Local Government and Politics, News

Marblehead votes to go green

A street light on Pleasant Street across from the Warwick Place Cinemas in Marblehead. (Owen O'Rourke)

MARBLEHEAD — It’s going to be a little greener in town.

Town Meeting directed officials to seek the state’s “Green Communities” designation late Monday.

If the town gets the green light from the state Department of Energy Resources, Marblehead will join the 210 Bay State communities who have reduced their energy consumption and saved money.

“I was thrilled at the overwhelming response by the voters of Marblehead who came out to support the initiative,” said John Livermore, co-founder of Sustainable Marblehead, a nonprofit whose mission is to reduce the town’s carbon footprint and save money on energy. “Residents are moving forward on a path to clean energy and addressing climate change.”

Within five years, Marblehead is expected to drop their energy use by 20 percent, say proponents.

Green Communities get a $146,000 designation grant and are eligible for $250,000 annually in competitive grants.
Livermore said some of the money could be used to outfit Abbot Hall with a geothermal heating system. The historic building has been approved for a $9 million renovation.

Green Communities funding could also be used to purchase electric vehicles, LED streetlights, and expand the town’s use of solar and renewable energy.

“The sky’s the limit when it comes to reducing our carbon footprint,” he said.

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