64% of people in Massachusetts live in Green Communities

Green communities must create a plan to reduce energy by 20%

BOSTON (WWLP) – More than half the communities in western Massachusetts are reducing energy use and investing in renewable energy sources.

Seven western Massachusetts cities, including Agawam and Chicopee, recently received a total of nearly $1.5-million for clean energy projects. They now join more than 180 cities as Green Communities.

Green Communities must create a plan to reduce energy by 20% in 5 years. Greenfield reached their goal this year with a 22% energy reduction. The town installed solar panels and converted streetlights to LEDs to save energy.

Greenfield Mayor William Martin told 22News that investing in renewable resources can help cities and towns become more self-sufficient. He said, “Anytime we can reduce our dependence on other entities, then we’re in more control of our own destiny and we can continue to grow our own food and provide our own heat and lights and try to do as much as we can on a local level.”

More than $65-million in grant funding has been awarded since 2009.