Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Holyoke Receives Green Communities Grant Totaling Over $115,000

The City of Holyoke received its fourth Green Communities competitive grant on Tuesday.  Secretary Matthew Beaton, awarded Holyoke a competitive grant totaling $115,895 to fund lighting upgrades in eight separate municipal buildings.  With today’s award, the City of Holyoke has received over $833,832 from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) since receiving Green Communities designation and applying for competitive grants since 2010.

“With this round of work under DOER’s Green Communities program, we will save Holyoke’s taxpayers $36,000 annually in electrical expenses and remove one percent from HG&E’s annual power demand,” said Holyoke Mayor Alex B. Morse.

Since becoming a green community in 2010, Holyoke has leveraged funds provided from the Green Communities program to reduce municipal energy consumption by 21%, placing it among the Commonwealth’s most successful communities for energy reduction. Holyoke and Amherst were the only two communities in Western Massachusetts to receive a grant.

“This work is exciting because it will continue our commitment to remaining a national leader in using the green economy to combat climate change and to improve our city’s quality of life while giving taxpayers a good return on their investment,” Mayor Morse said, noting that the projects funded this year will pay for themselves in two to six years.

“Cities and towns are on the forefront of clean energy adaptation across the Commonwealth and are vital partners in meeting Massachusetts’ ambitious energy goals and emissions commitments,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These grants will allow the Green Communities to build upon the impressive efforts undertaken to earn their distinguished designation.”

In Holyoke, each project that received funding this year is a lighting upgrade, specifically replacing older lighting systems with LEDs in the following locations:
  • Holyoke City Hall - upgrading and replacing exterior floodlights with modern LED system;
  • HG&E’s Jackson Street Garage - Replace 42 existing garage interior light fixtures with LED light fixtures;
  • HG&E’s Walnut Street Garage - Replace 18 existing garage interior light fixtures with LED light fixtures;
  • Hadley Falls Station Outdoor Lighting - Replace existing Hadley Falls Station Light Fixtures to improve safety, save power, and improve aesthetics of the dam;
  • HG&E Main Office Lobby Lights - Replacing 18 lights with LED
  • Dean Technical High School - upgrading parking lot lighting
  • All Public Schools - replacing 100 exterior wall lights
  • Fire Station #6 - replacing 8 interior lights

These eight projects were selected because they represented shovel-ready projects that could yield significant energy savings from the moment they were completed.

Around the Commonwealth, 47 Communities, including Holyoke, received a total of 9.5 million dollars in funds for projects ranging from ventilation system upgrades and high efficiency lighting to installation of insulation and energy management systems at municipal buildings and facilities. Also included are projects to install LED streetlights, oil-to-gas heating system conversions, electric vehicles, and electric vehicle charging stations.

“I’d like to thank Andrew Smith the City’s Conservation and Sustainability Director for applying for this grant. He works day in and day out to find the best and most affordable means of making our city green and his efforts in obtaining this grant will mean an improved quality of life for the citizens of Holyoke”, said Mayor Morse.

Under the Green Communities Act, cities and towns must meet five criteria to be designated a Green Community and receive funding. The grants provide financial support for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further the designated communities’ clean energy goals. 155 Massachusetts cities and towns have currently earned the Green Communities designation, representing 54 percent of Massachusetts’ population. This fifth annual round of DOER Green Communities competitive grants is awarded to existing Green Communities that have successfully invested their initial designation grants and previous competitive grant awards. Grants are capped at $250,000 per municipality.

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