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Town of Wellesley Designated First Green Power Partner Community in Massachusetts

Release Date: 09/04/2012
Contact Information: Kate Renahan, (617) 918-1491

(Boston, Mass. – Sept. 4, 2012) – The Town of Wellesley, Mass. has been selected by EPA as a Green Power Community, the first in Massachusetts, and the second in all of New England.

The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to buy green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with purchased electricity use. To be designated as a Green Power Community a local government must purchase or produce green power in amounts that meet EPA minimum purchase requirements set by community electricity usage. Based on this standard, Wellesley met their requirement of 3 percent.

Green power is defined as electricity generated from renewable resources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biogas, biomass and low-impact hydropower.  The local government must also initiate a community-wide green power campaign to encourage local businesses and residents to buy green power.

“We applaud Wellesley for increasing their use of clean and renewable energy sources,” said Curt Spalding, regional administrator or EPA’s New England office.  “This is a great example of a community working together to help ensure a cleaner environment for us all.  Wellesley’s example can be replicated all over New England.”

In Wellesley, the municipal government supported the purchase of green power and started its own “POWER TO CHOOSE” campaign to encourage residents and businesses to purchase green power.

“We succeeded because we found a way to unlock latent support for sustainability among many electricity customers in Wellesley,” said Ellen Ledley Korpi, Chair of the Town’s Sustainable Energy Committee. “This was a collaborative effort by the Town government and many of the Town’s organizations.”

“Wellesley’s efforts to become a Green Power Community show that the Commonwealth’s clean energy revolution is expanding,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Rick Sullivan. “As the first such community in Massachusetts, we hope others will follow Wellesley’s lead, and commit to cutting traditional energy use and protecting the environment.”

The town of Wellesley and the Wellesley Sustainable Energy Committee (SEC) partnered with: Massachusetts Bay Community College, Starbucks, TD Bank, Wellesley College, Sun Life Financial, Babson College and Whole Foods Market, and worked to increase participation in the Wellesley Renewable Energy purchasing by 50 percent to meet EPA’s 3 percent town-wide renewable power purchased minimum requirement.  As of July 1, the number of entities who are purchasing Wellesley Renewable Energy has increased by 88 percent, and 3.7 percent of the power purchased in Wellesley is now renewable energy, exceeding EPA’s requirements.

Using green power helps reduce the environmental impacts of electricity use and supports the development of new renewable generation capacity nationwide.

More information:

- EPA’s Green Power Partnership: www.epa.gov/greenpower.

- Wellesley’s renewable energy program: http://www.wellesleyrenewableenergy.com/

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