Grafton designated Green Community, receives grant

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Grafton – Grafton recently received a grant of $157,485 from the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) as part of the Green Communities program to complete renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in the community. The town was one of 25 in the state newly designated as a Green Community, as announced by the Baker-Polito Administration Dec. 28.

“I am excited that Grafton has been awarded a grant through the Green Communities Act Program,” said State Rep. David K. Muradian Jr. (R-Grafton). “With these funds, I am confident that the town will continue to make positive strives towards energy conservation. I also want to thank the Baker-Polito Administration, along with the Department of Energy Resources for their continuous effort involving environmental protections within the commonwealth.”

Since the program began in 2010, DOER’s Green Communities division has awarded over $65 million in grant funding to the commonwealth’s cities and towns through designation and competitive grant rounds.

“With their continued commitment toward making significant investments in energy efficiency projects, Green Communities are true leaders in energy conservation throughout our commonwealth,” said State Sen. Michael O. Moore (D-Millbury).  “The town of Grafton is certainly deserving of this recognition.  As the state continues to look ahead toward sustainable energy options, I applaud Grafton for taking action to improve our environment.”

“The town of Grafton is extremely grateful to the state for having this program and for deeming Grafton a green community,” added Town Administrator Tim McInerney. “We look forward to reducing our energy consumption and fulfilling the plan that is laid out for DOER.”

The 210 Green Communities range from the Berkshires to Cape Cod and are home to 70 percent of Massachusetts’ population in municipalities as large as Boston and as small as Rowe. All Green Communities commit to reducing municipal energy consumption by 20 percent each, and this new group of 25 cities and towns have committed to reduce their energy consumption amounting to savings of 296,968 MMBtus in five years, energy use equivalent to heating and powering nearly 2,302 homes, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 23,630 tons, equivalent to taking 4,975 cars off the road.

“Municipalities across the commonwealth are an important partner in our Administration’s efforts to utilize renewable energy and meet our carbon reduction goals,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “The commonwealth will continue to invest in energy efficiency opportunities so these 25 new communities and future participants can reduce energy consumption and minimize their carbon use.”

Under the Green Communities Act, DOER’s Green Communities Designation and Grant Program can provide up to $20 million annually to qualified cities and towns. The goal of the Designation Grant Program is to support communities’ investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the clean energy goals determined by the designated communities.

“The Green Communities Program helps the state achieve a renewable energy portfolio, while preserving taxpayer resources,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “With over 68 percent of residents living in a green community, the program continues to be a successful model for state and local governments working together to achieve impactful progress and responsible savings.”