By Todd Gutner, WBZ-TV

BOSTON (CBS) – Going green without going broke.  That’s what more and more Massachusetts cities and towns are doing by becoming “Green Communities.”  One of the best parts is that a Green Community can get state money for conservation projects that in turn save the town money.  It’s all part of the Green Communities Act that was passed in 2008, but it wasn’t until last year that towns qualified.  Kingston was one of the first. 

The small coastal community, about 35 miles from Boston didn’t waste any time winning a state grant available only to towns that do the work of becoming a green community. 

“We got a grant of $165,000,” says Mark Beaton, a Kingston Selectman.  He says the town used that money for energy retrofits at an elementary school, the Smith Lane Fire Station, and the town library, installing lighting sensors, new, efficient boilers, and computer systems to control heating and cooling.  Power isn’t the only thing they’re cutting.  

“We’ll be saving $102,000 a year on utility bills.  So it pays to bite the bullet and become a Green Community.  There’s a lot of upside,” says Beaton.

WBZ-TV’s Todd Gutner reports

It also takes a lot of work and cooperation.  Zoning rules to encourage renewable energy have to be in place, and so do building codes to increase energy efficiency.  A blueprint to cut power use in municipal buildings must be developed, and a plan to use fuel efficient vehicles must be adopted.

There are 53 Green Communities in the state.  So far about $12-million in grants have been distributed with another $4-million in the pipeline.  Kingston is leveraging its’ status as a Green Community to lease the town’s capped landfill to developers who plan to build a solar farm and wind turbine.  Another developer wants to put additional turbines on private land. 

“The end result is, we’re going to create a lot of clean, renewable energy and there’ll be a positive cash flow to the town to the tune of almost a million dollars a year,” says Beaton.  “It’s a huge deal,” adds Kingston Town Administrator Jill Goldsmith.  “We’re all trying to do what we can for the environment, but we’re also trying to be fiscally conservative and responsible,” she says. 

Kingston hopes to have the solar and wind power facilities online by January.

Green Communities:

Green Communities Act:


Comments (3)
  1. Matt Bailey says:

    Were do you all think this supposid free money comes from? My taxes. What you do in your community is fine by me buy don’t expect my tax dollers to do it for you. No matter how good the idea is. If your community can’t afford to do it on its own then it should not get done.

  2. emom says:

    First of all, if it did not cost so darn much in the first place , More folks would and could afford to make their homes green… You can get a refund for upgrading your homes, why not be able to afford it and benefit from it… OH WAIT because the utility companies do not want you to save money since they in turn are greedy s.o.b,.’s Every new building should be outfitted with solar panels and greener heating and air systems… The windows should be Better energy efficient than most are, and the pipes in your home should all be insulated , The cost to repair pipes that rupture and the repairs to the damage they cause is astronomical.. The loss of heat and cool air thru windows, outlets , doors and pipes sweating not to mention heating ducts and dryer vents is a huge problem…. And the cost to correct these issues can be very costly… especially doors and windows,,, Pipe and outlet insulation wraps and stuff is not to bad, But, house insulation is costly and in these days more than most can afford. So our cost to heat and cool is higher, These companies that have green produces should not be charging so darn much,,, they would benefit from those that can outfit there homes and business if it cost far less than it does. Maybe if hat happens we would become a green world… till then I believe it will take much longer to catch on or be able to afford.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s