Green Schools Initiative

June 03, 2003


The Massachusetts Green Schools Initiative provides information services, and funding for feasibility studies, design, construction, and ongoing green education activities of green public schools employing renewable technologies. This program is the result of a new partnership between the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative's Renewable Energy Trust and the Massachusetts Department of Education’s School Building Assistance Program. The Renewable Energy Trust is the state's public benefits fund (see DSIRE summary) created in 1998 as a result of the state's electric utility industry restructuring legislation. With $13.5 million in total funding available, the program's initial funding (Track I) offered design and construction funding on a competitive basis for major school renovation or construction projects. This track is now closed. Funding is currently available under Track II, which provides (1.) educational workshops; (2.) feasibility study grants of up to $20,000; and (3.) design/construction awards of up to $630,000. Technical and/or financial resources are available to Pilot Program participants in each. 1. Workshops and Information Service On-site workshops are available to school districts upon written request to the Trust that will assist school officials and their consultants to increase their baseline knowledge of high-performance green building principles, practices, and resources. 2. Feasibility Study Grant awards of up to $20,000 are available for 40 school building projects to support one or more feasibility studies of high-performance green design and building options. 3. Design and Construction Assistance The Trust expects to select five new construction and five major renovation projects distributed throughout the Commonwealth for high-performance green school design and construction grant awards. Successful applicants will be eligible for the following: a) Design Assistance The Trust will pay up to $130,000 per project for incremental high-performance green school planning and design costs. b) Construction and Post-Construction Assistance The state's Department of Education will add two percentage points to the calculation of the total facilities grant for approved school projects that qualify as Massachusetts Green Schools, and will strongly consider waivers of project funding caps necessitated by incremental Pilot Program costs. The Trust will pay up to $500,000 per project for the incremental costs of incorporating and commissioning eligible renewable energy technologies into a Massachusetts Green School. Also, up to $30,000 of this assistance may be used by the school to develop and implement a plan to use, maintain, foster and operate the school as a Massachusetts Green School and as a student and community educational tool. c) Significant assistance (up to 100% of incremental costs in some cases) is also available from electric and gas utility programs for energy efficient design and construction. The Trust and utilities are working to coordinate the Pilot Program and utility offerings. All school districts eligible to receive assistance through the state's Department of Education's School Building Assistance Program may apply. However, projects in the service territory of a municipally-owned lighting plant are not eligible to receive assistance from the Trust.

Program Overview

Implementing Sector: State
Category: Financial Incentive
State: Massachusetts
Incentive Type: Grant Program
Web Site:
Administrator: Massachusetts Technology Collaborative
Start Date:
Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
  • Solar - Passive
  • Solar Water Heat
  • Solar Space Heat
  • Solar Photovoltaics
  • Wind (All)
  • Geothermal Heat Pumps
  • Fuel Cells using Non-Renewable Fuels
  • Daylighting
  • Wind (Small)
  • Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels
Incentive Amount: Up to $20,000 for feasibility grants; Up to $630,000 for design and construction assistance grants


Name: Kim Ashton
Organization: Massachusetts Technology Collaborative
Address: 75 North Drive
Westborough MA 01581
Phone: (508) 870-0312

This information is sourced from DSIRE; the most comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewables and energy efficiency in the United States. Established in 1995, DSIRE is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at N.C. State University.