March 30, 2017 \u2013 The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $1,315,650 to Bolton, Fitchburg, Southborough, Winchendon, Charlton, Southbridge and Northbridge. The awards will fund clean energy projects and were presented by Department of Energy Resource (DOER) Commissioner Judith Judson in a ceremonies in Bolton and Charlton.\n\nEarlier this year, 30 Massachusetts cities and towns 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 half of the Commonwealth\u2019s municipalities have earned their Green Communities designation and 64 percent of residents live in a Green Community. Since the program began in 2010, DOER\u2019s Green Communities division has awarded over $65 million in grant funding to the Commonwealth\u2019s cities and towns through designation and competitive grant rounds.\n\n\u201cThe Green Communities program is an excellent example of how state and local governments can work together to save taxpayer money and promote responsible energy policies,\u201d said Governor Charlie Baker. \u201cOur newest Green Communities will now have additional resources to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, locking in energy savings for residents and reducing their carbon footprints.\u201d\n\n\u201cOur municipal partners continue to help us lead the way on renewable energy by adopting practices that allow them to reduce energy consumption, while saving money that can be directed to vital municipal functions, like public safety and education,\u201d said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. \u201cWe look forward to continuing to provide cities and towns across the Commonwealth the tools they need to reduce energy costs, usage and emissions.\u201d\n\nThe Commonwealth\u2019s 185 Green Communities range from the Berkshires to Cape Cod and are home to 64 percent of Massachusetts\u2019 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 30 newly designated Green Communities have committed to reducing their energy consumption amounting to savings of $6,241,862 of energy costs and 2,234,090 MMBtu in five years, energy use equivalent to heating and powering nearly 2,718 homes, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 27,641 metric tons, equivalent to taking 5,819 cars off the roads.\n\n\u201cWhen Massachusetts\u2019 cities and towns invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency programs everyone wins, from taxpayers savings to a statewide reduction in emissions,\u201d said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beaton. \u201cWith these designations, DOER\u2019s Green Communities program continues to prove an effective tool in building a clean, renewable energy future for the Commonwealth.\u201d\n\n\u201cDOER is proud to work with cities and towns across Massachusetts as they take important steps in embracing renewable energy and energy efficiency at the local level,\u201d said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judson. \u201cThese designations are simply the beginning of an important relationship between the Commonwealth and our municipal partners as we work towards our shared clean energy goals.\u201d\n\nDOER awarded funding for projects in these newly designated Green Communities include:\n\nMunicipality\u00a0\n\t\t\tAward\n\t\tBolton\n\t\t\t\u00a0$141,060\n\t\tFitchburg\n\t\t\t\u00a0$306,265\n\t\tSouthborough\n\t\t\t\u00a0$142,865\n\t\tWinchendon\n\t\t\t$176,245\n\t\tCharlton\n\t\t\t\u00a0$166,570\n\t\tSouthbridge\n\t\t\t\u00a0$206,130\n\t\tNorthbridge\n\t\t\t$176,515\n\t\t\u00a0\n\nA full list of projects funded by the Green Communities program can be found here.\n\n\u201cI want to congratulate Bolton and Fitchburg on receiving their Green Communities designations,\u201d said State Senator Jennifer L. Flanagan (D-Leominster). \u201cThese funds create an opportunity for cities and towns to continue development of clean energy infrastructure that will generate smart investments for renewable and efficient energy for generations to come.\u201d\n\n\u201cI applaud Southbridge and Northbridge for their work in obtaining Green Community status,\u201d said State Senator Ryan C. Fattman (R-Webster). \u201cI want to thank the environment and energy officials for their dedication and hard work on the issues of renewable energy and sustainability.\u201d\n\n\u201cWith their continued commitment toward making significant investments in energy efficiency projects, Green Communities are true leaders in energy conservation throughout our Commonwealth,\u201d said Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury). \u201cThe Town of Northbridge is certainly deserving of this recognition. As the state continues to look ahead towards sustainable energy options, I applaud Northbridge for taking action to improve our environment.\u201d\n\n\u201cI appreciate the administration\u2019s commitment to assisting communities, like Charlton and Winchendon, who will be using the funds to reduce energy costs and working towards other long term savings for the residents,\u201d said State Senator Anne M. Gobi (D-Spencer).\n\n\u201cI am excited to announce that Northbridge has been designated a Green Community,\u201d said State Representative David K. Muradian (D-Grafton). \u201cI want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration and Department of Energy Resources for their constant dedication to moving Massachusetts forward. This reward is an important step towards reducing our emissions, while promoting clean, renewable energy for the future. Northbridge should be proud of this achievement, as this continues them on a path of greener initiatives!\u201d\n\n\u201cI\u0027m pleased Charlton is receiving Green Community designation,\u201d said State Representative Paul K. Frost (R-Auburn). \u201cThis will give the town access to grants to improve energy efficiency and for renewable energy projects.\u201d\n\n\u201cThe Green Communities program continues to represent an important partnership between municipalities and the state, helping towns to deepen their commitment to energy efficiency in a way that pays dividends,\u201d said State Representative Carolyn C. Dykema (D-Holliston). \u201cThese funds will help Southborough build on its already outstanding dedication to a more sustainable future for the town and its residents.\u201d\n\n\u201cI\u2019m thrilled that Bolton and a number of other Central Massachusetts cities and towns will now be designated as Green Communities,\u201d said State Representative Kate Hogan (D-Stow). \u201cOur region has long been a leader in pursuing clean energy solutions and this designation illustrates the commitment of residents, businesses, and local officials to protect and improve the environment.\u201d\n\nUnder the Green Communities Act, DOER\u2019s 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\u2019 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.\n\n\u201cThe Green Communities Program is an outstanding example of the strong partnership that the Baker-Polito Administration and the Legislature have forged with cities and towns,\u201d said Geoffrey C. Beckwith, the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. \u201cCommunities all across the state will use these grant funds for innovative programs to reduce energy usage and invest in renewable energy projects, and the benefits will flow to taxpayers and the environment.\u201d\n\nFunding for these grants is available through proceeds from carbon allowance auctions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and 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.