Auburn awarded $157K Green Community Grant

by | Jul 10, 2015

The Town of Auburn was awarded a 2015 Green Communities Competitive Grant in the amount of $157,095 to fund energy-efficient projects at Town Hall and the Police Station. Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) Secretary Matthew Beaton, and Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Judith Judson announced nearly $8.9 million in grants to fund clean energy projects in 51 communities across the Commonwealth.

The announcement was made by Lieutenant Governor Karen Polito, Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Matthew Beaton, and the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner Judith Judson at an event held on July 8th in Natick attended by Town Manager Julie Jacobson and Energy Manager /Assistant Town Planner Eric L’Esperance.

While Auburn applied for $235, 827 to fund a large scope of energy-efficient projects that had been identified as priorities, the state was unable to fund the entire request given the highly competitive nature of the grant program.

“We are thrilled with the grant award and grateful to be selected as the grant process was extremely competitive” said Jacobson. “We are very excited to start on the projects that were selected for funding.”

Auburn was designated a Green Community in 2012.  There are now 136 designated Green Communities in the Commonwealth.

“Our administration is proud to help Green Communities reduce their energy use so they can reinvest their financial savings in schools, police, fire, municipal infrastructure and other local initiatives,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “Massachusetts’ leadership in energy efficiency continues to help municipalities around the state secure long-term energy savings and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

“The Green Communities grants will allow municipalities to save a considerable amount in long-term energy costs, as well as to protect the environment and make progress toward the Commonwealth’s clean energy goals,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “These grants further reiterate the Commonwealth’s ability to work with cities and towns to ensure Massachusetts continues to be a leader in clean energy and energy efficiency.”

From left: Auburn Town Manager Julie Jacobson; Lt. Governor Karen Polito; Auburn Energy Manager Eric L'Esperance

From left: Auburn Town Manager Julie Jacobson; Lt. Governor Karen Polito; Auburn Energy Manager Eric L’Esperance

The grants are funded through proceeds from Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative auctions and Alternative Compliance Payments under the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard.

“These grants are not only beneficial for the selected municipalities, but help to significantly reduce energy use around the state,” said EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Through this program, the Baker-Polito Administration continues its commitment to reducing Massachusetts’ greenhouse gas emissions and encouraging the innovation of our growing clean energy technology sector.”

Projects funded include energy efficiency measure such as ventilation system upgrades, high-efficiency lighting, installation of insulation and energy management systems at municipal buildings and facilities, LED streetlights, oil-to-gas heating system conversions, electric vehicles and solar hot water projects.

These initiatives are projected to result in annual costs savings of $2.1 million, energy savings equivalent to the annual consumption of nearly 550 Massachusetts homes and greenhouse gas reductions equal to removing more than 1,100 cars from the road.

“The cities and towns receiving these awards have already shown outstanding clean energy leadership – first by becoming Green Communities and then by carrying out cost-saving projects funded through their previous Green Communities grants,” said DOER Commissioner Judson. “The new projects will continue to build upon that success.”

The 136 Green Communities across the state are home to more than half of Massachusetts’ population. All Green Communities commit to reducing their municipal energy consumption by 20 percent after five years.

“The municipalities receiving the Green Communities grants are models for other communities in Massachusetts as the state seeks to improve its established status as a leader in clean energy,” said House Speaker Robert A. DeLeo (D-Winthrop). “I applaud these cities and towns for their initiative and success in carrying out important projects. I also thank the Baker Administration, Secretary Beaton, and Commissioner Judson and look forward to seeing the benefits of these grants.”

“State and local government partnering to tackle climate change will reduce municipal energy costs, create local jobs and protect our environment,” said State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D- Pittsfield), Senate Chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy. “It’s a win all around and I am thrilled to see these communities, including Lenox and Rowe from my district, leading the way.”

“The clean energy grant program is an outstanding example of the great partnership that the Baker-Polito Administration has forged with cities and towns,” said Geoffrey C. Beckwith, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association. “Dozens of communities in every corner of the state will use these grants to fund innovative programs to reduce energy usage and invest in renewable energy projects, and the benefits will flow to taxpayers and the environment.”

In addition to Auburn, DOER’s Green Communities Division awarded funding for projects in the following communities: Acton, Acushnet, Amesbury, Andover, Arlington, Athol, Bedford, Belchertown, Beverly, Boston, Bridgewater, Brookline, Carlisle, Chelmsford, Concord, Easton, Gardner, Gloucester, Hanover, Harvard, Kingston, Lakeville, Lenox, Lexington, Lincoln, Lowell, Mashpee, Maynard, Melrose, Milton, Monson, Natick, Newburyport, Newton, Palmer, Provincetown, Revere, Rowe, Salem, Sherborn, Swampscott, Tewksbury, Topsfield, Truro, Watertown, Westford, Westwood, Winchester, Winthrop and Woburn.