BOSTON – December 28, 2017 – The Baker-Polito Administration announced that an additional 25 Massachusetts cities and towns have been designated by the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) as Green Communities, committing to an ambitious renewable energy agenda to reduce energy consumption and emissions.
With this announcement, over half of the Commonwealth’s municipalities have earned their Green Communities designation and 68 percent of residents live in a Green Community. The 25 new Green Communities are now eligible for grants totaling $4,316,955 to complete renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in their communities. Since the program began in 2010, DOER’s Green Communities division has awarded over $65 million in grant funding to the Commonwealth’s cities and towns through designation and competitive grant rounds.
The 210 Green Communities range from the Berkshires to Cape Cod and are home to 70 percent of Massachusetts’ population in municipalities as large as Boston and as small as Rowe. All Green Communities commit to reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent each, and this new group of twenty-five cities and towns have committed to reduce their energy consumption amounting to savings of 296,968 MMBtus in five years, energy use equivalent to heating and powering nearly 2,302 homes, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 23,630 tons, equivalent to taking 4,975 cars off the road.
DOER awarded $157,485 to the town of Grafton.
“I am excited that Grafton has been awarded a grant through the Green Communities Act Program,” said Representative David K. Muradian, Jr. (R-Grafton). “With these funds, I am confident that the town will continue to make positive strives towards energy conservation. I also want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration, along with the Department of Energy Resources for their continuous effort involving environmental protections within the Commonwealth.”
“With their continued commitment toward making significant investments in energy efficiency projects, Green Communities are true leaders in energy conservation throughout our Commonwealth,” said Senator Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury). “The Town of Grafton is certainly deserving of this recognition. As the state continues to look ahead towards sustainable energy options, I applaud Grafton for taking action to improve our environment.”
“The town of Grafton is extremely grateful to the state for having this program and for deeming Grafton a green community,” said Town Administrator Tim McInerney. “We look forward to reducing our energy consumption and fulfilling the plan that is laid out for DOER."
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 to 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 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.