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The United States was created from thirteen colonies, which suggests that thirteen is a lucky number. Massachusetts just added another lucky thirteen. A new round of Green Communities – you guessed it, thirteen of them – brings the total number of cities and towns that have made it over the program’s challenging “designation” hurdle to 136.

gc-celebration-cakeWorth a celebration of these towns’ commitment to join the Commonwealth’s clean energy charge through hard work at the local level? You bet. In early December, the thirteen communities – Ashburnham, Belmont, Dalton, Dudley, Everett, Goshen, Halifax, Lanesborough, Millville, Pembroke, Upton, Warwick and Wellfleet – joined Governor Deval Patrick, Energy & Environmental Affairs Secretary Maeve Valley Bartlett, the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) staffers who helped these towns through the designation, local legislators, and me, at the State House. We also celebrated seven other designated communities (Arlington, Belchertown, Cambridge, Natick, Palmer, Springfield, Sutton) who have reduced municipal energy use by at least 20 percent after five years, arguably the most challenging standard to meet in the designation process.

Any celebration has to carry with it some things that make the occasion festive. Our Green Communities event was no exception:

  • Chocolate and vanilla Green Communities cake (it was yummy)
  • Speech from the governor
  • Rewards of over $2 million for the new Green Communities to fund municipal renewable power and energy efficiency projects
  • People from across the state gathering to share stories from the cutting edge of clean energy

    Green Communities celebrants event watch energy leadership vid

    Celebrants watch Green Communities energy leadership video

The Green Communities movement is spreading, beyond the most recent lucky thirteen and the Massachusetts 136. What the Commonwealth has accomplished to help cities and towns make smart decisions around energy consumption has served as a model for other states, including New York and Maryland.

But we think that the Massachusetts program, led by DOER’s Green Communities Division, is special; special enough that everyone gets to eat cake.

Written By:

Acting Commissioner, DOER

Meg Lusardi was appointed Acting Commissioner of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources in July 2014, having served as the Director for DOER’s Green Communities Division since 2011. She developed the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program that now boasts 136 municipalities, home to over 50 percent of the Commonwealth’s population, as designated Green Communities. She joined DOER’s Renewable Energy team in 2005 to develop programs and policies to expand renewable energy in Massachusetts. Meg earned her Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Notre Dame and lives in Jamaica Plain.

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