Multimedia intern, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA)
Summer is here in Massachusetts, temperatures are soaring to record highs and beach-goers are taking to the coast. As tourists flock to Cape Cod for their summer getaways this year, Provincetown, one of the recently awarded Green Communities, will proudly display its official road signs recognizing its Green Community status. As part of the designation, Provincetown has made a five-year commitment to reducing municipal energy consumption, including replacing a heating system in a municipal bulding. Provincetown was part of a batch of 12 communities designated as Green Communities last December and awarded this spring. The current number of Green Communities, including the Cape Cod communities of Truro and Mashpee, now totals 86 and another round of designations is expected this summer.
Across the state, these 86 cities and towns have made a commitment to clean energy. Here in Massachusetts, we don’t have native sources of coal, oil or natural gas, which means we’re at the end of the energy pipeline and at the mercy of external energy prices and supply. Massachusetts communities across the state have made a commitment to homegrown, clean energy and taken proactive steps to adopt energy efficiency and renewable energy through the Green Communities Act.
Massachusetts is currently ranked No. 1 in the nation for energy efficiency, cited by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) for energy efficiency policies and programs, bumping California out of the top spot for the first time since the ranking was first published four years ago.
Recent Green Communities Photos:
What is the Green Communities Act? The Green Communities Act of 2008 created the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Green Communities Division and its Green Communities Designation and Grant program for the promotion and funding for clean energy projects in cities and towns across the state.
DOER's Green Communities Division is dedicated to providing education, guidance, facilitation, collaboration, local support and opportunity for clean energy improvements.
How does a city/town become a Green Community? Every city or town applying for a Green Community designation must demonstrate that it meets five specific designation criteria, and provide supportive documentation, such as records of votes and letters from the select board, city council, municipal counsel, or other public officials.
The recommended way for aspiring Green Communities to meet the criterion to minimize life cycle energy costs for new construction is adoption of the state’s “stretch energy code,” an optional energy building code that requires construction practices and building materials that are approximately 20 percent more energy efficient than required under the baseline state energy building code.
More information about the five criteria can be found on the Green Communities Designation and Grant program information page.