- Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources
- Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Awards to Central Massachusetts Municipalities
GRAFTON — The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $1,050,333 to Brimfield, Douglas, Grafton, Leicester, New Braintree, Webster and West Boylston. The awards will fund clean energy projects and were presented by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito at a ceremony at the Grafton Police Department.
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 Commonwealth’s cities and towns are crucial partners for our Administration as we work together to lower energy costs, combat climate change and meet our greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “By participating in the Green Communities program, these municipalities will have additional resources to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, securing energy savings for residents and reducing their carbon footprints.”
“Through the Green Communities program, Massachusetts municipalities are prioritizing practices to reduce energy consumption, while saving money that can be directed to vital municipal functions, like public safety and education,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Our Administration is proud 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.
“As cities and towns invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency they create a net positive impact on energy consumption and they generate savings that each community can put to use,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beaton. “With these designations, 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.”
DOER awarded funding for projects in these newly designated Green Communities include:
New Braintree $127,285
West Boylston $145,438
“I am incredibly proud of West Boylston’s commitment to clean energy,” said Senate President Harriette L. Chandler (D-Worcester). “This Green Communities designation is another badge of pride for the First Worcester district and an example of Central Massachusetts’ commitment to a better future.”
“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 Towns of Grafton and Leicester are certainly deserving of this recognition. As the state continues to look ahead towards sustainable energy options, I applaud both communities for taking action to improve our environment.”
“I’m thrilled the towns of Webster and Douglas can count themselves as green communities. Southern Worcester county continues to be an example of local and state government working well together to save taxpayers money, increase energy efficiency, and reduce pollution. I want to thank all local and state energy officials for their dedication and hard work on the issues of renewable energy and sustainability,” said State Senator Ryan C. Fattman (R-Sutton).
“Congratulations to Brimfield for receiving the Green Communities Designation,” said Representative Todd Smola (R-Warren). “Their commitment to energy conservation and clean energy alternatives will go a long way both for the environment and the bottom line now that they are eligible for Green Communities grants.”
“I am very proud to represent West Boylston, which now joins its fellow Green Communities in its commitment to a strong renewable energy agenda. Together, we are paving the way to a more sustainable future for our communities and the Commonwealth,” said State Representative James O’Day (D-West Boylston).
“I’m thrilled that the town of Grafton is working with the Commonwealth to promote energy efficiency and clean energy alternatives,” said State Representative David Muradian (R-Grafton). “Their efforts will serve to promote a more sustainable future for the community both environmentally and fiscally.”
“I am so pleased to see Leicester receive the designation of a Green Community; the state funding received will further the town’s work towards becoming more energy efficient and reducing the community’s carbon footprint,” said State Representative Kate Campanale (R-Leicester).
“Congratulations to the towns of Brimfield and New Braintree on their recognition as Green Communities,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D-Spencer). “This achievement will bring valuable grant funding opportunities to their communities while increasing important efforts to advance energy efficiency in the Commonwealth.”
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 part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s commitment to reducing energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions, Governor Baker filed legislation this week to require that a home energy scorecard, energy rating, and information on recommended energy efficiency improvements be provided to homeowners as part of free residential energy efficiency assessments, and after January 1, 2021, would require that home energy performance ratings be made available to potential homebuyers when one to four unit family homes are publicly listed for sale. Additionally, 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. Under the legislation, DOER would be directed to create a new clean peak standard for electricity suppliers to increase the usage of clean energy during periods of high, carbon intensive, and expensive electricity demand.