News Green Communities July Newsletter Updates

Updates on programs including Local Governments Sought to Pilot Solar On-line Permitting.
  • 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 Underway

DOER and the MEI Team is 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. Sign up for the one or two you need, or all of them. The next two sessions scheduled are listed below:

  • 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)
  • August 20, 2:45-4 PM: Basic Reports
    • Purpose of reports & intro to reports (organized by category)

Local Governments Sought to Pilot On-line Solar Permitting

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has been working with code officials, building officials, and industry project partners to test and pilot the Solar Automated Permit Processing (SolarAPP) Platform. The tool provides a no-touch, online, instant permitting solution for residential rooftop solar projects, and the NREL team is seeking municipalities to pilot the tool in their jurisdictions.

Interested communities can join the testing queue before SolarAPP’s formal launch in September by completing the SolarAPP Interest Questionnaire. The SolarAPP team will evaluate your situation and contact you about next steps.

A webinar is scheduled for 1 pm, Wednesday, August 5 to discuss how SolarAPP has benefited partner communities, demonstrate how SolarAPP can integrate with existing software or stand alone, and explain how communities can adopt SolarAPP.

Click here to register for the webinar. Visit for more information.

Spots Available for Web-based Building Operator Certification Training

Registration is open for this fall’s session of Building Operator Certification (BOC) training starting September 15. BOC Level I is intended for those with two or more years of experience in building operations and maintenance who wish to broaden their knowledge of total building systems. The course series provides building operators with knowledge and skill enhancement in the key activities associated with energy efficient building operations.

 Click here to learn more and register.

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: link to
  • 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.


Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources 

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