Benefitting from its designation as a “green community,” Milton was awarded a $157,100 grant by the state that it plans to use for its wind turbine project as well as other energy-saving projects around town.
Part of the benefit of being a green community is being eligible for awards to fund local renewable power and energy efficiency projects, according to a press release from the state Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Henry MacLean, chairman of the town’s Alternative Energy Committee, said that to determine which projects would get money from the grant, the committee looked at town facilities’ needs as well as which projects would have the greatest return of energy savings on the investment over five years.
“It was a combination of where you get the biggest bang for your buck plus looking at where the needs are,” said MacLean in an interview.
He said that the town used the state's Energy Services Company initiative, which is a state program for hiring contractors to oversee projects that will produce energy savings. Milton hired Johnson Controls to survey the town’s facilities and determine what upgrades could be made that would produce energy savings.
According to the town's planning director, William Clark, the wind turbine project will get $40,000 from the grant to offset construction costs; the police station will get $15,000 for energy conservation upgrades; the Council on Aging will receive $9,300 for ceiling insulation and improvements; Pierce Middle School will get $35,000 to upgrade light fixtures; Collicot/Cunningham School will get $6,000 for heating upgrades; Town Hall will get $3,600 for motion sensory light switches; the Department of Public Works will get $45,200 to upgrade pump stations and street lights; and the East Milton Fire Station will receive $3,000 to upgrade the heating system.
MacLean said that in order to be eligible for the “green community” designation, the committee developed a five-year energy reduction plan. After these upgrades are made, the town will have reduced its energy consumption by 24 percent since 2008, said MacLean. The requirement for the designation is to produce a 20 percent reduction by 2013.
Eighteen cities and towns received grants last week through the Green Communities Program. There are 53 cities and towns across the state that have a green designation.
“I applaud these 18 communities -- and the 35 that came before them -- for the critical role they are playing in creating a clean energy future for the Commonwealth,” said Governor Deval Patrick. “Across the Commonwealth, cities and towns recognize the benefits, for the economy as well as the environment, of making clean energy choices.”
The program uses funding from auctions of carbon emissions permits under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative to reward communities that win Green Communities designation by meeting clean energy guidelines.
Sarah Favot can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.