BOSTON – The Baker-Polito administration recognized eight Massachusetts state agencies, public colleges, municipalities (including Winchester), and public sector individuals for their leadership in promoting clean energy and environmental initiatives with the 10th annual Leading by Example Awards. Awardees were honored for policies and programs that have resulted in significant energy and emissions reductions, renewable energy installations, water conservation, and the implementation of sustainability initiatives that reduce the environmental impacts of state and municipal operations.

The Leading by Example (LBE) program is a division of the Department of Energy Resources (DOER) and coordinates clean energy and environmental opportunities at facilities owned and operated by the Commonwealth. 

“As Massachusetts works to reduce energy costs, usage, and emissions, our state, municipal, and public partners continue to set an impressive example for others to follow,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “The foresight to embrace energy and environmental innovations throughout the Commonwealth’s cities, towns, universities, and other locations saves taxpayers and ratepayers millions.”

“Massachusetts’ colleges, universities, and municipalities are on the frontlines of energy and environmental innovation,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “Our administration is committed to ensuring that the Commonwealth continues to be an example for the positive benefits of adopting clean energy and environmental practices.”

Leading by Example efforts across state government are directly resulting in energy and environmental efficiencies and savings. The Commonwealth has increased the amount of installed solar PV at state facilities from less than 100kW in 2007 to over 14MW in 2016, reduced greenhouse gas emissions 26 percent since 2004, reduced the use of fuel oil at state facilities by 18 million gallons or 78 percent since 2006, and has constructed 57 LEED certified buildings since 2006, with 35 at the two highest levels of Gold and Platinum. 

“The Leading by Example program gives our partners across state government the tools they need to contribute to our shared goals of reducing energy costs and meeting our Global Warming Solutions Act goals,”  said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Matthew Beaton. “The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to building up the impressive progress we’ve made as a Commonwealth towards building a cleaner, more cost-effective, and resilient energy future.”

“Today’s award winners are at the forefront of innovative energy program and project development that are resulting in reduced costs and emissions,” said Department of Energy Resources Commissioner Judith Judson. “State and municipal entities continue to be invaluable partners with the Commonwealth as we work to meet our clean energy objectives.”

LBE Awards were presented to the Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke and the MassDEP Electric Vehicle Incentive Program in the state agency category, Springfield Technical Community College and the University of Massachusetts System in the public higher education category, the Town of Winchester and the Town of Needham in the municipal category, and Matt Coogan of Gloucester/Essex and Julia Wolfe of the Operational Services Division in the individual category.

“The Commonwealth has made extraordinary progress implementing energy and environmental innovation across all levels of government particularly at our colleges and universities,” said Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance (DCAMM) Commissioner Carol Gladstone. “The public institutions of higher learning play a special role in our collective efforts to create a clean and health environmental future. They are truly leading by example.”

State Agency Awardees

The Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke received an award for actively implementing energy efficiency efforts across its campus to reduce environmental impacts, improve efficiencies, and reduce costs while providing healthcare to Massachusetts veterans. Achievements include the installation of thousands of LED lights, upgrading to high-efficiency pumps, converting 2 roofs to ‘cool’ white roofs, which, along with a number of other measures, have helped the facility reduce energy use an estimated 40 percent, lower greenhouse emissions by 54 percent and reduce energy costs by 13 percent since 2004.

MassDEP’s Electric Vehicle Incentive Program (MassEVIP) was recognized for its efforts to advance the purchase and increased use of electric vehicles throughout Massachusetts utilizing extensive outreach programs and awarding almost 200 grants from Provincetown on Cape Cod to Williamstown in the Berkshires. Since 2013, MassEVIP has awarded over $2 million in grants for public fleet vehicles at state agencies, campuses, and municipalities, as well as Workplace Charging grants to more than 130 MA employers resulting in the installation of more than 330 EV charging stations, supporting two-thirds of Massachusetts’ overall infrastructure of 499 EV charging stations statewide.

Public Higher Education Awardees

Springfield Technical Community College was recognized for its progress and creative approach to advancing energy efficiency and sustainability on campus. Achievements include upgrading insulation and windows in historic buildings, decentralizing and upgrading its heating system to save an estimated $200,000 a year, streamlining its shuttle route to save fuel and reduce emissions, connecting the current energy-efficient renovation of a historic building to the curriculum, and requiring double-sided printing to reduce paper consumption and save approximately $14,000 a year.

The University of Massachusetts (UMass) System was recognized for its impressive sustainability programs across the five campuses that successfully leveraged used the UMass Sustainability Council to effectively share best practices and collaborate with the UMass President’s Office. Collective achievements include a 14 percent reduction in GHG emissions over the 5 campuses despite a growth in building square footage of 35 percent since 2004, the construction of 18 LEED Certified buildings since 2010, the installation two of the top five largest cleaner-burning natural gas combined heat and power systems in Massachusetts, the development of shared sustainability policies, and publication of a comprehensive annual sustainability report.

Municipal Awardees

The Town of Winchester, designated a Green Community in 2010, was recognized for successfully implementing energy and sustainability initiatives through the collective work of dozens of municipal town committees and volunteers. Accomplishments include dozens of projects implemented by the Energy Management Committee saving over $5 million in energy costs, including a 24 percent natural gas reduction at the Public Library since 2010, and Sustainable Winchester’s Senior Energy Grant Program that funds weatherization improvements for senior-citizens.

The Town of Needham was recognized for effectively implementing a wide range of clean energy and water conservation initiatives that benefit the community as a whole. Achievements include the 3.5 MW landfill solar PV system that opened in 2016, generating about 27 percent of the town’s public building demand, the participation of over 100 homes in the Solarize Needham program, and the town’s robust water conservation efforts that includes the distribution of free water-efficiency kits for residents.

Public Sector Individual Awardees

Matt Coogan, Planner for the City of Gloucester and the Town of Essex, was recognized for his positive impact in supporting energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives, plus his key role in Green Communities efforts in Gloucester and Essex. Matt’s accomplishments include advancing efficiency upgrades savings hundreds of thousands in energy costs annually at municipal buildings, the creation of an Energy Reduction Plan for the regional school district, and leading public outreach efforts on energy issues like LED streetlights.

Julia Wolfe, Director of Environmental Purchasing at the MA Operational Services Division, was recognized for her achievements in advancing the procurement and use of environmentally preferable products and services throughout state government and municipalities. Julia’s achievements include supporting OSD’s Sourcing Leads to incorporate environmentally preferable products into approximately 50 contracts, leading the multi-state Green Cleaning Products contract sourcing team that reduces environmental impacts and delivers an average 20% cost discount, and earning MA a national award for energy-efficient computer equipment purchasing. In 2015, Massachusetts purchased $385 million in environmental preferable products, saving more than $28 million in annual costs, primarily from energy-efficient products.

“Our collective efforts to reduce energy consumption through conservation and innovative initiates has been paying dividends in Massachusetts and Matt Coogan has been providing outstanding leadership with positive outcomes for the environment and our citizens,” said Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr (R-Gloucester).  “Matt’s work on behalf of Gloucester and Essex is exemplary.”

“I commend Matt for his hard work and dedication in bringing energy efficiency to our schools, public buildings and municipal lighting,” said State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante (D-Gloucester). “His cost saving efforts have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in savings to the communities of Gloucester and Essex.”

155 Massachusetts cities and towns are designated as Green Communities, with 54% of the Commonwealth’s residents living in one of the designated municipalities. The commitment by 155 communities amounts to savings of 2,153,992 MMBtu, energy use equivalent to heating and powering nearly 17,000 homes, and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 203,538 tons, equivalent to taking almost 39,000 cars off the road.


Led by Commissioner Judith Judson, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) develops and implements policies and programs aimed at ensuring the adequacy, security, diversity, and cost-effectiveness of the Commonwealth's energy supply to create a clean, affordable and resilient energy future. To that end, DOER strives to ensure deployment of all cost-effective energy efficiency, maximize development of clean energy resources, create and implement energy strategies to assure reliable supplies and improve the cost of clean energy relative to fossil-fuel based generation and support Massachusetts' clean energy companies and spur Massachusetts' clean energy employment. DOER is an agency of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).

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