March 3, 2017 \u2013 The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $478,755 to North Andover, Rockport and Salisbury. The awards announced today will fund clean energy projects and they were presented by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito in a ceremony at North Andover Town Hall.\n\nIn February, 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\u00a0to 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\u00a0five criteria\u00a0to 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.\u00a0\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\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 Award\n\nNorth Andover\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 $169,390\n\nRockport\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 $148,670\n\nSalisbury\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0\u00a0 $160,695\n\nA full list of projects funded by the Green Communities program can be found here.\n\n\u201cLeadership and action at the municipal level are essential to our state\u0027s success in conserving resources and capturing renewable energy,\u201d said Senate Minority Leader Bruce E. Tarr (R-Gloucester). \u201cRockport and North Andover are making an important commitment to our future by becoming Green Communities, and receiving significant grant funding to propel initiatives that work for people in each town and will make a difference for our Commonwealth.\u201d\n\n\u201cCongratulations to North Andover and Salisbury on being designated as Green Communities by the State\u0027s Department of Energy Resources,\u201d said State Senator Kathleen O\u0027Connor Ives (D-Newburyport). \u201cBoth communities have taken important steps in maximizing energy efficiency in their municipal vehicle purchases and in implementing energy conservation requirements for commercial construction, and have committed to further energy use reductions. Their efforts are to be commended.\u201d\n\n\u201cThis is fantastic news for the Town of Salisbury\u201d said State Representative James Kelcourse (R-Amesbury). \u201cSalisbury is taking an important step towards a more sustainable future and this grant will enable the town to continue investing in the environment.\u201d\n\n\u201cI am pleased that the Administration is continuing its commitment to establishing Green Communities and has awarded funding to Rockport for its efforts,\u201d said State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester). \u201cI recognize the importance of this partnership with municipalities as they move toward their goals of clean energy and environmental protection.\u201d\n\n\u201cNorth Andover\u0027s designation as a Green Community is a testament to the town\u2019s unwavering commitment to reducing energy use and initiating projects that will lead to a clean and affordable energy future,\u201d said State Representative Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen).\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.\u00a0 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.\u00a0 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.\u00a0\u201cCommunities all across the state will use these grant funds for innovative programs to reduce\u00a0energy\u00a0usage and invest in renewable\u00a0energy\u00a0projects, 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.