Gov. Deval Patrick Speaks at Foxborough Energy Summit

The Massachusetts governor addressed energy efficiency in his remarks.

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick spoke at an energy summit in Foxborough Tuesday, elaborating on work done to make the state's energy supply more environmentally friendly.

The governor, speaking in front of the "Massachusetts: Leading the Nation in the Energy Savings Revolution" summit at Gillette Stadium, noted that the state had been named the most energy-efficient state by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. The state wrested that title from longtime green energy leader California.

"More than 42 percent of Massachusetts residents — 2.7 million people — live in one of the state's 86 green communities," he said. "We are investing more per capita than any other state."

He said, since his administration took office, the state's solar generating capacity has jumped from three megawatts to 100.

Patrick also spoke about the green sector's ability to generate high-paying jobs in the state — a factor, he said, that helped bring Massachusetts out of the recession more quickly.

"We have a large, diverse and growing clean energy sector," he said. "Massachusetts continues to rank in the top ten in job growth, and our clean energy investment is vital to those results."

He said he would seek to further these gains in the future.

"Massachusetts may lead the nation, but leading the world is where we ought to be," he said.

After the speech, the governor spoke about maintaining the state's momentum in clean energy.

"We have made some tremendous strides," he said. "We've got a really great framework of laws — like the Green Communities Act, the Green Jobs Act and the Global Warming Solutions Act — a great suite of legislation."

Patrick also said it was important the government encourage green energy, but not become an energy utility itself.

"I'm seeking opportunities for the government to serve as a catalyst," he said. "It's in the interest of utilities to think about clean energy, as their customers are clamoring for lower prices."

The two-day summit, aimed at increasing energy efficiency in the state, was sponsored by a number of utility companies, including National Grid, NSTAR, Unitil and Columbia Gas.

Check Wrentham Patch tomorrow for video from the governor's speech.

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