BOSTON – December 13, 2013 -Senator Eldridge today announced funding from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) for a competitive grant program to support municipal energy manager positions throughout the Commonwealth. Continuing the Patrick Administration’s efforts, energy managers will assist cities and towns in reducing energy use, cutting greenhouse gas emissions and lowering energy costs.
“I am pleased that Commissioner Mark Sylvia has established a new Energy Manager Grant Program to help ensure that more communities across Massachusetts are doing their part to reduce climate change,” said Senator Jamie Eldridge. “I am equally proud that a seed of the idea for the grant program came from my own district through the suggestions of local energy manager Kate Crosby of Acton and Jen Boudrie of Marlborough. DOER’s announcement is a testament to the commitment the Patrick Administration has to reducing carbon emissions in Massachusetts and the strong partnership between state and local government under his leadership.”
“On-site, municipal energy managers can deliver tremendous benefits to cities and towns across the Commonwealth. We’ve seen it happen,” said DOER Commissioner Mark Sylvia. “These grants open up that opportunity to all communities. Energy managers can support the Patrick Administration’s statewide goals at the local level, helping to reduce energy use, lower energy bills and generate economic development.”
The program is open to all Massachusetts municipalities, as well as regional school districts, that do not already employ a local energy manager for more than 15 hours per week. DOER’s grant will provide support for a local energy manager position for two years.
A total of $1.7 million is available for disbursement by DOER’s Green Communities Division over two years. In the first year, awardees are eligible to receive a grant of up to $50,000 for a full-time energy manager or up to $25,000 for a part-time position. In the second year, based on achievements in the first year, grantees may be awarded up to $35,000 for a full-time position and $17,500 for part-time.
The grants are funded with proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auctions, which DOER also directs to fund a portion of the Mass Save® energy efficiency programs and the Green Communities Designation and Grant program.
“In our school system, we’ve cut electricity consumption by 22 percent over four years – a savings of $300,000 per year,” said Kate Crosby, energy manager for Acton-Boxboro Schools. “Students and staff have really stepped up in choosing energy-conserving behaviors. The energy manager position began here with funding through a DOER grant, and we’ve appreciated the opportunity to turn that support into a big win for our budget, for greenhouse gas reductions, and for student learning.”
The Patrick Administration’s aggressive clean energy initiatives have made Massachusetts a leader in energy efficiency, renewable energy and emissions reductions. The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has named Massachusetts number one for three years running. This year, Governor Patrick set a new solar goal after reaching the previous goal of 250 megawatts four years early. The Commonwealth now aims to install 1,600 megawatts of solar capacity by 2020. The clean energy revolution is yielding economic benefits as well, with 11.8 percent job growth in the last year and 24 percent growth in the last two years; nearly 80,000 people are employed in the clean tech industry in Massachusetts.
For more information about the Energy Managers grant and to apply, go to www.comm-PASS.com as PON-ENE-2014-011 or www.mass.gov/energy/greencommunities under “Publications and Reports.”
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) develops and implements policies and programs aimed at ensuring the adequacy, security, diversity, and cost-effectiveness of the Commonwealth’s energy supply within the context of creating a cleaner energy future. DOER is an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.