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星期五, 2月 12, 2016

Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Awards to Western Massachusetts Communities

Baker-Polito Administration Presents Green Communities Designation Awards to Western Massachusetts Communities
Seven Towns Receive Over $1 Million for Clean Energy Projects
STOCKBRIDGE/HARDWICK – February 12, 2016 – The Baker-Polito Administration today awarded Green Communities designation grants totaling $1,087,505 to fund clean energy projects at two separate events in western Massachusetts. These municipalities became Green Communities in the ninth round of designations in December.

“Cities and towns are essential participants as the Commonwealth progresses toward a clean, affordable and resilient energy future,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These new Green Communities will use their grants to reduce energy use, improve their buildings, save money and help us reduce our carbon footprint.”

“The Commonwealth’s partnerships with cities and towns create many opportunities for municipalities to meet their economic, educational and safety goals,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The Green Communities Designation and Grant Program is a highly effective example of these partnerships and the local benefits of investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy.”

Under the Green Communities Act, cities and towns must meet five criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding. The Department of Energy Resources (DOER) grants provide financial support for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the designated communities’ clean energy goals. These two designees are now among 155 Green Communities, cities and towns of all sizes that range from the Berkshires to Cape Cod and are home to 54 percent of Massachusetts’ population.

“Clean energy projects in Green Communities reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “They also create savings that can be used to fund other priorities, like schools and public safety.”

“DOER collaborates with Massachusetts municipalities on opportunities to save energy and reduce costs,” said DOER Commissioner Judith Judson. “These partnerships continue to make a difference locally and statewide, with more than half of the Commonwealth’s population living in designated Green Communities.”

Municipality Grants

Adams                         $166,865
Bernardston                $131,290
Egremont                    $138,570
Hardwick                    $150,510
Stockbridge                 $137,880
West Springfield         $222,765

All Green Communities commit to reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent over five years. These commitments amount to collective savings of 2,153,992 MMBtu, energy use equivalent to heating and powering nearly 17,000 homes, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 203,538 tons, equivalent to taking almost 39,000 cars off the road.

“The Green Communities Act remains one of the most effective tools at the Commonwealth’s disposal to combat climate change and promote clean energy,” said State Senator Benjamin Downing (D-Pittsfield). “Thanks to the Baker-Polito administration for coming out to welcome Adams, Egremont, Stockbridge and Windsor to the group of western Massachusetts communities leading the way toward our energy future.”

“I would like to congratulate the Town of Hardwick on being designated a Green Community,” said State Senator Anne Gobi (D- Spencer).  “Thank you to Commissioner Judson and Director Knapik for travelling out here today to make this announcement.  Hardwick becomes the ninth community in my district to meet the standards required to be a Green Community.”

“The Town of Hardwick has shown their commitment to the environment with their Green Communities designation,” said StateRepresentative Donnie Berthiaume (R-Spencer). “This grant funding will help to further Hardwick’s pursuance to reduce their energy costs and consumption.” 

“I am proud that the towns of Stockbridge and Egremont in my district have committed themselves to helping secure a healthy environment for future generations, and I’m grateful to have Commissioner Judson and representatives from other newly-acknowledged green communities with us in Stockbridge today,” said State Representative William Smitty Pignatelli (D-Lenox). “Together, we will celebrate the positive steps that all of these communities have taken, and renew our commitment to work towards a healthy environment for all of our children.”

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.