Resolution on a Progressive Energy Plan for the Cities and Towns of Massachusetts (2009)

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As adopted by the members, January 24, 2009

Whereas, Cities and towns in Massachusetts have a vital role to play in developing an environmentally safe and fiscally sound energy policy for the state and nation;

Whereas, Cities and towns have an essential role advocating for the needs of local economies and residents;

Whereas, Cities and towns have a key role as major energy consumers;

Whereas, Local government has a long-standing interest in encouraging clean and renewable energy resources and reducing energy consumption; and

Whereas, A constructive relationship between cities and towns, the state and federal government and businesses is necessary to achieve clean energy generation and energy reduction goals;

Therefore it is hereby resolved by the members of the Massachusetts Municipal Association that:

In the Matter of Technical Assistance and Education,

State agencies should provide technical assistance to cities and towns, including model bylaws and ordinances, consistent with the Green Communities Act, for the siting of renewable and alternative energy facilities;

The state should also assist cities and towns in the development of standards for energy management services, including regional delivery of services, and should make agency resources available to cities and towns undertaking energy use inventories;

In the Matter of Green Buildings,

State agencies should develop model statewide residential green building guidelines that will provide information to local jurisdictions on how to evaluate and use different green building strategies;

Cities and towns should encourage the adoption of voluntary residential and commercial green building guidelines as a reference guide to evaluate available green building programs and adopt those best suited for their communities, and to explore incentives to encourage green building by private developers of residential construction projects;

In the Matter of Building Codes,

Cities and towns support an option for local bylaws and ordinances that require higher development standards, and support the state offering an enhanced code option for local adoption (only if they are based upon protecting public health and safety and good science), and concurrently, cities and towns oppose any preemption of local-option bylaws and ordinances if these bylaws and ordinances are based on protecting public health and safety and good science;

In the Matter of Energy Efficiency in Buildings,

Cities and towns encourage energy efficiency in new and existing public and private residential and commercial buildings based on the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED program or similar systems;

In the Matter of Effective Regulation,

Cities and towns encourage the adoption of state and federal regulations that balance energy consumption and carbon footprint with marginal environmental benefit;

In the Matter of Partnerships with Businesses,

Utility companies and other businesses should work with cities and towns to implement energy efficiency and clean energy programs;

Cities and towns support the option for utilities to generate renewable energy and encourage the state to set goals for utility programs to achieve energy efficiency;

In the Matter of Clean Energy Technology,

Cities and towns support targeted tax credits, grants, loans and other incentives to assist the public, businesses, and local agencies that invest in energy-efficient equipment and technology and fuel-efficient vehicles;

Cities and towns support the increased use and purchase of clean alternative energy through the development of renewable energy resources, recovery of landfill methane for energy production, and waste-to-energy technologies;

In the Matter of Federal, State and Local Priorities for Reducing Energy Usage,

Cities and towns should undertake a complete inventory of municipal energy usage and seek assistance, when necessary, to set appropriate reduction targets and energy-reduction action plans;

Cities and towns support the reduction of vehicle emissions through increased fuel efficiency, use of appropriate alternative fueled vehicles, and/or low-emission vehicles in public agency fleets, and encourage the use of appropriate alternative fueled vehicles, and/or low-emission vehicles in private fleets; and

Cities and towns support state funding of re-commissioning of public buildings, especially schools, state funds for conversion of traffic lights to LEDs, expansion of weatherization programs aimed at low-income households, and funding DOE energy-efficiency programs at water treatment plants.