Mayor Roxann Wedegartner is pleased to announce that the City of Greenfield was recently recognized with the Baker-Polito Administration’s Leading by Example Award for 2021. The award is to acknowledge outstanding efforts by communities related to clean energy and the environment that reduce associated energy costs and is administered by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER). The 15th annual Leading by Example Awards Ceremony was held at UMass Lowell’s University Crossing on December 9th.
Greenfield garnered this award through accomplishments including reducing municipal-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 67.7% since 2008, and maintaining a more than 20% reduction in energy consumption across the municipality for the past five years. These achievements are magnified by all municipal new construction projects since 2016 being high-performance buildings.
“Public sector leaders at the state and local level play a crucial role in contributing innovative approaches and solutions that help our state meet its ambitious climate and clean energy goals,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The Leading by Example award ceremony is an opportunity to celebrate the good work of our state and municipal leaders and the action they are taking to protect our environment, reduce costs and embrace forward-looking solutions to our energy challenges.”
Other projects completed in 2021 include a 1.55 MW solar array on the City’s wellfield that will save approximately $63,000 annually on the City’s electricity bill. Replacing the failing Police Department HVAC system with a higher efficiency system paid for largely with Green Communities grant funds is saving approximately $9,000 in energy costs per year. The Police Department has also been actively switching their fleet over to hybrid cruisers, and the Energy Department will assist in securing grant funds for three new hybrid cruisers in 2022, along with several cleaner energy vehicles to replace aging city fleet vehicles.
Mayor Roxann Wedegartner emphasized, “Saving energy has also saved the City money. Over $4.5 million has been saved through renewable energy generation on the capped landfill and energy reduction work paid for in large part by grants and utility incentives. We continue to look for ways to reduce municipal energy consumption while being mindful of cost, and the Energy Department works diligently to ensure that each project saves the City money. We secure grants and incentives wherever possible to minimize the City’s cost burden.”
The City also implemented projects that enhance sustainability efforts across the community. The first successful C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) financed project in Massachusetts is the Abercrombie property that is now a beautiful high-efficiency office building with a rooftop solar array. Through an AARP grant, Greenfield started transforming the Fiske Avenue parking lot into a community gathering place boasting a native species pollinator garden, planted and maintained by volunteers. Further improvements include adding options to Greenfield Light & Power (GL&P) and the expansion of the community green space at Fiske Avenue through a Shared Streets grant coming spring 2022.