to the Baker/Polito Administration for its ongoing support of local communities, and in this case, for supporting green communities with grants so they can move forward with their plans to promote energy efficiency,” said State Representative Steven Howitt (R-Seekonk). “This support enables the towns to move forward with green projects such as energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives. In our urban area, and with original “Right to Farm” towns, this is welcome news, indeed.”
“I am proud to say that the Town of Yarmouth has been named as a Green Community. Both municipal leaders and residents have made a major commitment to make their town more in tune with the environmental challenges that are in front of them,” said State Representative Will Crocker (R-Centerville). “It is their commitment to those challenges that will allow Yarmouth to protect its unique environment and be able to sustain itself into the 21st century. This funding from the Department of Energy Resources will certainly pave the way to make the sustainability possible.”
“This is excellent news for Dighton, Marion, and Wareham and I am proud of these towns in my district for their commitment to protecting the environment and reducing greenhouse emissions,” said Dean of the Senate Marc R. Pacheco (D-Taunton). “The Green Communities program saves taxpayer money and extends key resources that help cities and towns in the Commonwealth secure a clean energy future. As newly-designated Green Communities, these towns will have access to critical investment opportunities for improving energy efficiency and updating outdated systems. I’m very pleased that Dighton, Marion, and Wareham have taken this proactive step and look forward to the positive effects the program will have on their local communities.”
“As State Senator of the Bristol & Norfolk District it is my distinct honor to work with Governor Baker, Lieutenant Governor Polito, and Commissioner Judson in recognizing Seekonk as a Green Community,” said State Senator Paul Feeney (D-Foxboro). “I have no doubt that Seekonk will continue to sustain their renewable development achievements and continue to take strides to reduce energy costs.”
Funding for these grants is available through proceeds from the Renewable Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) as well as 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.