Today, I tip my hat to 35 new Green Communities in appreciation of their leadership and what they are doing to serve as a beacon of hope for our energy future. These communities have all fulfilled the five specified criteria for being recognized as Green Communities, which will encourage and accelerate the development of renewable energy resources, increase clean energy research and development, reduce energy waste, maximize use of fuel efficient vehicles and adopt methods to reduce lifecycle energy costs for new construction. All in all, these communities are taking important steps forward to our greener energy future.
Together, these communities – and the others that will join in future rounds – will serve as laboratories for what works. They are embarking on a path that will markedly reduce their spending on energy, which will not only have positive effects on the environment but will also provide relief for strained budgets. They will achieve these gains by leveraging and growing the demand for renewables and energy efficient products and services, which will have a direct effect on creating jobs and growing innovation in the Commonwealth. As Governor Patrick has said many times, getting clean energy right in Massachusetts will make the world our customer.
I am particularly heartened to see that the widespread appeal and success of this program has touched every part of the state, from the Berkshires to the Cape, including large cities and small towns and a range of economic diversity.
I also want to thank our legislature for establishing this program, which has captured hearts and minds and inspired so many of our citizens to work to create and embrace a brighter energy future. Becoming the first Green Communities was not easy, and I thank all that have been engaged in making it happen in living rooms, city halls and town meetings across the state.
While the energy challenges ahead are mighty, I know that the citizens of Massachusetts have time and again risen to the challenge and that, with the leadership of these first 35 communities and those that will come next, we are well suited to meet our energy challenges and serve as a beacon for what is possible everywhere.