- Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
- Green Communities Division
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Award to Lawrence
Jessica Ridlen, Communications Director, Mass DOER
Lawrence — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded a Green Communities designation grant of $594,140 to the City of Lawrence. The award will fund clean energy projects and was presented by Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton and Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson during an Earth Week event at Lawrence City Hall.
In December of last year, 25 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. Over 200 of the Commonwealth’s municipalities have earned their Green Communities designation and 72 percent of residents now live in a Green Community. Since the program began in 2010, DOER’s Green Communities division has awarded over $85 million in grant funding to the Commonwealth’s cities and towns through designation and competitive grant rounds.
“The Green Communities program is a model for how state and local governments can work together to be responsible stewards of the environment and our resources while promoting responsible energy policies,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By participating in the Green Communities program, Lawrence will have additional resources to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, securing energy savings for residents and reducing their carbon footprints.”
“The Commonwealth is well served by municipal partners, like Lawrence, who are making a reduction in energy consumption a priority, while saving money that can be directed to vital municipal functions,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Today’s announcement is another step we are taking to provide cities and towns across the Commonwealth the tools they need to continue to lead the way in energy efficiency.”
The Commonwealth’s 210 Green Communities range from the Berkshires to Cape Cod and are home to 72 percent of Massachusetts’ population in municipalities as large as Boston and as small as Rowe. 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 25 newly designated Green Communities have committed to reduce their energy consumption by 296,967 MMBTUs in five years, energy use equivalent to heating and powering 2,302 homes, and greenhouse gas emission (GHG) reduction of 23,630 metric tons equivalent to taking 4,975 cars off the roads.
“By investing in renewable energy and energy efficiency, the City of Lawrence is working to create a net positive impact on energy consumption while ensuring environmental protection,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “With today’s designation, the Green Communities program continues to prove an effective tool in building a clean, renewable energy future for the Commonwealth.”
“DOER is proud to partner with communities across Massachusetts as they embrace renewable energy and energy efficiency at the local level,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “These designations mark the first step in the relationship between the Commonwealth and our municipal partners as we work towards our shared clean energy goals.”
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.
Funding for these grants is available through proceeds from 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.
“As a community, Lawrence has been working hard every day to lessen our carbon footprint. As an industrial city, we recognize that commercial development can have a large impact that we are trying to minimize,” said Lawrence Mayor Dan Rivera. “I want to thank Governor Baker and Secretary Beaton, as well as the Department of Energy Resources for working with our community to receive this designation.”
“I’m thrilled for Lawrence. Dense urban populations are often acutely affected by climate change,” said State Senator Barbara L’Italien (D-Andover). “Not only does this designation show that we mean business when it comes to reducing energy use in the city, but also allows access to grants that will help the city revitalize. Lawrence is becoming a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”
“The environmental sustainability of our community is one of my top priorities as a legislator,” said State Representative Juana Matias (D-Lawrence). “I am so pleased to see that City of Lawrence was awarded $594,000 to help move us towards our vision of becoming a model of sustainability for the Commonwealth to follow. With the help of the Green Communities Program we will be able to help protect the public health of our residents, our natural environment, strengthen our economy, and ultimately make Lawrence a stronger city. I look forward to continuing to support our City’s efforts to improve the quality of life for all of our residents.”
“The designation of Lawrence as a Green Community is a testament to the city's commitment to reducing energy use and initiating projects that will lead to a clean and affordable energy future,” said State Representative Diane DiZoglio (D-Methuen).
“As elected officials, making policy with an eye towards creating a sustainable future for the next generation should always be a top priority,” said State Representative Frank Moran (D-Lawrence). “I’m thrilled to celebrate the city of Lawrence’s designation as a Green Community, and I believe this will help us move towards such a sustainable future for generations to come.”
As part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to combat and prepare for climate change, Governor Baker recently filed legislation to authorize over $1.4 billion in capital allocations for investments in safeguarding residents, municipalities and businesses from the impacts of climate change, protecting environmental resources, and investing in communities. The legislation would put into law essential components of Governor Baker’s Executive Order 569, which established an integrated strategy for climate change adaptation across the Commonwealth, including the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program and the Statewide Hazard Mitigation and Adaptation Plan – a blueprint to protect residents, communities, and local economies.
A full list of projects funded by the Green Communities program can be found here.