Harwich Selectmen Approve Energy Reduction Plan

HARWICH – The Town of Harwich is closer to becoming a Massachusetts Green Community after Selectmen recently approved an energy reduction plan.

The plan calls for a 20 percent reduction of municipal energy consumption within the next five years.

The town has submitted its application with completed criteria to the state and should be awarded part of nearly $150,000 in funding through the program by next May.

“This is aspirational,” said Evan Melillo, the Assistant Town Administrator. “If we do not get there in five years they are not revoking all the money they have given us.”

The state funding through the Green Communities initiative would be received in three allotments.

“Generally how that is done is it is 25 percent up front, 50 percent upon showing progress and the remaining 25 percent when you are done reporting,” Melillo said.

Eleven percent of the reduction would be achieved through energy saving actions at town buildings, mainly the Harwich Cultural Center, and another 4 percent would be through replacing current town vehicles with electric vehicles with charging stations.

The town will look into behavior-based initiatives, which are more difficult to quantify, to reduce energy consumption by the remaining 5 percent.

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