- Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Award to Central Massachusetts Municipalities
Jessica Ridlen, Communications Director, Mass DOER
Shrewsbury — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $932,961 to Northborough, Rutland, Shrewsbury, Sturbridge, Westborough and Uxbridge. The awards will fund energy efficiency projects and were presented by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito as part of an Earth Week celebration at Shrewsbury Town Hall.
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.
“Congratulations to my hometown of Shrewsbury for their dedication to becoming a Green Community,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Close collaboration between communities and the Commonwealth is a critical component to creating a cleaner energy future by investing in energy efficiency and 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.
“Thank you to the Baker-Polito Administration, Secretary Beaton, and Commissioner Judson for awarding both the Town of Shrewsbury and the Town of Westborough Green Community designation grants. I am proud to represent these two new Green Communities and applaud the towns commitment to advancing renewable energy agendas,” said State Representative Hannah Kane (R-Shrewsbury). “The Green Community designation unlocks critical funding for municipalities, enabling communities to reduce energy costs and invest in innovative and sustainable practices and energy policies to the benefit of residents across the Commonwealth. I am grateful to the Baker-Polito Administration for their continued commitment to partnering with our municipalities and advancing cities and towns across the Commonwealth.”
“I am very proud of Northborough for receiving a Green Communities designation and for all of the other designated communities,” said State Senator Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “Massachusetts residents are committing themselves to a greener future, and their work should set an example for the rest of the nation."
“With their continued commitment toward making significant investments in energy efficiency projects, Green Communities are true leaders in energy conservation throughout our Commonwealth,” said State Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury). “The Town of Shrewsbury is certainly deserving of this recognition. As the state continues to look ahead towards sustainable energy options, I applaud Shrewsbury for taking action to improve our environment.”
"I want to congratulate Northborough on their dedication to fostering green initiatives. The presentation of this grant exemplifies the way in which municipalities are working with the state to protect the environment for our communities,” said State Representative Hank Naughton (D-Clinton). “Together, we're achieving our shared goal of a clean, energy efficient future."
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.
A full list of projects funded by the Green Communities program can be found here.