On July 2, 2008 Governor Deval Patrick signed comprehensive landmark legislation to reduce energy consumption and spur clean energy technology. This law places Massachusetts nationally at the forefront of climate change reform. A leader in energy policy for years, the state participates in a regional effort to reduce greenhouse gases from power plants and has set a goal of increasing solar power in the Commonwealth by 600 percent in 4 years.
Among the major provisions is a requirement for utilities to invest in energy efficiency when it is less expensive than buying power. Previously companies purchased more power when demand increased. The construction of additional polluting power plants over time was the result. In addition, utilities will need to buy more electricity from renewable power sources. By 2030, 25% of this would be from renewables. The law also encourages the creation of green communities. A Green Communities Division within the Massachusetts Division of Energy Resources will expend $10 million annually to assist cities and towns in finding ways to become more energy efficient or to invest in renewable energy. No-interest loans are one of the incentives.
The text of this and other legislation can be accessed through the Library's web site by clicking on the "Massachusetts Acts and Resolves" button.