With the passage of the Green Communities Act in 2008, 42% of the state’s population is living in recognized energy efficient towns–now including Bridgewater, Quincy, and Weston.
The trio was awarded a total of $710,000 in grants by the Department of Energy Resources Wednesday morning, to further fund clean energy projects. But in order to receive the state checks they had to meet a handful of obligations.
Deputy Director of the Green Communities Division Meg Lusardi explained the bar was set high, requiring a commitment to reduce energy consumption by 20% within the next five years, “So these three particular communities together, that 20% reduction represents the annual energy consumption of 518 Massachusetts households. So that’s like taking those 500 households and just shutting them down.”
The energy reduction commitment involves town buildings and vehicles, as well as street lights.
The Mass Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Mark Sylvia said the grant money will advance the towns’ ability to cut energy consumption by implementing,“Lighting with LED streetlights, or thermal efficiency with boilers, or the incremental costs of purchasing fuel efficient vehicles. Bridgewater is doing an energy audit of all of their municipal facilities and then setting aside some of those dollars to actually implement some of those measures.”
Sylvia further stated he expects the number of communities to grow from 86 to 100 this summer.
Bridgewater is one of five designated green communities on the South Shore.
John Sullivan, Quincy