Green Communities

Green Communities LogoThe 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).

The Town of Lexington was designated as a Green Community in 2010. Our Green Community Annual Reports and Yearly Energy Usage 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
  • 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