Green Communities Act: MA

Status

CLF advocates will continue to monitor the implementation of this act to ensure that measures protect the climate and public health as intended.

In 2008, Massachusetts enacted critical legislation that boosts energy efficiency and encourages investment in renewable energy. Known as the Green Communities Act, this law includes a number of provisions that are making Massachusetts a national leader in clean energy technology. The law:

  • Requires utilities to increase investment in energy efficiency measures, which reduce demand and deliver savings to customers.
  • Mandates the design and implementation of three-year energy efficiency plans for gas and electric utilities. The first round of statewide energy efficiency plans, developed in 2009, would increase efficiency spending to roughly $1.4 billion over the first three years, resulting in an economic benefit of $3.5 billion over the same time period.
  • Provides funding for efficiency measures via the auction of power plants’ pollution allowances through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.
  • Requires that 15 percent of electricity be supplied by new renewable power facilities by 2020.
  • Establishes a pilot program for utilities to enter into long-term contracts with renewable energy developers to facilitate financing for the projects and to lock in predictable prices for clean energy for customers.
  • Encourages green building design through updated codes, training, and assistance.

CLF advocates will continue to monitor the implementation of this act to ensure that measures protect the climate and public health as intended.

Contacts

Susan Reid, senior attorney

Shanna Cleveland, staff attorney