What is a “Green Community”?
A Green Community is a town in Massachusetts that has met the criteria of the “Green Communities Division” of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). Becoming a Green Community makes a town eligible to receive funding for energy efficiency initiatives, renewable energy, and innovative projects for municipal facilities. Over 290 towns in Massachusetts are Green Communities. In 2022, Mansfield completed the eligibility process and became a Green Community.
The Massachusetts Green Community Act of 2008 created the Green Communities Division of the Department of Energy and Resources to help municipalities become more sustainable, control rising energy costs and incubate clean energy technologies. The intent was to put Massachusetts cities and towns at the forefront of the 21st century clean energy economy and reduce the use of fossil fuels causing climate change. In order to promote participation, the act mandates that financial grants be awarded to participating towns.
In order to achieve Green Community status, municipalities must reduce energy use by 20 percent over five years, purchase energy efficient vehicles when possible, adopt a building code that minimizes life cycle energy costs, and revise zoning regulations to expedite the siting of alternative energy industries.
As of April 2023, 290 of the 351 municipalities in the commonwealth have become Green Communities, including our neighbors in the towns of Norton, Easton, and Sharon.
For more information on the Green Communities Program, please visit the State’s website at https://www.mass.gov/green-communities-designation-grant-program.