This morning we attended a press conference held by Governor Dannel P. Malloy, CTDEEP Commissioner Dan Esty, State Senator Bob Duff and others announcing the first statewide energy efficiency project to be funded through the Commercial & Industrial Property-Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program.
The owners of the shopping center at 542 Westport Avenue in Norwalk financed a $285,000 energy efficiency lighting upgrade through C-PACE. Additionally, the shopping center owners plan to use C-PACE and other financing tools included in the Governor’s energy bill to install a 100 kilowatt solar project at the site.
It is expected that this lighting improvement will reduce the plaza’s electricity costs by around $17,500 a year.
Along with 17 other cities and towns, Norwalk is the one of the first to authorize C-PACE financing. According to the Governor’s press release, a dozen more municipalities are expected to adopt the program in the near future.
WHAT IS C-PACE?
In layman’s terms, C-PACE is a program that allows building owners to finance efficiency upgrades with little or no upfront costs. The loan is then repaid over time on their property tax bill.
Along with our other clean energy allies, CFE lobbied for the passage of PACE and C-PACE at the legislature over the past several years. Last year, during the special legislative session, the C-PACE program was passed thanks to Governor Malloy’s initiative and commitment to clean energy.
To be eligible for C-PACE financing, energy upgrades must lower energy consumption of the building or enable the building to produce clean energy.
Typical eligible upgrades include high efficiency lighting, heating ventilation air conditioning, high efficiency furnaces, and renewable energy systems such as solar and fuel cells.
WHY SHOULD I CARE ABOUT C-PACE?
First and foremost, this is a huge step forward for Connecticut. Our C-PACE program is the first one of its kind in the nation. That further cements our status as a national clean energy leader.
Secondly, C-PACE will help to curb air pollution, improving the quality of the air we breathe and lessening our carbon footprint.
Thirdly, C-PACE saves money for businesses. The businesses that implement C-PACE projects will save money right away and lower energy costs should make it easier for these businesses to expand and create new jobs. More broadly, all of the state’s energy efficiency programs will lower energy prices – making Connecticut more attractive for doing business. This will draw new businesses to the state and deter the ones that are already here from leaving.
Here’s the official statement we put out today:
“This first C-PACE project is an exciting milestone for Connecticut,” said Don Strait, executive director of CFE. “By itself, with major lighting upgrades and the installation of a solar array, this project is an economic and environmental winner. But, even more than that, it shows how clean energy can be incorporated into commercial, industrial, and multi-family residential buildings.”
“Connecticut is already a national leader on clean energy. Governor Malloy’s bill implementing the Comprehensive Energy Strategy contains even more ideas that would propel Connecticut even further onto the cutting edge of clean energy policy. With the leadership of Senator Duff, this bill recently passed out of the Energy & Technology Committee. We hope that the bill passes smoothly through the House and Senate and look forward to the ideas in the bill becoming a reality,” said Strait.
C-PACE is a win for the economy and the environment. We are excited to see the program move forward and are working to help pass more legislation that will increase energy efficiency investment across all sectors in Connecticut.
Posted by Rebecca Kaplan, director of communications for CFE/Save the Sound