The Green Communities Act creates a grant and loan program for communities that meet criteria involving zoning and permitting of energy facilities, energy use benchmarking and plans for reducing energy use, fuel-efficient vehicles, and minimizing life-cycle energy costs for new construction. Find out more about Green Communities by viewing the Introduction Presentation (PDF).
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
- Adopt an expedited permitting process related to the as-of-right facilities
- Establish a municipal energy use baseline and establish a program designed to reduce baseline use by 20 percent within 5 years
- Purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles for municipal use, whenever such vehicles are commercially available and practicable
- Require all new residential construction over 3,000 square feet and all new commercial and industrial real estate construction to reduce lifecycle energy costs
Find out more about the guidelines (PDF).
Criteria for Green Communities
- Criterion 1: As-of Right Siting
- Criterion 2: Expedited Permitting Process (PDF)
- Criterion 3: Energy Baseline and Plan for 20% Reduction (PDF)
- Criterion 4: Fuel Efficient Vehicles (PDF)
- Criterion 5: Minimize Life Cycle Costs (Stretch Energy Code)