Sen. Eric Lesser Announces $53,000 Green Community Grant for Town Of Belchertown

State Senator Eric P. Lesser announced that the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has awarded the Town of Belchertown $53,022 to fund improvements aimed at reducing fuel consumption for town vehicles and increasing energy efficiency for town buildings. “This grant is the result of a lot of hard work on the part of Belchertown, including reducing its energy consumption, purchasing efficient vehicles and amending its building code to the latest standards,” Lesser said. “These funds will continue to position Belchertown as a leader in clean energy.”

The grant will fund the installation of an Electronic Fuel Management System and software for municipal vehicles, as well as the establishment of a behavioral-based energy program.

It will also fund the installation of a new efficient boiler at Old Town Hall and installation of new exterior storm windows at the Freedom Center Building and Recreation Center Building.

“Belchertown has invested nearly 4 million dollars in energy efficiency projects over the past 5 years, resulting in nearly $300,000 in annual savings and a considerable reduction in greenhouse gas emissions,” said Gary Brougham, Belchertown Town Administrator. “These additional funds will provide additional savings and a greater reduction in emissions. We greatly appreciate the continuing support of the Baker-Polito Administration and the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.”

"The awarding of this grant continues to give a community like Belchertown an alternative energy source,” said Rep. Thomas Petrolati (D-Ludlow). “It will help to defray the rising costs that are incurred by traditional energy sources. Belchertown continues to be a leader in finding cost-efficient and energy-saving alternatives.”

"I would like to thank the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources for this funding and congratulate Belchertown on their receipt of this award.  Any initiative that reduces consumption and saves our communities money is a winner,” said Rep. Susannah Whipps Lee (R-Athol).

Grant recipients are required to adopt an expedited permit process for renewable energy facilities, develop a plan to reduce energy use by 20 percent within five years, purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles and set requirements to minimize energy costs for new construction.