Two Franklin County towns received their first official checks for becoming a Green Community — totaling $292,405, joining others across the state.
Orange received $159,830 while Shelburne got $132,575 from the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources’ “Green Communities” initiative.
These grants are aimed at energy upgrades that will help towns reduce energy consumption. For example, Bernardston, which was awarded a grant in 2015, used the money to fund administrative costs, investment grade energy audits for town buildings and a number of energy conservation measures.
Since the first 35 municipalities were designated Green Communities in July of 2010, the program has provided more than $80 million to 210 participating municipalities, now accounting for 72 percent of the state. In December, the DOER announced 25 more communities joined the compact, with Thursday’s grant recipients among them.
“We are proud to work closely with cities and towns in every part of the state,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson in a news statement. “The newest Green Communities are helping the commonwealth create a clean, affordable and resilient energy future.”
Judson presented town officials their money on May 10 at Orange Town Hall.