Green Communities Grant

The Town of Pepperell was designated a Green Community on December 22, 2015.

The Green Communities Division serves all 351 Massachusetts cities and towns helping them find clean energy solutions that reduce long-term energy costs and strengthen local economies. The Division provides technical assistance and financial support for municipal initiatives.

The Green Community Designation and Grant Program provides a road map along with financial and technical support to municipalities that 1) pledge to cut municipal energy use by an ambitious and achievable goal of 20 percent over 5 years and 2) meet four other criteria established in the Green Communities Act. Participation in the Program has grown steadily since the first group of 35 municipalities achieved designation status in July of 2010 to include more than half of the diverse cities and towns of the Commonwealth. Nearly 87% of the Commonwealth's population reside in designated Green Communities. Of those 280 designated communities, 160 are also considered environmental justice communities. These energy leaders have accessed designation grants of nearly $50.9 million for energy projects. The latest group of 9 cities and towns designated in April 2021 have pledged energy reductions amounting to 86,875 MMBTUs over five years. The benefits of designation extend beyond the program itself, inspiring cities and towns to undertake additional energy-related initiatives, improve coordination between municipal staff and departments, and increase messaging with the public at large about energy and climate-related issues and actions.

Most Green Communities use MassEnergyInsight (MEI), a web-based tool, to track their energy use. It is important for MEI users to regularly check their accounts to make sure energy consumption is on target. Municipalities with delivered fuels (oil, propane, gasoline, and diesel) should upload this data on a quarterly basis.

Benefits of Being a Green Community

  • Cut municipal energy costs and strengthen the local economies
  • Access grants for clean affordable and resilient energy projects; economic development benefits for the city or town and the Commonwealth
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
  • Promote energy-efficient building construction that drives the market for better built and lower cost homes
  • Foster renewable energy and clean energy technologies
  • Become a clean energy leader and a better place to live, work, and play

Green Communities Designation and Grant Program Guidance

Competitive Grants 

A Competitive Grant for existing Green Communities is offered on an annual basis as long as funding is available. Applicants must demonstrate they are Green Communities “in good standing” by completing the Annual Report that confirms the applicant still meets the Five Criteria of the Green Communities Designation Program. Applicants also need to have closed any prior designation and competitive grants by providing a final report and having a site inspection before being eligible for a new competitive grant opportunity.

Grant Award Letters/Applications

Final Reports

Annual Reporting

Green Communities submit an Annual Report to demonstrate they still meet the Five Designation Criteria and to remain eligible for grants under the program.  Part of this report includes updates on how the community is progressing toward its 20% energy reduction goal, so keeping MassEnergyInsight up to date will make filling out the report easier. Their 20% energy reduction goal and an energy baseline are detailed in their Energy Reduction Plan, a document required in the designation process.

Designation Date / Award Date 
Designation / Competitive Grant Award
Grant Project Summary
December 2015
To fund administrative costs, and the following energy conservation measures: building envelope improvements at one regional school and five facilities; lighting upgrades at three facilities; and installation of an energy management system, demand control ventilation and front end upgrades at Nissitissit Middle School
July 2017
To fund energy conservation measures, LED lighting, HVAC upgrade with fuel conversion, weatherization, in municipal facilities including Lawrence Library, Nissitissit Middle School, Public Safety Complex, Community Center, and Highway Dept,  and administrative assistance
July 2018
To fund energy conservation measures, interior and exterior lighting and weatherization, in municipal facilities including Town Hall, Senior Center, Water Dept., Waste Water Dept. and Lab, Highway, Cemetery Building, and Varnum Brook Elementary
August 2020
To fund energy conservation measures, boiler replacement in Police Station, LED lighting in Nissitissit, and administrative assistance
July 2022$189,869To fund energy conservation measures at Nissitissit (weatherization, destratification fans, transformer) and Varnum Brook (weatherization, destratification fans, transformer, LED lighting) Schools and administrative assistance

Town of Pepperell Energy Reduction Plan 2015

Town of Pepperell Fuel Efficiency Vehicle Policy