On June 9, 2011 Marlborough was awarded “Green Community” status.
During a ceremony in Marlborough, Patrick-Murray Administration officials presented four of the state’s newest Green Communities – Harvard, Marlborough, Medway and Wayland – with awards to finance clean energy projects. Municipal officials plan to use awards, totaling $648,550 for ventilation improvements, building energy efficiency upgrades, and energy efficient lighting.
“These communities are doing their part to embrace Massachusetts’ clean energy and energy efficiency goals, which save money, create jobs and protect the environment,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.
In March, EEA’s Department of Energy Resources (DOER) awarded its latest round of grants worth $3.6 million to the state’s newest Green Communities – 18 cities and towns from Boston to the Berkshires that earned the designation, making them eligible for awards to fund local renewable power and energy efficiency projects that will advance both municipal and state clean energy goals.
“With these funds communities across the state can begin to cut their operating costs and energy consumption, savings that will pass directly through to their residents and benefits to the environment for everyone for years to come,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia.
Marlborough’s Green Community award $217,125 will fund:
- Energy conservation measures at several municipal buildings
- Purchase of a hybrid vehicle
- A site evaluation for a solar PV system
- An Energy Efficiency Manager position
There are now 53 official Green Communities in Massachusetts, including 35 cities and towns named in the DOER’s inaugural round of Green Communities designations last year.
DOER’s Green Communities Grant Program uses funding from auctions of carbon emissions permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reward communities that win Green Communities designation by meeting five clean energy benchmarks:
- Adopting local zoning bylaw or ordinance that allows “as-of-right siting” for renewable and/or alternative energy R&D facilities, manufacturing facilities or generation units;
- Adopting an expedited permitting process related to the as-of-right facilities;
- Establishing a municipal energy use baseline and a program to reduce use by 20 percent within five years;
- Purchasing only fuel-efficient vehicles for municipal use, whenever such vehicles are commercially available and practicable; and
- Requiring all new residential construction over 3,000 square feet and all new commercial and industrial real estate construction to reduce lifecycle energy costs (i.e., adoption of an energy-saving building “stretch code”).
DOER calculates Green Communities grants using a formula that caps awards at $1 million and provides each community with a $125,000 base grant – plus additional amounts based on per capita income and population, and for municipalities that meet Green Communities Criterion 1 for energy generation.
In addition to grants, each Green Community is presented with a certificate from the Commonwealth, four road signs identifying it as an official Green Community, and receives at least one Big Belly solar trash compactor for municipal use.
Map of Massachusetts Green Communities