Reading Delegation Announces $250,000 in Energy Efficiency Grants for Reading Municipal Light Department

State Senator Jason Lewis and State Representatives Bradley Jones and James Dwyer are pleased to announce that the Reading Municipal Light Department has been awarded $250,000 in grants by the Patrick Administration for energy efficiency programs for customers of municipal light plants (MLPs) to expand cost saving and environmental benefits.

The Reading Municipal Light Department will receive: $73,000 for a commercial and industrial LED program; $47,000 for a residential LED program; $31,250 each for LED streetlights in Reading, North Reading, Wilmington, and Lynnfield; and, $5,000 for administrative and public education costs.

“Improving energy efficiency is a critical and ongoing goal, both for lowering costs and conserving resources,” said Senator Lewis.  “These grants will have a profound impact on expanding energy efficiency in the greater Reading area and across Massachusetts.”

“The positive effect this grant will have on Reading’s continued commitment to energy efficiency will be profound,” said Representative Jones. “The town of Reading, and the Reading Municipal Light Department continue to find new and creative ways to promote energy efficiency both in the residential and commercial community. This continued commitment will have an extremely positive impact on our environment in the years to come.”

“Grants like these assist our municipalities through targeted, common sense investments,” said Representative Dwyer. “These grants will assist Reading Municipal Lighting Department in offering low-cost and efficient energy sources to our taxpayers.”

The grants, funded with proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) auction, will leverage more than $1.8 million in MLP-funded energy efficiency programs across the Commonwealth, save participants more than $1.2 million in energy costs and have projected annual energy savings of nearly 8.3 million kWh.  That’s enough electricity to power nearly 1,100 Massachusetts homes, and to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to removing 705 cars from the road.  A portion of these grants will be used for municipal energy efficiency projects to reduce taxpayer-funded energy bills.

The Green Communities Act of 2008 requires the state’s investor-owned utilities to capture all cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities for their customers before looking to new generation options to meet electricity demand. This requirement does not extend to municipal light plants. The grants will broaden the reach of the Commonwealth’s energy efficiency leadership, offering customers of MLPs similar energy savings and greenhouse gas reduction benefits afforded to customers of investor-owned utilities.

The American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy has named Massachusetts the number one state for energy efficiency for three years running.  The clean energy revolution is yielding economic benefits, with 11.8 percent job growth in the last year.  Nearly 80,000 people are employed in the cleantech industry in Massachusetts.