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Massachusetts Green Communities Program Continues to Grow

 

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The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has expanded its Green Communities program by 30 cities. The goal of each existing and new member is to reduce energy use by 20 percent within five years. The program has been ongoing since 2010, during that time, it has granted $65 million for more than 550 lighting projects, 350 weatherization projects, 4,875 HVAC upgrades and assorted other projects.

There now are 185 communities in the program. Getting chosen requires a significant commitment.

When a city or town becomes a “Green Community,” it must undergo a baseline energy audit, which is used to determine its current energy use and future goals. Other criteria for joining the program include adopting an accelerated permitting system for renewable energy generation facilities, a commitment to purchasing only fuel-efficient municipal vehicles and implementing a building code that sets stricter energy efficiency requirements on new construction.

Newton, MA, has been the recipient of four grants since it was named a Massachusetts Green Community eight years ago. In May 2010, it received $179,500 for the last phase of a deep energy retrofit of 1950-era municipal buildings. The work, the story says, including triple pane fiber glass windows, high performance glazing systems and masonry wall, foundation and soffit insulation.

In 2015 and last year, the city was funded for LED/motion control retrofits in schools and the police department headquarters and garage. It also received funding for LED streetlight equivalents. The date of that grant was not included in the story. Charts accompanying the story show mixed results.

The Boston Globe reported last week that Rockport is one of the cities to get the Green Community designation. The city has received an initial grant of $148,670.

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