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A pair of Massachusetts agencies are partnering on a $500,000 pilot program to help local communities identify renewable energy and energy efficiency strategies.

The Community Energy Strategies Pilot Program, sponsored by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) and the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources' Green Communities Division, will provide technical and financial assistance to help identify and enable clean energy strategies and incentives.

Massachusetts lies at the end of the energy pipeline, lacking indigenous supplies of traditional energy resources. As a result, Massachusetts has some of the highest energy costs in the nation, the agencies note. Of the $22 billion Massachusetts spends annually on energy, $18 billion of that goes to out-of-state and foreign sources.

According to the MassCEC, the pilot program is designed to help communities assess and evaluate clean energy investments ranging from high-efficiency heating and cooling equipment and insulation to wind turbines and solar electricity systems.

The following communities/planning agencies are participating in the pilot program:
  1. Northampton;
  2. Watertown;
  3. Newburyport;
  4. Franklin Regional Council of Governments (Greenfield, Montague, Buckland and Shelburne);
  5. Metropolitan Area Planning Council (Hamilton, Wenham, Salem and Swampscott); and
  6. Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (Amherst, Hadley, Holyoke, Easthampton and East Longmeadow).

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