Of the 13 new Green Communities announced Wednesday, Framingham was awarded the largest grant amount of $301,900.
Wednesday, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts increased the number of Green Communities in the state to 123, by naming 13 new Green Communities, including the Town of Framingham.
Green Communities, agree to cut energy use by 20 percent over five years, among four other criteria.
“I congratulate these communities on joining the more than 100 Green Communities across the Commonwealth as they make smart investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy,” Gov. Deval Patrick said in a press release. “Community by community, we are protecting our environment, reducing municipal costs and making Massachusetts a clean energy leader.”
Green Communities are designated as such by the Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER).
Once designated as being ‘Green,’ a community becomes eligible for more than $2 million in grants for local renewable power and energy efficiency projects, a reward for a commitment to meeting a handful of clean energy benchmarks.
Those benchmarks, according to the press release, include:
- Adopting local zoning to allow as-of-right siting for renewable and/or alternative energy research and development facilities, manufacturing facilities or generation units
- Adopting an expedited permitting process related to those 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
- 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”)
It’s not easy being green, but it is the color of money. And, by virtue of its designation as a Green Community, Framingham earned grant money. In fact, of the 13 communities awarded grants, Framingham was awarded the largest amount of $301,900.
Framingham Town Manager Bob Halpin praised the work of Assistant Town Manager Jennifer Thompson on the project, at the Selectmen’s meeting Wednesday night.
“This has been a long standing goal of Selectmen,” said Halpin about the designation.
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