Lead Sponsor: Senator Jamie Eldridge
Summary: This bill would authorize the green communities grant program to finance all or a portion of the salaries of municipal or regional green community officers, who could be hired by municipalities or through regional planning agencies to develop, coordinate, and monitor comprehensive energy use reduction plans and provide assistance to municipal staff, elected officials, the public, businesses, schools, and community.
Why This Matters: Green community officers would assist municipalities in reaping energy savings by identifying opportunities and implementing an energy use reduction plan. This bill would represent a positive and important step toward the improvement of energy management and sustainable development. There is a lot of potential in this bill for major cost savings across the Commonwealth, and would make it far easier for municipalities to facilitate programs focused on sustainability.
This bill is modeled on the use of an energy advisor by Acton-Boxborough schools, supported by Green Communities funding. As a result of this program, the schools have been able to cut significant electricity costs, saving at least $60,000. They are able to dedicate the $60,000 in savings to educating our children, instead of spending it on unnecessary energy costs. This model should be replicated in cities and towns across the Commonwealth.
What This Bill Would Do: Through amending the language in section 10 (b) of Chapter 25A of the Massachusetts General Laws, the legislation would empower the green communities grant program to provide funding for community officers whose job would be focused on reducing energy usage within their municipality.
View the full text of the bill and track its history here.