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Category: Municipal
Community highlighted: Stratford
Contact: Karen Kaiser, Office of Economic Development, (203) 381-1351 for more about Stratford’s approach or visit www.cpace.com to learn program details and more successes.

Through the Connecticut Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program, building owners can access affordable, long-term financing for qualifying clean energy upgrades through placing a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill. The business benefits from lower energy costs, and the community wins with reduced electricity demand and new clean energy generation. C-PACE is available to any municipality that opts into the state’s program. Improvements can range from new lights in a plaza, to solar arrays atop a parking garage, to a completely renovated commercial complex. Twenty projects have been completed or are well underway from major cities to villages; as of summer 2014, these included Norwalk, Bridgeport, Hartford, Simsbury, Avon, Middletown, Canton, East Haddam, Killingworth, East Windsor, Middletown, Trumbull and Danbury.

We highlight Stratford as a municipality that worked closely with CEFIA to roll out the program systematically, integrating it into the economic development resources offered by the town and aiming for widespread use of this energy-saving financing.

Preparation: Stratford’s Economic Development Office went through the usual channels to provide background on the program to Town Council and follow up with a presentation by the program’s architect, M.B.A. Jessica Bailey. C-PACE was unanimously approved, ready to implement.

Project implementation: The town next appied for, and won, a state grant for promotional assistance to implement C-PACE ($6,500), aiming to get as many businesses as possible involved. With that in mind, they put an economic development survey into tax bills for businesses. Town staff had created a database of over 2800 companies in town, and designed the mailer with the overarching goal of explaining the program clearly. Based on the survey data, two lunch presentations were held in September 2013, with invitations targeing the largest taxpayers and midsize companies – close to 500 companies and building owners. Held in popular restaurants with complementary lunch, the events directly reached over 50 business owners who began signing up on the spot and continued over the following weeks. Program Manager Genevieve Sherman introduced C-PACE at these lunches and was invited to a number of additional presentations at local companies.

Lessons learned: A well-developed survey was a very helpful foundation for understanding business’ needs, perceptions of the program, and requirements for effective outreach, and allowed for ongoing tracking of business interest. The state’s easy financing of outreach expenses, such as complementary lunches and marketing materials, have also been a key. But the act of bringing the businesses together was more effective than anyone could have imagined. Not only did they learn about C-PACE, but many businesses came to the attention of the Economic Development Office, allowing them to get much broader help.

“At this point, the program is seamlessly integrated into our work,” says Karen Kaiser.   “Aside from the presentations and putting a database together, it was very little work for an ongoing benefit.   I bring up the C-PACE program everywhere I go. Some of them just go for it, others request a presentation and then we book another day for Genevieve to make the rounds of our local businesses.”

Resources

 

Community Updates

WOODSTOCK’S NEW 1MW SOLAR ARRAY
PROJECTED TO SAVE OVER 2.4 MILLION OVER THE NEXT TWENTY YEARS

Woodstock is currently in the process of installing their 1MW solar array.  The array will be a brownfield installation covering, what once was, their former landfill.  Concrete ballasts will weigh down the panel's framework to prevent any breach of the landfill's membrane... See Press Release

HES COPAY PRICE INCREASE

In the recent approval of the 2016-18 Conservation and Load Management (CL&M) Plan by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), there is good news and not-so-good news... Read More

 

 

Calendar Highlights

FALL GATHERING

HIGHLIGHTS OF CT’s FALL GATHERING of clean energy task forces can be found here in our Knowledge Center’s Program Archives pages. Diane Duva (the Director of Energy Demand at DEEP’s Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy is pictured here) facilitating the shaping of our state’s energy future.

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Clean Energy Communities Listening Session Letter of Thanks and Follow-up

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