Greenfield Spotlights Energy Progress and Goals in Net-Zero Operations Plan 

GREENFIELD –The Greenfield Energy and Sustainability Department and the Franklin Regional Council of Governments have outlined the city’s commitment to national climate and resiliency goals through a new Municipal Net-Zero Operations Plan. This extensive document spotlights the city’s clean energy progress to date and highlights the city’s vision for continued evolution in the energy sphere. 

Reducing municipal greenhouse gas emissions continues to be an overarching objective in Greenfield. Dating back to 2008, Greenfield’s baseline year for energy tracking, the city has achieved a 67.7 percent reduction of municipal greenhouse gas emissions, earning the community a Leading by Example Award from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources in 2021.

“Achieving a 67.7 percent reduction in municipal greenhouse gas emissions since 2008 is nothing short of phenomenal and shows that the City of Greenfield’s continued commitment to reducing municipal greenhouse gas emissions, as outlined in our Sustainable Greenfield Master Plan, is paying off for the city and for the Commonwealth. It shows we are a willing and able partner in the state’s Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2050. In fact, I’m proud to say that we continue to lead by example”, said Mayor Roxann Wedegartner. 

Emissions associated with electricity and heating oil have decreased substantially. Since 2008, municipal emissions from electricity has declined by 39 percent and municipal emissions from heating oil have been reduced by 96 percent.

“At this point in time, with three of our newest and largest buildings achieving net-zero status or net-zero-ready status, the John Zon Community and Senior Center, the Greenfield Public Library, and the DPW Office Building and one on the way, the new Greenfield Fire Station, we’re well on our way to helping meet the commonwealth’s goals for 2050,” said Wedegartner.

As the operations plan outlines, Greenfield has achieved several energy milestones since becoming one of the state’s first Green Communities in 2010, including:

  • 2012 - Constructed a 2MW solar farm on the city’s capped landfill that provides equivalent to 50% of municipal electricity.
  • 2014 - Began project to upgrade all street, parking lot, park and building lighting (interior and exterior) to LEDs. This effort was completed in 2019.
  • 2014 – Greenfield established the municipal energy aggregation program Greenfield Light and Power, delivering renewable energy to residents and businesses.
  • 2015 - The City of Greenfield developed a Sustainable Greenfield Master Plan, and created the Sustainable Greenfield Implementation Committee to follow through with the Plan’s goals.
  • 2016 - Constructed the new Greenfield High School, which achieved LEED Gold status
  • 2017 - Former Governor Charlie Baker recognized the city for its outstanding leadership as a designated Green Community that reduced its municipal energy consumption by over 20% since achieving Designation.
  • 2018 - Greenfield opened the John Zon Community Center and DPW Office Building as net-zero-ready facilities.
  • 2022 – The city began constructing the new Greenfield Fire Station, a zero-net-energy-ready facility.
  • 2023 - Greenfield opened the new Greenfield Public Library, a zero-net-energy-ready facility with solar PV. The DPW Office Building achieves net-zero status.

In addition, the plan emphasizes several action steps the city can pursue with municipal buildings, transportation and public outreach to align further with clean energy goals. The master plan analyzes how energy audits, feasibility studies, grants, operational changes and other methods can be explored as avenues for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Some of the suggested action steps include:

  • Conducting energy audits and/or feasibility studies for municipal buildings that require additional decarbonization.
  • Explore Inflation Reduction Act financing incentives for rooftop solar on municipal buildings.
  • Continue fleet study for zero-emission municipal vehicles.

Click here to read the Municipal Net-Zero Operations Plan.