North Attleborough achieves Green Community status

North Attleborough Town Hall

By Max Bowen

Being green, as it turns out, isn’t all that hard.

Last week the town was notified by the Department of Energy Resources that it had been labeled a Green Community. In a letter to the town, Brian Sullivan, director of the Green Communities Division, said the town had met the five criteria required for this designation.

These criteria include adopting a plan to reduce energy use by 20 percent within five years, purchasing fuel-efficient vehicles when possible, and adopting a Stretch Code. New construction that follows this code use significantly less energy than buildings built to other current and previous building codes. This will not replace existing building codes.

Meeting these criteria is proof of North Attleborough’s position as an energy leader in Massachusetts, poised to reduce its energy costs, improve the local environment and implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with funding through the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program,” wrote Sullivan.

In achieving this ranking, the town has been awarded a grant of $187,820. To receive this grant, the town will need to submit a project application proposing how the funds will be spent. The town has already made a number of energy-efficient changes, such as installing LED lighting in municipal buildings.

The Green Communities Program has been around for 10 years and provides $20 million annually in grants. The environmental impact is equivalent to taking 5,900 vehicles off the road. As of now, 271 towns have been included in the program, including Plainville and Franklin.