Status and Timeline
Feburary 10, 2020 – We made it! – The Town of Needham announces that the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has designated Needham as a Green Community.
November 22, 2019 – Green Community applications for the 2019 designation round due. Needham’s nomination was submitted.
We now await the review and decision by the DoER Green Communities Division. If past practice holds, the latest round of Green Communities would be announced by the end of the year.
November 12, 2019 – The Select Board discussed and unanimously voted its support for Needham’s application to become a Green Community
November 6, 2019 – The Planning Board voted unanimously to support of Needham’s application to become a Green Community
November 5, 2019 – The School Committee voted unanimously to provide its support for the Green Community designation by adopting Town’s Fuel Efficient Vehicle Policy and Energy Reduction plan. The School Committee has authority over school operations and the adopted school budget. It therefore shares the responsibility for Green Communities implementation.
November 4, 2019 – The Town Manager and members of the Select Board consulted with the Finance Committee on the Green Communities program.
October 16, 2019 – The Select Board held a public hearing on becoming a Green Community. The town task force presented its work on the energy reduction plan. Over 75 residents turned out, many spoke – all in favor. When asked, the audience as a whole expressed unanimous support for becoming a Green Community.
May 13, 2019 – Town Meeting voted to adopt the Stretch Energy code.
- 2019 ATM Article 49 – Adopt Stretch Energy Code
- Green Communities Designation Letter from DoER
- Green Communities FAQs
- Green Communities Presentation to Select Board
- Map of Green Communities and summary of grants received
- Select Board 2019-10-16 Meeting Packet – Green Communities Material
- Stretch Code FAQs
In 2011-12, Green Needham and Town elected leaders and boards worked to have Needham become a Massachusetts Green Community.
We had the opportunity to be among the leaders taking concrete steps to fighting climate change and building a more sustainable and resilient community. We would have had access to grants to support municipal and school energy efficiency and reduction projects. Based on the experience of comparable communities that became Green Communities at that time, Needham has forgone $1 million in grants since then. 210 Massachusetts cities and towns are now Green Communities. We did not succeed in 2012. It is past time to correct that mistake.
Green Needham has been preparing the ground with Town leaders to have Needham become a Massachusetts Green Community in 2019. We are working with other community organizations and invite everyone to join us in supporting this effort.
Becoming a Green Community will not only address the larger problem of Climate Change, it will also provide the following benefits to Needham:
- Receipt of an approximately $149,000 designation grant
- Eligibility for annual $250,000 competitive grants
- Annual energy savings that free up town resources to help fulfill other core missions
- A more flexible, comprehensive approach to facilities and infrastructure management
- Immediate savings to new home buyers in Needham through lower utility bills
- Lower greenhouse gas emissions
Note: The background material in this section was originally created at the end of 2018. The number of Green Communities was 210 at that time.