The Green Communities Designation and Grant Program, an initiative of the Green Communities Division of the Mass. Department of Energy Resources (DOER), works with municipalities toward qualification as a Green Community and provides funding to qualified municipalities for energy efficiency and renewable energy initiatives. There are 5 criteria that communities must meet in order to receive this designation. These include:
- Provide as-of-right siting in designated locations for renewable/alternative energy generation, research and development, or manufacturing facilities.
- Adopt an expedited application and permit process for as-of-right energy facilities
- Establish a municipal energy use baseline and develop a plan to reduce municipal energy use by twenty percent over five years.
- Commit to purchasing on fuel-efficient vehicles
- Set requirements to minimize life-cycle energy costs for new construction. (This is typically done by adopting the new Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) Stretch Code.)
Certified Green Communities receive an initial funding award to implement their 20% reduction plans and then have access to grants that can help fund additional energy efficiency projects in the municipality.
Since 2011, PVPC has participated in four rounds of technical assistance from the Mass DOER to assist member municipalities to achieve Green Community certification. Our region currently has 26 certified Green Communities with 5 more in the works. PVPC is available to support your community's efforts to participate in the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program.
PVPC can help your community become certified, comply with annual reporting requirements, and procure qualified vendors.
PVPC can also support your community to compile and submit competitive grant applications through the Green Communities program.
Additional Grants Available
There are a number of grants and incentive programs to provide technical assistance and financial support for municipal Green Community initiatives. Sign up for email updates from MA DOER’s Green Communities program and the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, and see DSIRE for a list of energy efficiency incentive programs and policies in Massachusetts. Then reach out to PVPC for assistance in your next Green Communities initiative!
Certified Green Communities
See below for a list of certified communities in the region and the total grant awards they have received to date through the Green Communities program.
|Municipality||Year Certified||Total Grant Award|
|South Hadley||In process|