Green Communities

Green Communities LogoThe 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. Over 88.6% of the Commonwealth's population reside in designated Green Communities. 

The Town of Lexington was designated as a Green Community in 2010. Our Green Community Annual Reports are publicly available.

Guidelines for Qualifying as a Green Community

To receive official Green Communities designation, cities and towns must:

  • Adopt local zoning bylaw or ordinance that allows “as-of-right-siting” of renewable energy projects - siting that does not unreasonably regulate these uses (Criterion 1)
  • Adopt an expedited permitting process related to the as-of-right facilities (Criterion 2)
  • Establish a municipal energy use baseline and establish a program designed to reduce baseline use by 20 percent within 5 years (Criterion 3)
  • Purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles for municipal use, whenever such vehicles are commercially available and practicable (Criterion 4
  • Require all new residential construction over 3,000 square feet and all new commercial and industrial real estate construction to reduce lifecycle energy costs (Criterion 5)

Find out more about the guidelines (PDF).

Green Communities Grants in Lexington

Since becoming a Green Community in 2010, Lexington has received many grants from the program, totally over $1.3 million.

  • 2011: $158,083 to replace all streetlights with LED bulbs
  • 2014: $54,068 for exterior lighting retrofits at Diamond, Fiske, Clarke, the Public School Central Administration Building, and the Cary Memorial Library
  • 2015: $238,997 for interior lighting retrofits at Clarke, Lexington High School, Fiske, Harrington, Bridge, Bowman, and Diamond
  • 2016: $244,960 for interior lighting retrofits at the Public Services Building; installation of Energy Analytics Software at Cary Hall, Town Offices, Bowman, Bridge, Fiske, Harrington, Clarke, Public Services Building; and refrigeration control at Fiske and Clarke
  • 2017: $168,132 for interior lighting retrofits at the Community Center and Public Services Building; exterior lighting retrofits at Lexington High School, Bridge, Diamond, Harrington, and Hastings; and a boiler jacket at Lexington High School
  • 2018: $196,455 for interior lighting retrofits at Clarke, Bowman, Bridge, Lexington High School, and Cary Library
  • 2019: $135,564 for weatherization at Harrington, Bowman, and Bridge; and interior lighting retrofits at Harrington and Fiske
  • 2020: $81,419 for interior lighting retrofits at Bridge, Bowman, Harrington, Lexington High School, and Fiske
  • 2023: $50,000 for interior lighting retrofits at Lexington High School and Harrington