Requirements for Becoming Designated as a Green Community
To become a designated Green Community, a municipality must complete all five of the criteria listed below:
Criterion 1: As-of-Right Siting – Renewable Energy/Alternative Energy
A municipality must provide zoning in designated locations for the as-of-right siting for one of the following:
1. renewable or alternative energy generating facilities, OR
2. renewable or alternative energy research and development (R&D) facilities, OR
3. renewable or alternative energy manufacturing facilities
Criterion 2: Expedited Permitting
A municipality must adopt an expedited application and permitting process under which Criterion 1 facilities may be sited within the municipality, and the permitting process shall not exceed one (1) year from the date of initial application to the date of final approval.
Criterion 3: Energy Baseline / 20 Percent Energy Reduction Plan
A municipality must establish an energy use baseline inventory for all municipal buildings (which includes school buildings, drinking water and wastewater treatment plants, pumping stations and open spaces), vehicles, and street and traffic lighting. A municipality must also adopt a comprehensive five-year Energy Reduction Plan (ERP) designed to reduce that baseline by 20 percent after completion of a full five-years of implementing its ERP.
Criterion 4: Purchase Only Fuel-Efficient Vehicles
All Departments in the municipality must purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles for municipal use whenever such vehicles are commercially available and practicable.
Criterion 5: Minimize Life-Cycle Costs
A municipality must require all new residential construction over 3,000 square feet and all new commercial and industrial real estate construction to minimize, to the extent feasible, the life cycle cost of facilities/buildings by utilizing energy efficiency, water conservation and other renewable or alternative energy technologies.
The recommended way for cities and towns to meet this requirement is by adopting the Board of Building Regulations and Standards (BBRS) Stretch Code (780 CMR 115.AA), an appendix to the MA State Building Code.