64% of Massachusetts Residents Live In Green Community
February 2nd 2017 BOSTON –The Baker-Polito Administration today announced that Northbridge is 1 of 30 additional Massachusetts cities and towns have been recently 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 designation, over half of the Commonwealth’s municipalities have earned their Green Communities designation and 64 percent of residents live in a Green Community. The 30 new Green Communities are now eligible for grants totaling $6,460,385 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 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,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The thirty new Green Communities named today will now have additional resources to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy, locking in energy savings for residents and reducing their carbon footprints.”
“Our municipal partners continue to help lead the way on renewable energy by adopting practices that reduce their energy consumption, while channeling savings toward vital municipal functions, like public safety and education,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We will continue to provide cities and towns across the Commonwealth the tools they need to reduce energy costs, usage and emissions.”
Specifically, Northbridge has been awarded a $176,515 grant. 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. Northbridge is one of the newly designated Green Communities that 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.
“When Massachusetts’ cities and towns invest in renewable energy and energy efficiency programs everyone wins, from taxpayers savings to a statewide reduction in emissions,”said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beaton. “With today’s designation, DOER’s Green Communities program continues to prove an effective tool in building a clean, renewable energy future for the Commonwealth.”
“I am excited that Northbridge has been awarded a grant through the Green Communities Act Program,” said Representative David K. Muradian (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 Northbridge is certainly deserving of this recognition. As the state continues to look ahead towards sustainable energy options, I applaud Northbridge for taking action to improve our environment.”
“I’m thrilled the town will be receiving these critical funds, and thank the environment and energy officials for their dedication and hard work on the issues of renewable energy and sustainability,” said Senator Ryan C. Fattman (R-Webster).
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.