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Burlington Ahead of Energy Reduction Timeline

Since becoming a designated Green Community in February, 2020, Burlington has reduced its energy consumption by 11 percent and is well on its way to reaching its goal of 20-percent reduction in five years, according to the Department of Public Works. 

The Green Communities Designation and Grant Program, offered by the Green Communities Division of the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, gives towns and cities in the commonwealth strategies and technical support to cut energy use in municipal buildings and operations. There are 290 designated Green Communities in Massachusetts. 

“We’re really proud of the progress that we’ve made,” said DPW Business Manager Rachel Leonardo. 

As part of the Green Communities program, Burlington has previously installed more efficient lighting and HVAC systems in the public library and upgraded lighting and HVAC systems at five of the town’s six schools. In the next months, the DPW plans to use Green Communities grant funding to cover 72 percent of the cost of weatherizing Town Hall and the Town Hall Annex. 

“Our other project is to put solar on our first town building,” Leonardo said, “at the Mill Pond water treatment plant.” 

The funds are coming from a state Department of Environmental Protection grant for increasing energy efficiency at  water and wastewater plants. That grant will cover 90 percent of the cost of installing solar panels. 

Leonardo estimated the town spends as much as $12,000 per month on utility costs for the Mill Pond site; she said the solar panels could save the town as much as $100,000 per year in energy bills.