Sustainable Melrose

Melrose was in the first class of designated Green Communities in 2010. There were 35 municipalities in year one and today there are 271 Green Communities in the Commonwealth.

Green Community designation made Melrose eligible for grant funding over the last ten years for a number of energy efficiency projects aimed at reducing municipal energy use. It also provided Melrose with initial funding to hire a part-time Energy Efficiency Manager to manage the projects and seek out more grants and opportunities to save energy, reduce vehicle fleet fuel use, and increase renewable energy projects in Melrose. The return on investment in this position is unlike any other in municipal government as the utility and operational savings pays for it many times over.

Highlights from Ten Years as a Green Community include:

  • Overall municipal energy use has decreased by 18% from baseline fiscal year 2009 to 2020 which includes buildings, streetlights, vehicles, and water/sewer facilities.
  • Melrose has received over $2.5 million in grants, utility incentives, and technical assistance towards energy projects, vehicle purchases, and infrastructure upgrades.
  • Completed projects to date include a new insulated high school roof, LED streetlights everywhere, HVAC upgrades at Melrose High School, City Hall, the Police and Fire stations, and several elementary schools, and comprehensive building envelope improvements at all facilities.
  • The Energy Use Index, or EUI, for the Melrose High School and Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School facilities, which represent 40% of overall municipal building energy usage, are 36 and 44 and well below average for Massachusetts schools.
  • Addition of three battery electric vehicles to the City fleet and a hybrid water meter van upfit.
  • Four electric vehicle chargers with 15 more being installed on utility poles this spring.
  • Solar panels cover the roof of Melrose High School, Melrose Veterans Memorial Middle School and the Public Works Operations Facility on Tremont Street.