LOCAL AND STATE officials, including Gov. Charlie Baker, announced this week the awarding of a $500,000 grant for clean energy initiatives to Melrose.


MELROSE – Gov. Charlie Baker and other state leaders joined local officials this week in formally announcing Melrose as a recipient of an important clean energy grant.

As part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s celebration of Climate Week, the administration announced the awarding of $6,309,686 in Green Communities competitive grants to 51 municipalities across Massachusetts to fund clean energy projects. With the announcement, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has awarded nearly $160 million to Green Communities in Designation Grants and Competitive Grants since 2010.

Melrose will received $500,000.

“Supporting cities and towns as they implement local projects that reduce long-term energy costs and carbon emissions is essential to helping Massachusetts meet its aggressive climate goals and achieve net-zero emissions in 2050,” said Baker. “Massachusetts continues to be a national leader in climate action and our administration is committed to supporting energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that make the Commonwealth a cleaner, healthier, and more affordable place to live.”

 “Our 280 Green Communities are true advocates for clean energy practices and should be applauded for their efforts to lower energy use and costs,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We look forward to seeing the continued growth in energy innovation and savings, as well as the reduction in harmful greenhouse gas emissions that these grants will facilitate in towns and cities across the Commonwealth.”

 Under the Green Communities Act, cities and towns must meet five criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding. The grants provide financial support for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the designated communities’ clean energy goals. 280 Massachusetts cities and towns, which account for 88 percent of the Commonwealth’s population, have currently earned the Green Communities designation. This round of DOER Green Communities competitive grants is awarded to existing Green Communities that have successfully invested their initial designation grants and previous competitive grant awards. Grants are capped at $200,000 per municipality, with the exception of larger multi-year projects, which are capped at $500,000. Funding for these grants is available through proceeds from carbon allowance auctions under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).

 “Massachusetts continues to lead in the clean energy transition, and partnering with municipalities to achieve our shared clean energy goals is a vital part of our strategy as we collectively move forward,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Beth Card. “The clean energy projects the Green Communities grants will fund, including air-source heat pumps, hybrid police cruisers, battery-electric vehicles, and electric vehicle charging stations, will deliver improved public health and provide better quality of life for our residents.”

 “The recent increase in oil and natural gas pricing makes the transition to efficient clean technologies critical for both municipal budgets and the state’s transition to a net-zero economy,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Patrick Woodcock. “The grants awarded to these 51 communities continue to refocus on municipalities’ building and transportation emissions and will provide an investment in their economies while working to move the Commonwealth to a clean energy future.”

 More than half of the communities in this round of grants included at least one vehicular project. Communities are installing 12 charging stations, replacing 18 gas-powered police cruisers with hybrid SUV police cruisers, and replacing 7 gas-powered vehicles with battery-electric vehicles. The annual greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) reduction from these vehicular projects is 231 tons, and the lifetime reduction is 1,158 tons. Additionally, more than a third of the communities in this round have at least one heat pump project. Once installed, those projects will reduce GHG emissions by 284 tons annually, and 6,299 tons during the equipments’ lifetime.

“Melrose is committed to reaching our Net Zero goals, and I am grateful to the Baker Administration for awarding Melrose a Green Communities grant to support the decarbonization of our library renovation project,” said Mayor Paul Brodeur. “This state-local partnership is critical to the success of our climate change mitigation efforts.”

 “I have been pleased to join the legislature this session in passing two comprehensive climate laws and in funding the Green Communities Grant program as a critical lever in addressing our climate crisis,” said State Representative Kate Lipper-Garabedian (D-Melrose). “It is especially rewarding to see my City again be awarded a competitive grant through this program, reflecting Melrose’s ongoing commitment to projects that will help the Commonwealth meet our net zero goals. I’m thrilled that this grant will complement and further enhance the renovation project at the Melrose Public Library, a cornerstone of our community.”

 “How wonderful that we are celebrating the progressive and forward-thinking decarbonization of the Melrose library during this week of all weeks,” said State Senator Jason Lewis (D-Winchester). “It is banned book week at the library, where the Melrose library leads the community in celebrating the freedom to read and highlights the value of open access to information – values critical to our collective effort to combat climate change and reduce our damaging fossil fuel emissions. I applaud the City for its leadership in pursuing this project to mitigate and lessen our contribution to climate change.”

 Representing total cost savings of over $1 million annually and leveraging utility incentives of over $1.5 million, once completed, the grant-supported projects are estimated to yield energy savings of over 37,880 MMBtus, which translates to the amount of energy consumed by 294 Massachusetts households. In GHG terms, the projects are estimated to reduce emissions by 2,626 metric tons – roughly equal to taking more than 570 cars off the road. For additional information on awarded projects and funding amounts, please visit the program’s webpage for this round of 2022 Green Communities Competitive Grants.