Green Communities Assistance


In 2014, the Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) began providing technical assistance to Central Massachusetts communities seeking to increase energy efficiency in their municipal buildings, facilities, and schools through the Green Communities program, overseen by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER).

DOER invites municipalities designated under the Green Communities program criteria to apply for annual competitive grant funding opportunities for municipal energy efficiency measures. These projects help municipalities in CMRPC’s region save thousands of dollars on energy bills annually and restore improperly/inefficiently functioning municipal buildings and vehicles, all while reducing municipal carbon footprint. Becoming and staying a Green Community within the program requires administrative efforts consistently throughout the year, which can form an accessibility barrier for many municipalities in the region with limited resources. 

Program Benefits

The Green Communities grant program provides municipalities with financial and technical support to municipalities that pledge to reduce municipal energy use by twenty percent over five years, including grant funding for energy efficiency and clean energy projects. Towns and cities see additional benefits from reducing their energy use such as lower energy costs, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, a healthier environment, and strengthening of local economies. Some of the benefits include:

  • Developing zoning amendments
  • As-of-right siting – renewable energy / alternative energy
  • Expedited permitting 
  • Energy baseline / energy reduction plans 
  • Energy-efficient policies
  • Purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles 
  • Minimizing life-cycle costs

Our Services

CMRPC offers full technical assistance and administrative support to communities in the region that are or would like to be a part of the Green Communities grant program and earn impactful municipal energy efficiency grants. CMRPC utilizes other grant funding to support our work, so this assistance is at no cost to the municipality. CMRPC can provide communities with energy-related Technical Assistance, including but not limited to:

  • Leadership of the Green Communities Designation process and administration of the designation grant
  • Studying, designing, constructing and implementing energy efficiency activities 
  • Procuring energy management services
  • Siting activities related to construction of renewable energy generating facilities
  • Creation of the Municipal Energy Reduction Plan
  • Facilitation of competitive grant applications (two rounds annually)
  • Administration of awarded grants (kick-off, quarterly reporting, final reporting, technical assistance)
  • Administration of Annual Reporting and Energy Reduction Plan progress and analysis

Municipalities and governmental entities are allowed to contract directly with CMRPC in accordance with MGL Chapter 30B Sections 1 (b) (3) and (b) (9). Contract with CMRPC, contact CMRPC’s Executive Director, Janet Pierce at

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