- Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Award to South Shore Municipalities
Jessica Ridlen, Communications Director, Mass DOER
Hingham — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $293,415 to Hingham and Hanson. The awards will fund clean energy projects and was presented by Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson at an event ceremony at Hingham 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 help facilitate investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects while reducing energy costs and carbon footprints.”
“The Commonwealth is proud to partner with municipalities like Hingham and Hanson who are making tremendous strides to reduce energy consumption and save money,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “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 clean energy.”
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 Matthew Beaton. “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.
"The Green Communities program represents a great partnership between the legislature and the administration to invest in clean energy solutions,” said State Representative Josh Cutler (D-Duxbury). “I applaud the town of Hanson for stepping forward to earn this distinction and am proud to say that my entire district has now gone green!"
“I am excited for the Commonwealth’s partnership with the Town of Hingham through a Green Community Designation,” said State Representative Joan Meschino (D-Hull). “These investments foster municipal innovation on energy efficiency and carbon emission reduction and support the Town of Hingham’s stewardship for a healthy environment.”
“I am excited that Hingham will be designated as a Green Community. This designation now qualifies Hingham to apply for Green Communities grants, which is a vital partnership between the state and local municipalities to fight the effects of climate change,” said State Representative James Murphy (D-Weymouth). “This demonstrates that the town is making great steps in their efforts to protect our climate and way of life.”
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.