Clean Energy and Resilience Planning
The City of Gloucester is committed to environmental stewardship through the promotion of clean, renewable energy sources, energy conservation, and resiliency. Gloucester was one of the first communities in the state to achieve Green Communities Designation, adopt the Stretch energy code, and implement a Fuel Efficient Vehicle Policy. Gloucester currently offsets approximately 85% of its municipal electricity demand with renewables from two local wind turbines at Blackburn Business Park (data updated as of May 2022) and has invested over 1 million dollars into energy efficiency updates at municipal facilities.
The City established the Clean Energy Commission (CEC) in 2009 to promote clean energy options in the wider community. The CEC was instrumental in creating a Community Aggregation program, which provides residents and businesses in Gloucester with more renewable energy options. The CEC further spearheaded several campaigns over the years to promote Mass Save utility incentives that offer residents free or reduced cost energy efficiency home updates. Learn more about how residents of Gloucester can take Climate Action on the Take Action Today page.
The City has undertaken several planning efforts to support climate stewardship and adaption including,
- 2015 Coastal Climate Change and Vulnerability Assessment and Adaption Plan
- 2018 Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Planning
- 2019 Watershed and Water Supply Venerability and Management Strategy
- 2022 Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP)
Since November 2021, the City has been working to compile a comprehensive Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP) that builds on past successes and refocus future action through the lenses of community outreach and up to date climate data. Learn how you can participate in this effort at the CARP webpage and by following Innovate Gloucester's Facebook, @innovateglosta Instagram, and @InnovateGlosta Twitter pages.
Keep reading to learn more about the City of Gloucester’s past and present initiatives,
The City of Gloucester has participated in several state-wide initiatives to promote Mass Save utility incentives including in 2018, 2019, and 2022. Gloucester residents interested in getting the free energy audit as well as possible free or reduced cost energy efficiency home updates can visit masssave.com/gloucester or call (351) 529-6372. Once that process is completed, a Mass Save Energy Specialist will go to their home and perform a Home Energy Assessment, which can include a number of tangible benefits in addition to advice on making the house more eco-friendly.
Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP)
On April 26, 2016 The City Council voted to authorize the Mayor to investigate and establish the City's Community Electricity Aggregation program. In operation since December 2018, the program, called Gloucester Community Electricity Aggregation or Gloucester CEA for short, provides residents and businesses in Gloucester with more renewable energy options, stable electricity rates and competitive pricing. Future savings cannot be guaranteed because future National Grid rates are unknown. Visit the program website, gloucester-cea.com, for program details, electricity rates, program documents, including the program plan and contact information for the electricity supplier.
Municipal Wind at Blackburn (A Public-Private Partnership)
- Gloucester Daily Times Report on Turbine Performance, May 25, 2015.
- Installation Photos - November 2012
- Installations Video Available at the Sawyer Free Library
Gloucester was one of the first communities in the state to achieve Green Communities Designation in 2010. The City adopted progressive guidelines and standards in order to become a Green Community, including an Energy Reduction Plan, Fuel Efficient Energy Policy, and Stretch Energy Code.
By becoming a Green Community, Gloucester has been awarded grants that help fund various energy conservation projects. To date, the City has invested over 1 million dollars into energy efficiency updates at municipal facilities, including lighting upgrades at several municipal facilities, Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system upgrades, and a citywide Light Emitting Diode (LED) streetlight retrofit.
The Green Communities Program is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources. More information can be found by visiting Mass.gov.