Nahant has been designated a Green Community and received nearly $130,000 from the state for LED light conversions at the Johnson Elementary School and other public buildings.
Nahant is among 240 municipalities to have earned the designation. As a Green Community, Nahant will work to reduce its energy consumption by 20 percent in the next five years.
The communities in this round of awards also committed to reduce their energy consumption by the equivalent needed to heat and power more than 2,280 homes. They also committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of 21,380 tons, equivalent to taking 4,501 cars off the road.
Since the program began in 2010, the state Department of Energy Resources has awarded more than $100 million in grant funding to Massachusetts cities and towns through designations and competitive grants. Under the Green Communities Act, the program can provide up to $20 million annually to qualified cities and towns. The goal is to support investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the clean energy goals determined by the cities and towns.
“Being involved in this program is a win-win for our community,” said Selectman Chesley Taylor. “It helps us do our part of fighting climate change and will benefit the taxpayers of Nahant.”
An exploratory committee was formed by Nahant residents in July 2017 to research the benefits and feasibility of achieving Green Community status. From there, the town worked to meet eligibility requirements for the program.
“I applaud Nahant’s commitment to reduce energy consumption and lower emissions,” said State Sen. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn). “We must continue to pursue initiatives like the Green Communities program to fight climate change.”
Since Revere was designated a Green Community in 2011, the city has received more than $466,000 for three projects, including conservation measures in City Hall, the senior center and the youth center, the purchase of four electric vehicles, and the installation of charging stations.
Similarly, Saugus has received more than $451,000 since 2015, used for projects that include the installation of an electric car charging station, the purchase of two electric cars, and lighting upgrades at Veterans Memorial Elementary School and Belmonte Middle School. Funds received last July will go toward energy conservation measures in town buildings, including the Public Safety Building and the Saugus Public Library.
Funding for the grants is available through proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and Alternative Compliance Payments (ACP), paid by retail electric suppliers that do not meet their Renewable Portfolio Standard compliance obligations through the purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates.