Press Release

Press Release Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Awards to Middlesex Municipalities

Stoneham, Waltham and Wellesley Receive $587,945 for Clean Energy Projects
For immediate release:
  • Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
  • Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Awards to Middlesex Municipalities

Katie Gronendyke

WELLESLEYThe Baker-Polito Administration today awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $587,945 to Stoneham, Waltham and Wellesley. The awards will fund clean energy projects and were presented by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito at a ceremony at the Wellesley 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 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:

Municipality      Award                      

Stoneham            $169,615

Waltham             $281,080

Wellesley            $137,250

A full list of projects funded by the Green Communities program can be found here.

“Wellesley Town officials have been working diligently to develop and promote programs and policies to reduce the carbon footprint of the Town,” said State Senator Cynthia S. Creem (D-Newton).  “Their efforts are now being recognized in Wellesley’s designation as a Green Community."

“I’m thrilled that state government can partner with cities and towns through the Green Communities Program to enhance and expand renewable energy usage in the Commonwealth and save money on energy bills,” said State Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester).  “These efforts safeguard our environment and preserve taxpayer resources, and I’m delighted to see Stoneham taking advantage of this beneficial program.”

“I am pleased to see Wellesley recognized for their environmental protection efforts. Becoming a designated Green Community is a great accomplishment that I am proud to see achieved,” said State Senator Ross (R-Wrentham).

“I am thrilled that the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has designated Waltham as a green community," said State Representative Thomas Stanley (D-Waltham). "The Green Communities Program will provide Waltham with sustainability planning and programs such as energy efficiently, renewable energy, and clean transportation. We can continue to move forward in reducing energy usage and invest in renewable energy projects that will benefit our community."

“I am very pleased that Wellesley received a Green Community designation in recognition of the town’s tireless efforts as Massachusetts leader in sustainability,” said State Representative Alice Peisch (D-Wellesley). “This designation and the grant funding are a tremendous opportunity to continue and expand on Wellesley’s efforts to reduce energy use, revitalize sustainability programs, and promote smarter, greener leaving across the Commonwealth. I applaud the hard work and dedication of the Wellesley Board of Selectmen and the Sustainable Energy Committee.”

“I am very proud that Stoneham joined the Green Communities program and has committed to increasing its energy efficiency and reducing its costs,” said State Representative Michael Day (D-Stoneham). “The program is an excellent example of the innovative ways the Commonwealth works each day to support our cities and towns and provides them with additional resources and best practices in our shared fight against climate change.”

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 the 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.


Media Contact for Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Awards to Middlesex Municipalities

Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs 

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs seeks to protect, preserve, and enhance the Commonwealth’s environmental resources while ensuring a clean energy future for the state’s residents. Through the stewardship of open space, protection of environmental resources, and enhancement of clean energy, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs works tirelessly to make Massachusetts a wonderful place to live, work, and raise a family.

Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources 

DOER helps create a clean, affordable, and resilient energy future for the Commonwealth.