- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
- Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Award to Southeastern Massachusetts Municipalities
Jessica Ridlen, Communications Director, Mass DOER
Franklin — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $1,136,360 to Abington, Canton, Duxbury, Franklin, Middleboro, Plainville and Sharon. The awards will fund clean energy projects and were presented by Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson during a ceremony at Franklin Town 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 allows cities and towns to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, which secures energy savings for residents, reduces energy consumption and ultimately saves taxpayers money,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With 72 percent of Commonwealth residents living in a green community, this program continues to be a model for how state and local governments can work together to achieve shared goals.”
“Communities across the state are valued partners in helping us make the Commonwealth more energy efficient,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Through these partnerships, Massachusetts is making tremendous progress in reducing carbon emissions, and we look forward to continuing to provide communities with the tools they need to succeed at reducing energy costs and usage.”
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.
“This achievement is representative of the hard work by municipalities to improve the environment and the state’s communities,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Today’s designation is an impactful commitment by these towns that will result in tangible benefits for the environment, residents, and our energy future.”
“DOER is proud to collaborate with communities across Massachusetts as they look ahead to a more sustainable future,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “The Green Communities program is a win-win that continues to put Massachusetts on a path towards a clean, affordable and resilient energy future.”
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.
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.
“Congratulations to Franklin on being named a Green Community,” said Representative Jeffrey Roy (D-Franklin). “The Community has long prioritized energy savings and efficiency and this recognition is well-deserved. When I chaired the town’s Master Plan Committee, this was one of the goals we set out in our 2013 report. It’s good to see that it is come to fruition.”
“This is a wonderful accomplishment for Middleborough,” said Senator Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton). “Not only will this designation save taxpayers money, but it will also help our state achieve our renewable energy requirements. Our Green Communities have embraced a clean energy future by leading the way in best sustainability practices. I look forward to seeing the good that this grant will do for our economy and environment.”
“Franklin has consistently been a leader in clean energy innovation and conservation,” said Senator Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “The Green Community designation and funding opportunities will allow our community to boost energy conservation efforts and continue progress toward a more sustainable future.”
“I commend the towns of Canton and Sharon for their dedication to promoting green technologies and energy,” said Senator Walter F. Timilty (D-Milton). “Their designation as Green Communities is a testament to their accomplishments as well as their future endeavors. I would like to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their commitment to the Green Communities Grant Program.”
“I am thrilled to see Duxbury be designated as a Green Community,” said State Senator O'Connor (R-Weymouth). “As a coastal community that sees the constant effects of climate change, it is crucial that Duxbury, along with the rest of the South Shore, take advantage of opportunities like this. I want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration for their commitment to helping municipalities become more sustainable and work to be more energy efficient.”
“Congratulations to Canton for becoming a Green Community,” said Representative Bill Galvin (D-Canton). “I am grateful to the Canton Officials who worked to achieve this status. This partnership between Canton and the state benefits the community of Canton while also improving our environment.”
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.