News Green Communities July Newsletter

GC DIvision is making $250,000 available for a new round of Municipal Energy Technical Assistance (META) grants
  • Green Communities Division
  • Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources

Municipal Energy Technical Assistance Grants Available

The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Green Communities Division is making $250,000 available for a new round of Municipal Energy Technical Assistance (META) grants (formerly known as Owner’s Agent Technical Assistance) that will open on August 20 at 9:00 am. 

These grants are for independent third parties who help municipalities, regional school districts, and water/wastewater districts negotiate, develop and manage energy projects, or who perform studies to support the development of such projects. The 2020 round of META grants is available to all Massachusetts municipalities (regardless of Green Community designation status), regional school districts, and water and wastewater districts.  

Please refer to the Program Opportunity Notice for information about eligible projects and other details. Please note that DOER will review applications submitted on a first-come, first-served basis, and that no applications will be accepted before 9:00 am on August 20. After that time, DOER will continue to accept and review applications on a rolling basis until 4:00 pm, or until funding is exhausted.

MassEnergyInsight User Training Scheduled: Save the Dates!

DOER and the MEI Team will be offering training sessions for new and experienced users of MassEnergyInsight, the free online energy benchmarking and tracking tool available to all municipalities, water/wastewater districts, and regional school districts.

The training will be offered online and will be divided into eight sessions. Sign up for the one or two you need, or all eight.

1) July 16, 2:45-4:30 PM: Understanding & Setting Up MEI     

  • Introduction (how MEI works, benefits, understanding how data gets in)
  • Organizing Data (new and reviewing what’s already set up)

2) July 30, 2:45-4 PM: Entering Data & Keeping Your City/Town up to Date

  • Spreadsheet Upload – and manual data entry
  • Working on your City/Town (how to keep everything up to date)

3) August 20, 2:45-4 PM: Basic Reports

  • Purpose of reports & intro to reports (organized by category)

4) * September 3, 9:45-11 AM: More Reports

  • Exploring additional reports offered by MEI, including reports needed for Green Communities and weather-normalization

5) * September 17, 9:45-11 AM: Troubleshooting 1

  • Explore solutions to common problems - how to ensure your data is accurate, dealing with utility bill corrections, working with competitive supply data

6) * October 1, 9:45 AM-12 PM: Office Hours for Annual Report

  • MEI support team stands ready and waiting to help with data reporting issues BEFORE the Green Communities Annual Report is due

7) * October 15, 9:45-11 AM: Troubleshooting 2

  • More problem-solving: rectifying "null" accounts, using MEI to analyze energy costs

8) * October 29, 9:45-11 AM: Advanced Topics in MEI

  • MEI has many capabilities - attend this session to learn how to download data and what you can do with it, how to work with solar data, troubleshooting weather-normalization

(sessions with a * are tentatively scheduled - registrants will be informed if session topic and/or date changes)

New users, please make sure you have login credentials and have successfully logged into MassEnergyInsight before registering. Please register here.


Reminder: Revised MPG Requirements for Green Communities

Effective July 1

The minimum MPG requirements non-exempt vehicles must meet have been updated to reflect the enhanced efficiency of vehicles available today. Starting on July 1, 2020, light-duty non-exempt vehicles acquired by designated Green Communities must meet the new standards, in accordance with their fuel- efficient vehicle policies.

The revised guidelines are available on DOER’s website.


MVP Grants Available

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness grant program (MVP) provides support for cities and towns in Massachusetts to plan for resiliency and implement key climate change adaptation actions for resiliency. The state awards communities with funding to complete vulnerability assessments and develop action-oriented resiliency plans. The program helps communities to:

  • Define extreme weather and natural and climate related hazards
  • Understand how their community may be impacted by climate change with a Massachusetts specific climate change clearinghouse with the latest science and data: please see this link for more details:
  • Identify existing and future vulnerabilities and strengths
  • Develop and prioritize actions for the community
  • Identify opportunities to take action to reduce risk and build resilience
  • Implement key actions identified through the planning process

Applications for Planning Grants will be accepted on a rolling basis until 4 pm, Friday, August 7. Visit the MVP website for more information and links to application materials.