WILBRAHAM — The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources’ Green Communities Division awarded the Town of Wilbraham a $54,358 Green Communities grant to help fund a variety of energy conservation measures.

“I am pleased to support this funding which will help to cut municipal costs for Wilbraham while creating a greener and more sustainable future for the community,” state Rep.Angelo J. Puppolo, Jr. (D-Springfield) said in a Jan. 26 release.

Samuel Boyd, Wilbraham’s Facilities and Grounds Director, said the town was designated a Green Community in 2018 and funds already received have been directed towards projects that updated lighting to LEDs, weatherization and insulation of buildings and furnace and boiler replacement.

“The goal of the program is to reduce the carbon footprint,” he said. “In total, we have received over $350,000 in Green Community grant funds for energy conservation measures.”

This latest grant will help Wilbraham make green improvements to facilities including the town’s information technology building, library and Little Red School House, and will assist with funding of the police department’s two new Interceptor Utility Hybrid vehicles to add to the existing fleet.

Boyd said the funds are applied to specific town projects with specific associated dollar amounts as indicated in the grant applications.

“With all of those projects you have to justify each one and explain how much energy you’re going to save and how it’s going to reduce the energy consumption in the town,” he said.

As examples, heating pipe insulation in the Little Red School House and a heat pump for the library’s ductless heating system were identified as projects that would benefit from the grant funding.

Boyd said the grant funds provide valuable assistance in making needed changes and improvements large and small all around the town.

“It’s little things, like we replaced all the LEDs in the fire station and it is more consistent and better lighting, while obviously more efficient so that’s something that improves the quality of life there,” he said. Two hundred ninety-one municipalities in the commonwealth have earned a Green Communities designation since program began in 2010. The program has awarded more than $170 million to Green Communities in both Designation and Competitive Grants.

“The Green Communities program has helped our cities and towns make significant investments to achieve their own clean energy goals and strengthen their economies,” Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rebecca Tepper said in a Nov. 2023 announcement.

Boyd said for Wilbraham, the grant funding has been vital in helping the town reduce its carbon footprint and energy consumption.

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