Fairhaven became a Green Community in December 2018. The goal of the Green Communities Designation and Grant Program is to support investment in energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that further clean energy goals set forth by the designated communities. To earn designation and qualify for grants, municipalities must pledge to reduce energy use by 20 percent over five years and meet four other criteria established in the Green Communities Act. Receiving this designation makes the town eligible for future grants to implement energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.
The Town had to meet the following criteria in order to be designated as a Green Community:
- Provide as-of-right siting for manufacturing or research and development of renewable or alternative energy products. The Fairhaven Zoning Bylaw fulfills this criterion.
- Adopt an expedited application and permit process for as-of-right energy facilities. The Fairhaven Zoning Bylaw fulfills this criterion.
- Establish an energy-use baseline inventory for municipal buildings and facilities; develop and adopt an Energy Reduction Plan (ERP) to reduce energy use by twenty percent (20%) within five (5) years of that baseline. The Town of Fairhaven Energy Reduction Plan was adopted in October 2018.
- Adopt a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Policy and provide a plan for replacing non-exempt vehicles with fuel efficient vehicles. The Town adopted the Fuel Efficient Vehicle Policy in October 2018.
- Set requirements to minimize life-cycle energy costs for new construction. The Town of Fairhaven adopted a Stretch Energy Code Bylaw at Town Meeting in May 2018.
Fairhaven has been awarded a grant of $174,535 with the official designation.