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About Sustainability

The Department of Public Works (DPW) supports the City in meeting energy, greenhouse gas reduction and sustainability goals by:

  • Tracking and analyzing City energy use, fuel use and expenses
  • Strategic planning and project management around efficiency upgrades
  • Collaborating with other City departments to identify best practices for resource-efficient and climate-resilient municipal operations
  • Sharing sustainability efforts, successes and challenges in a transparent and accessible way.

DPW pays utility and fuel expenses for 97 City buildings, parks, ball fields, pump stations and more than 300 municipal vehicles. Costs are supported by this budgetary allotment plus reimbursements from other City departments. DPW also serves as a lead sponsor of Team GreenSense , the Mayor's Summer Youth Employment Program on sustainability for high school students.

The DPW's Sustainability Initiatives

Green Community Designation

The Green Community Designation and Grant program provides technical and financial support to municipalities that:

  • Pledge to cut municipal energy use by 20 percent over 5 years
  • Provide designated siting for alternative energy generating facilities
  • Establish an energy use baseline and adopt an energy reduction plan
  • Adopt a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle Policy requiring all municipal departments to purchase fuel-efficient vehicles
  • Minimize life-cycle cost of all newly constructed homes and buildings to use significantly less energy

Cambridge was one of the first communities in the Commonwealth to be designated a Green Community. In December of 2014, Governor Deval Patrick honored Cambridge for achieving the 20% reduction goal. In FY 16, Cambridge achieved an energy consumption reduction of over 25% compared to the FY08 baseline.

Governor Patrick recognizes Cambridge as a Green Community

Grant Awards and Projects


Designation Grant Award

Grant Project Summary

2010 $283,770 To fund energy conservation measures in municipal facilities, including HVAC upgrades in three municipal facilities: Haggerty School, Area IV Youth Center, and Frisoli Youth Center; installation of lighting upgrades in four municipal facilities: Solomon Garage, High School field house, Morse Elementary School, and DPW Complex; and to create an energy revolving fund program for future energy conservation measures in municipal facilities
2012 $98,043 To fund efficiency upgrades to the Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning system and the Energy Management system at the Peabody School and Gately Youth Center
2013 $234,888 To fund an engineering design and the following energy conservation measures at the Citywide Senior Center; replacement and commissioning of three air handling units and installation of an energy management system.
2017 $250,000 To fund energy conservation measures in municipal facilities including Lombardi Building and vehicle fleet. The energy conservation measures funded by this grant are: air handling unit replacement and expanded building management system controls, and vehicle hybrid retrofits
2018 $218,950 To fund energy conservation measures, vehicle hybrid retrofits and idle reduction technologies, in municipal facilities including city vehicle fleet
2020  $500,000  Grant awarded by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) to replace three City-owned rubbish packers with new vehicles equipped with cleaner burning engines, clean idle systems, and plug-in hybrid electric technology. 
 2022  $305,625  Mass. Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) under the Massachusetts Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) Electric Solicitation Grant. The grant will partially fund the purchase of one all-electric rubbish packer that will replace an old diesel-powered truck
 2022  $92,461  Retro-commissioning of the Main Library and Alice K Wolf buildings.
 2024  $416,991  Mass. Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) VW Solicitation grant. The grant will partially fund the purchase of one all-electric rubbish packer that will replace an old diesel-powered truck
Page was posted on 3/18/2019 6:10 PM
Page was last modified on 5/10/2024 11:19 AM
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