Berkshire Grown Awarded $68K to Support Local Farmers

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BOSTON — The Baker-Polito administration awarded $500,000 in grants to regional Buy Local organizations across the Commonwealth for projects that will support the agricultural industries in Massachusetts. 
 
These organizations work to generate consumer awareness and demand for locally grown food products while improving logistical access to these important food sources.
 
In Berkshire County, Berkshire Grown of Great Barrington received $67,719 to support farmers and food access in the time of COVID-19 with consumer-supportive winter farmers markets, increased recognition of Massachusetts agriculture, and strengthen the business enterprise of local farms.
 
"Now, more than ever, it is inspiring to see the administration remaining committed to investing in our local growers," state Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli said. "These are the kind of local investments that help keep our local food infrastructure strong and growing. I can personally vouch for the great work my grow local organization does and I know that these investments will be returned ten-fold by the hard work and dedication of our Massachusetts' farmers."
 
These grants build upon the administration's efforts to support regional economies across the Commonwealth. On Aug. 25, the administration announced the launch of the "My Local MA" campaign to encourage residents across the commonwealth to support their local economies by shopping at local Massachusetts businesses and attractions, either in person, online, or by using curbside pickup or takeout.

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State Announces Final Order on Eversource Gas Rates

BOSTON — The Department of Public Utilities (DPU) has issued a final Order in a rate case for NSTAR Gas Company, doing business as Eversource Energy, that will lead to investments in clean energy technologies, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and improvements in infrastructure safety and service reliability, while significantly reducing the total rate increase request of Eversource. 
 
The action by the DPU follows a year-long investigation that included four public hearings across Eversource Energy's service territory, 12 days of virtual evidentiary hearings, and a review of approximately 1,800 exhibits. The Order applies only to customers who are provided gas service in NSTAR's territory in 51 towns in Eastern and Central Massachusetts and does not impact customers in the former Columbia Gas of Massachusetts gas service territory.
 
The DPU's Order reduced Eversource's base revenue request by approximately $12.2 million – decreasing Eversource's original requested increase of $34,970,916 by 35 percent. Today's decision marks the first time that Eversource's gas base distribution rates have changed since 2016.
 
"Today's Order will ensure Massachusetts continues to lead the way by investing and providing affordable, clean, and reliable energy solutions to ratepayers," DPU Chairman Matthew Nelson said. "Building on the Department's investigation into the future of natural gas in the Commonwealth's energy portfolio, the Order will also result in new clean energy options for residents to help Massachusetts achieve its aggressive emissions reduction goals."
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