Local Energy Action Program (LEAP) to help eight communities strategize for renewable energy & energy efficiency work
Through LEAP, which is funded with support from the Barr Foundation, MAPC will be working with Marlborough, Medford, Medway, Stoughton, and the towns served by the Reading Municipal Light Department - Lynnfield, North Reading, Reading, and Wilmington - to plan for long- range energy efficiency and renewable energy work.
"We are thrilled to be announcing that Medford was selected to participate in the LEAP program," said Marc Draisen, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council. "Medford and these seven other municipalities stand to save millions of dollars in energy costs by working in collaboration through this program, and we look forward to helping our member municipalities to make upgrades and become more energy efficient."
"We are very excited to have the opportunity to work with MAPC to update the City's Climate Action Plan," said Medford Mayor Michael J. McGlynn, "Medford was the first municipality in the Commonwealth to have a Climate Action Plan and over the past 11 years we've accomplished many of our energy goals. The Local Energy Action Program will enable the city to collect public input and outline future energy goals with the help of MAPC, Medford's Energy Committee, and the City's Office of Energy and Environment."
MAPC received 21 applications to the program and used a comprehensive selection process to choose a diverse group of MAPC member municipalities to participate in the first round of LEAP. MAPC will solicit a second round of LEAP applications from its member municipalities in the Summer or Fall of 2012.
The selected communities will receive technical assistance from MAPC to plan for and launch innovative and financially-sustainable projects that reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in the municipal, residential, and commercial sectors. Both a public engagement process and the efforts of a municipal working group will be used to meet the unique needs and abilities of each participating city or town.
LEAP will have a multi-stage process. In the first stage, MAPC staff will work with municipal officials and key stakeholders to create a Local Energy Action Plan, which will include a baseline of energy use across municipal, commercial and residential sectors, energy reduction goals for each sector, and short- and long-term strategies to achieve these goals. Once the plan is created, MAPC will work with each community to design and launch their program, including identifying financing mechanisms and funding sources to support local projects. After two years of MAPC support, each community will have the capacity and knowledge to sustain its energy efforts moving forward.