Lynn recently earned state recognition and funding for its efforts to curb energy use and rely more on renewable sources.
The city was among 31 municipalities recently designated by the state as Green Communities, a status the state provides to cities and towns that take specified steps to become more energy-efficient and to expand their use of renewable energy. Those earning the status become eligible to receive grants for energy-related projects, including an initial grant that comes with the designation.
Lynn was awarded $495,030 for that kick-off grant. City officials are assessing what projects the city will undertake with the money.
With the addition of the 31 new cities and towns, there are now 271 Green Communities, home to 84 percent of the Massachusetts population, according to state officials.
To earn Green Community status, a community must develop a program to reduce energy usage by 20 percent in five years; adopt “as of right” zoning and expedited permitting for renewable energy projects; adopt a policy to purchase only fuel-efficient vehicles; and institute building code standards to require energy-efficient construction.
“Lynn’s designation as a Green Community marks the beginning of ongoing efforts to make the city more eco-friendly and reduce consumption, “ Mayor Thomas M. McGee said in a statement. “Investments to increase our energy efficiency will unlock grant opportunities to help further minimize the city’s environmental footprint in the years ahead."
John Laidler can be reached at email@example.com.