Over 100 cities and towns named Green Communities; Seventeen cities and towns named clean energy leaders in fifth round of designations
BOSTON – Tuesday, July 24, 2012 – Governor Deval Patrick today joined state and local officials to announce that Massachusetts is now home to over 100 Green Communities. At an event at the State House, the Governor announced the designation of 17 new Green Communities, bringing the total number up to 103 cities and towns. Nearly half of Massachusetts residents, or 44 percent, now live in a Green Community.
With the Department of Energy Resources’ (DOER) designation, Amherst, Ashland, Auburn, Berlin, Conway, Gill, Great Barrington, Huntington, Lakeville, Leominster, Northfield, Pelham, Richmond, Sunderland, Tisbury, Townsend, and West Tisbury will be eligible for nearly $2.75 million in grants for local renewable power and energy efficiency projects. Participating communities have committed to five clean energy leadership criteria – including cutting energy use by 20 percent over five years --spelled out in the nation-leading Green Communities Act, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Patrick in 2008.
When Governor Patrick came into office in 2007, he made an ambitious and achievable commitment to clean energy. A major component of that agenda is the Green Communities Act, which empowers communities to invest in local solutions that expand renewable energy adoption, boost the clean energy industry and cut overall energy use. As a result, Massachusetts leads the nation in energy efficiency and has seen the number of renewable energy projects – like solar and wind – soar. There are now more clean energy companies and clean energy jobs in Massachusetts than ever before.
“Surpassing the 100th Green Community mark is a win for every community and our Commonwealth as a whole,” said Governor Patrick. “We have developed a nation-leading clean energy agenda because it is the right thing to do for our environment, our energy independence and our public health. This milestone proves again the clean energy revolution is taking hold, and growing, one community at a time.”
“With today’s designation, Commonwealth again demonstrates its commitment to supporting our municipalities while advancing our clean energy goals,” said State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D-Pittsfield). “I am proud that communities I represent, Conway, Great Barrington, Huntington, and Richmond, join 100 other Green Communities in committing to these goals through reduced energy use and the encouragement of renewable energy solutions.”
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