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Wednesday | September 17 | 2014
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DANBURY — Wilton builder wins award for Danbury house project.
BPC Green Builders is quickly becoming one of the leaders in the region in green building methods. The company, which is based in Wilton, recently won the Connecticut Zero Energy Challenge for using green construction methods to build a home near Lake Waubeeka in Danbury that uses 90 percent less electricity than the typical house.
Recent events in Connecticut's competitive electric marketplace underscore the need for customers to understand their electric bills and competitive service options to make the best choices.
Beginning this week, more than 340,000 Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) customers will be automatically enrolled in a new, free energy-saving service called Home Energy Reports, an Energize Connecticut initiative.
Nearly three years after Connecticut enacted a landmark energy law, demand for solar installations is rising — not at the same pace of neighboring Massachusetts, but giving the industry here all the work it can handle for now.
Today, more than 100 businesses are authorized to install solar photovoltaic systems under varying Connecticut incentive programs, which businesses and residents have snapped up even as installers have struggled to keep up with burgeoning demand.
New heating and cooling control systems, upgrades in some components and more efficient street lights and other devices could shave nearly $1 million from energy costs at municipal buildings and schools, consultants told the school board Thursday night.
Efforts to encourage energy conservation have paid off for Bristol and New Britain, which each got $15,000 Monday for a new energy-saving project.
They were among 23 communities recognized by the Clean Energy Communities program, which is pushing to slash the electricity and fuel used by local governments.
The Waterbury Republican-American reported that Connecticut last year used millions fewer kilowatt-hours of energy through participation in energy savings programs. The state's residents, businesses and communities saved about 285.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity in 2013 by partaking in Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, or CEEF, programs, the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board said in its 24-page 2013 Programs and Operations Report. The kilowatt-hour savings translates into a cost savings of $53.4 million annually and $630 million over the lifetime of the energy-saving measures performed. Read the full article (PDF).
Connecticut's business, residents, and municipalities will save $53.4 million annually because of the energy efficiency measures installed in 2013.
The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board released its report for the 2013 detailing participation in its programs for the year.
An office facility based at 100 Roscommon Ave. was one of 13 properties from across the state recognized for their involvement in the first year of the state’s Industrial Property Assessed Clean Energy or C-PACE program.
According to C-PACE Director Jessica Bailey, the program helps state commercial, industrial and multi-family property owners access affordable, long-term financing for smart energy upgrades to their buildings.
The town’s 20-week solar installation drive, Solarize Cheshire, is ramping up its promotion with three events in the next six days.
The program is part of a state initiative called Solarize Connecticut that offers special inducements to residents in participating municipalities to convert to solar energy during their town’s five-month eligibility period. Incentives for new customers include solar loans and discounted installation if they use one of their town’s designated installers.
Connecticut added 420 new jobs in the solar manufacturing and installation sector last year, bringing total employment to more than 1,100, according to a report released by Environment Connecticut.
A regional environmental group is urging Connecticut officials and those in other New England states to take a series of steps to reduce air pollution.
Environment Northeast, or ENE as it is known, released a report Monday called “EnergyVision: A Pathway to a Modern, Sustainable Low Carbon Economic and Environmental Future.” The 24-page report calls for reforms in four areas that the group claims will produce a cleaner, lower-cost energy system in the region.
Those reforms include making broader use of electric vehicles; modernizing the regional power grid; expanding the use of renewable energy; and improving upon energy efficiency efforts.
With its commitment not only to renewable energy, but also in keeping the industry competitive, Connecticut is on the frontlines in the war against climate change, according to Daniel C. Esty, the state's commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Power usage on the New England grid leveled off a bit Wednesday as temperatures began to slowly rise. But prices were still running high – more than $300 a megawatt hour at times - as the Independent System Operator that manages the grid, ISO New England, continued to use more expensive oil- and coal-fired generation.
The common council has approved a deal with a local solar energy company to install solar panels at the Higby Water Treatment Facility.
Under the contract approved Monday night, Greenskies Renewable Energy would build a solar array near the Mount Higby Reservoir that would provide 100 percent of the power needed for the facility during daytime operations.
Jonathan Duncklee admits that Connecticut's Zero Emissions Renewable Energy Credit Program may not be for everyone, but with patience and perseverance and an eye on the future, his heating and cooling business has been able to save between $200 and $500 a month on energy costs, he said.
The town will host an open house Saturday and a workshop next week to try to boost residents' interest in solar power.
Glastonbury is teaming up with the Connecticut Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority and SmartPower to offer "Solarize Glastonbury!" The program encourages the installation of photovoltaic systems at residential properties by offering discounts and other assistance. The initial meeting last month attracted more than 100 residents.
An energy conservation program has had great success with city residents.
That's according to energy companies and city officials who helped sign up residents for energy audits over the summer and fall which translated into energy upgrades to hundreds of city homes.
The program, called Energize Waterbury, is part of a larger Energize Connecticut program administered by the state's largest utilities Connecticut Light & Power and Yankee Gas. The program is supported by local municipalities and the state and offers energy audits to residents at a deep discount.
A partnership between the town and Connecticut Light & Power’s Clean Energy Communities program is helping support youth and encourage residents to take advantage of energy efficiency, starting with a $1,625 check to Berlin Upbeat on Tuesday.
Connecticut has focused on energy efficiency and conservation in recent years, aiming to become one of the nation’s cleanest state, and Berlin youth are taking full advantage of programs that will improve the community, save residents on home costs and provide funding for youth leadership programs all at the same time.
Letecia Colon de Mejias was enjoying a fulfilling career in health care when a friend suggested they watch a film about energy conservation called "Killowatt Ours — A Plan to Re-energize America."
Jeffrey Barrie's award-winning documentary about taking personal responsibility to conserve energy and save the planet hit the 37-year-old Windsor resident like a thunderbolt.
"It was a pivotal moment for me," Colon de Mejias said of that 2009 screening. "It changed my life. It brought home the concept that we personally are responsible for global warming. I feel like everyone has a reason for why we're here on earth. Everyone has a calling. And I felt all of a sudden that all of these multiple skill sets that I've been developing over the years, that I could make a difference."
The governors of New England's six states have signed a rare pact to launch new major energy infrastructure projects that could help drive down heat and power rates in the region.
"What we face in New England is a serious energy infrastructure deficit," Connecticut energy commissioner Daniel Esty said in an interview.
The White House issued a press release today saying that President Obama had signed a Memorandum directing the federal government to more than double its use of renewable power by 2020. This is the latest step that the President has taken under the Climate Action Plan that he announced in June.
SolarCity, a California solar panel installer that has been building its Connecticut presence since 2011, said its energy storage system that uses Tesla battery technology is now available to businesses in Connecticut Light & Power territory.
The Northeast initiative that includes Connecticut wants the federal government to consider it as the model for reducing greenhouse gas pollution from power plants.
Thirty-five Connecticut communities are being recognized for their efforts to improve energy efficiency.
The 35 municipalities will earn their first "Bright Idea Grant" through the Clean Energy Communities program. The grants range from $5,000 to $15,000 and can be used toward an energy-saving project selected by the community.
Home Energy Solutions is a program sponsored by Connecticut Light & Power designed to help homeowners improve their energy efficiency. For a cost of $75 (electric or natural gas heat) or $99 (oil or propane) technicians from a firm certified by CL&P will visit your home with the goal of helping you reduce energy consumption.
Bristol Hospital received recognition Tuesday from CL&P for a year-long $1.75 million project that it recently completed upgrading its infrastructure to make its facility more energy efficient.
Howell Cheney Technical High School introduced its new E-House Thursday, a working laboratory in energy-efficient construction.
Designed and built from the ground up by students, the approximately 750-square-foot building is outfitted with solar energy systems, a wifi smart thermostat and other materials on the cutting edge of the clean energy industry.
Small business owners from greater New Britain are invited to attend a free workshop Tuesday to learn ways to reduce energy expenses.
Presented by Operation Fuel and Connecticut Light & Power, the workshop takes place from 6 to 7 p.m. at The General Haller Post, 112 Grove St. The material will be presented in both English and Polish.
The workshop will provide an overview of Operation Fuel’s “Project BEST,” which helps small businesses become more energy efficient while offering financial assistance and incentives for implementing energy-saving changes. The program is funded by the Energize Connecticut initiative.
The City of Middletown is working to help its residents reduce their energy consumption, save money on their utility bills, and support the Middletown Tree Planting Fund by encouraging participation in the Home Energy Solutions program.
On Saturday, October 12, 10-11:30 am, the City of Middletown and the Middletown Clean Energy Task Force will host a presentation at the Russell Library, 123 Broad Street.
Windsor's Iron Mountain, Inc. cut the ribbon on what it hopes is just the beginning of of a greener future, Wednesday: a 902 solar panel energy system.
Atop the roof of its home on Kennedy Road, the international information management company hosted several local dignitaries, including Mayor Don Trinks and CT Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Daniel Esty, during a ceremonial unveiling of the panel array, which, according to Iron Mountain, will generate power equal to that used to run 33 homes for a year.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy has declared October 2013 as Energize Connecticut Month.
The declaration is designed to encourage businesses and residents to make smarter energy choices, such as signing up for an energy efficiency assessment through the state's Energize CT program. Many of the options for businesses include incentive payments for improvements.
The 144-year-old Connecticut Valley Hospital campus in Middletown will receive a $30 million renovation as the inaugural project in the state's new program to significantly reduce government energy consumption.
The Connecticut Lead by Example Energy Efficiency Performance Contracting program allows state and municipal agencies to partner with pre-approved contractors — at no upfront costs — on projects that will reduce environmental impact and cut electric and heating expenses.
A workshop is scheduled for Wednesday to inform residents about Solarize Connecticut, a program that offers discounts to residents who sign up to have solar panels installed at their homes.
The state has taken another step toward lessening its dependence on fossil fuels.
The project along with a wind farm in Maine is going to help the state comply with a federal mandate to have 20 percent of its electrical needs met with alternative energy by the year 2020.
Connecticut has signed long-term deals with a 20 megawatt solar farm in Lisbon and a 250 megawatt wind farm in Maine in order to meet the state's clean energy goals.
Starting October 7, Global Energy – The Musical will make a limited two-week return engagement at Stepping Stones Museum for Children in Norwalk, Connecticut. This original production made its first run in 2011 and is a compilation of insightful writing of children from the United States, the Kingdom of Jordan and Rwanda with the music of acclaimed singer songwriter Tina deVaron and the professional theatrics of Child’s Play Touring Theatre of Chicago. This limited return engagement of Global Energy – The Musical is one of the energy exhibits and programs sponsored by Energize Connecticut in partnership with Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating.
Westport residents can lower their home’s energy costs and help heat a neighbor’s home this winter though the “Stay Cool Westport” energy efficiency campaign.
The campaign, being headed by the Westport Green Task Force, encourages homeowners to complete a Home Energy Solutions assessment — a service that lowers energy bills by boosting a home’s efficiency. Fees for all assessments completed before Oct. 31 will be donated to the Westport Warm-Up Fund, a program that helps income eligible residents heat their homes during the winter.
The town has joined an effort to boost residential solar energy.
Solarize Manchester promises to cut installation costs by leveraging group discounts. The effort is part of Solarize Connecticut, a program of the state Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority.
U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., is backing an effort to get a piece of legislation passed that would provide new federal funding for manufacturers looking to upgrade to more energy-efficient technology, as well as for improved efficiency standards for federal buildings and new construction.Blumenthal on Monday visited Legrand North America, a West Hartford manufacturer of energy-efficiency equipment to call for passage of the Energy Efficiency and Industrial Competitiveness Act.
Projections from ISO New England map a slight growth in demand for electricity over the next decade, a soft trajectory caused by a still-slow economy and effective energy efficiency measures, the electric grid operator said Thursday.
Ed Boman, like most of us, won’t be around to see that the sea level has risen by three feet at the end of this century — as the world’s climate scientists have recently said it would, but Boman has done more than most people in attempting to prevent that from happening and in the process, the engineer is saving the Town of Fairfield a big chunk of money on its electric bill.
The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection today issued a draft decision that would nearly double funding for electric and natural gas efficiency programs.
One of the most underreported stories in the U.S. energy industry today is Connecticut’s ambitious electricity pilot project—one that could have a widespread ripple effect across the country. On July 24, state government officials announced plans for nine microgrid projects as part of a Microgrid Pilot Program aimed at ensuring electricity grid resilience and reliability during severe weather events.
The roof of ESPN’s North Campus is filled with a shimmering sea of blue solar panels installed this spring.
Berlin electric utility Connecticut Light & Power has opened a new electric vehicle information call center in Windsor to help customers understand the technology.
It’s no secret that one of the major burdens businesses in Connecticut face is the high cost of energy. It is after all New England where winters are cold, energy consumption is high — and so is the cost of fuel to produce electricity for power and heat.
Earlier this month, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy singed into law a new state energy policy that builds upon earlier efforts to lower Connecticut’s energy costs, thus making Connecticut more business-friendly. According to a recent report by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, those efforts seem to be paying off.
Things are really heating up this week at Temple Beth El, with hundreds of solar panels being installed on the building's roof. The installation is part of the synagogue's three-phase effort to go solar and reduce operating costs while promoting environmental stewardship through the use of sustainable energy.
The Connecticut Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority and Yale University will run a $1.8 million federal study to help lower solar costs, based on the Solarize Connecticut initiative.
Connecticut was the only one of the six New England states to have its electricity rates drop in April and for the first four months of the year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Energy leaders, including Commissioner Dan Esty, recently gathered at the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to celebrate the success of The Connecticut Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge. The challenge was a three year community energy savings program that helped local residents save money, reduce energy use and give back to their local economy.
Connecticut officials want to more than double the number of electric vehicle charging stations this year, the state's Department of Energy & Environmental Protection (DEEP) announced.
Connecticut took its first step Monday out into the wild world of contracting clean energy projects.
The state's energy department is seeking bids from clean energy project developers for long-term contracts as a way for Connecticut to lock in lower prices while growing the region's supply of clean energy.
The state's green bank on Friday closed on a $60 million deal that will finance leases for more than 2,000 rooftop solar systems for residential and commercial customers.
The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority used $9.5 million in state funds to attract more than $50 million from banks like U.S. Bancorp and a number of local and regional banks in Connecticut. The program will finance leases for about 14.1 megawatts of residential and commercial rooftop solar systems.
Energize Connecticut, the statewide consortium promoting energy efficiency, has awarded the town a $10,000 "Bright Ideas" grant through its Clean Energy Communities program. The town, one of 60 in the state participating in the program, is the first to receive the grant.
Renewable energy is growing fast around the world and will edge out natural gas as the second biggest source of electricity, after coal, by 2016, according to a five-year outlook published Wednesday by the International Energy Agency.
Solarize Mansfield-Windham is extended until July 31 to allow Windham and Mansfield counties residents to use new financing options available through the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority.
In the early days of the automobile, travel required careful planning. There were no convenient places to fill up your car—gasoline had to be obtained at “bulk depots” located outside of the cities. In 1905 the first gas station was born. Early adopters of the automobile had what we now call “range anxiety,” a fear of running out of fuel. By 1930, the number of gas stations increased to 100,000, AAA was offering emergency roadside assistance to stranded drivers, and range anxiety seemed a thing of the past. Now, with the move to electric vehicles, range anxiety is appearing once again.
Another large solar company is leasing rooftop solar systems in the state.
Sunrun, a San Francisco-based firm, announced Thursday that it is leasing rooftop solar systems to Connecticut residents.
The lease model has grown in popularity in recent years, with customers given the option to pay little or no upfront cost for the solar system. In turn, customers pay a lease fee as well as small utility bills for what electricity the residence still pulls from the power grid.
The Bushnell in Hartford will be the second commercial property in Connecticut to use the new C-PACE program to upgrade its energy systems at no upfront costs.
The Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program allows business property owners to use low-cost financing to buy more energy efficient equipment and install renewable systems where the savings achieved by the upgrades exceeds the annual payments for the construction. The financing is made on the property, so if the land is ever sold, the costs remain with the new property owner, who would benefit from the new systems.
The Connecticut Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority has launched a $6 million pilot program looking for participants in developing plants that process food waste into electricity.
Walgreens will install solar arrays at its Connecticut drugstores, part of the company's plan to solarize 200 stores in six states.
This latest expansion in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and California will bring the total number of solarized Walgreens to 350.
With the Connecticut General Assembly's passage of two more clean energy programs in June, the industry now has every available tool a state government can offer.
Saint Mary Church in Newington is the only religious organization to be recognized, and one of only three non-profits, to receive a 2013 Gold Award from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for its leadership and commitment to reducing energy usage and air pollution.
A King Philip Middle School sixth grader was honored at a ceremony at the Capitol on Tuesday with an "eesmarts" award from Energize Connecticut. Sarah Lewis won first place for her grade level in the ninth annual contest, which requires students to answer prompts about energy efficiency and renewable energy through poems, essays, graphs or art, according to a release from Energize Connecticut.
New Castle Hotels & Resorts' Hilton Garden Inn, Shelton, won a Summer Savers Bronze Award from the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for reducing their total energy usage by 5 to 10 percent in the summer months (May through September).
The Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority is putting in a six-acre array of solar panels on a section of its Hartford landfill. The solar project coincides with the authority's plan to cap the remaining 35-acre section of the landfill.
The cap and one-megawatt solar array will cost the trash-to-energy authority about $11.6 million and will make the landfill the first in the state to develop its limited-use real estate into a renewable energy project.
The Connecticut Department of Transportation is hosting an electric vehicle expo to entice businesses and residents to learn more about clean transportation.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed a law exempting commercial renewable energy installations from municipal property tax.
An installment of the Energy Efficiency Fund's Energize Connecticut initiative will sponsor four Connecticut residents to become more energy efficient, according to a report.
The Energy SuperStars Challenge, with partners Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating, will select four residents in single-story or multi-level homes to participate in the program.
The Town of Fairfield received Highest Honors for overall energy efficiency at the first annual Power of Change Awards, presented at the State Capitol. Fairfield was recognized by state and energy leaders, including Governor Dannel P. Malloy; Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP); Stewart Hudson, President of the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation; Sabina Shelby, Managing Trustee of the Hampshire Foundation; Mally Cox-Chapman, Philanthropy Advisor of the Common Sense Fund, and state legislative leaders and energy stakeholders.
The town and school district received top honors at Tuesday's Power of Change municipal awards ceremony for their energy-saving efforts.
The town earned "Top Town Hall" and the schools took first in the Innovation category in the first year of the awards, according to a news release.
Plymouth Center Elementary School is among the schools to be honored for their energy efficiency efforts at the new Power of Change awards.
Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and Daniel Esty, commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, joined officials from the Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, the Hampshire Foundation, and the Common Sense Fund, at the state capitol recently to celebrate the award winners.
The Connecticut Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority has one-time grants up to $10,000 for business agencies in municipalities participating in the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program.
With C-PACE, businesses receive low-cost financing to install renewable energy or make energy efficiency improvements. The loan payments are made on a business's municipal property tax bill, and the payments always are less than the energy savings on the project.
State lawmakers are proposing to give businesses that install renewable sources of power a break from local property taxes.
Lawmakers have heard complaints from owners of commercial and industrial properties that the additional property taxes on these renewable energy systems are negating their energy savings.
The legislature has sent a bill to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy that would provide a property tax exemption for such renewable energy sources. The administration supported the bill earlier in the session.
Lawmakers on Monday sent for the governor's signature legislation exempting renewable energy installations at businesses from municipal property taxes.
The House's 119-14 vote came after the Senate approved the measure 21-12 on April 24.
The Energy Systems Sales & Training facility in Waterbury will install a 45-kilowatt solar photovoltaic system, as part of plan to eventually manufacture Taiwanese solar in Connecticut.
Connecticut electric utilities Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating have scheduled their bidders' conference for 9 a.m. May 10 to discuss the next round of funding under the state's $1 billion renewable energy credit program. The Zero-emissions and Low-emissions Renewable Energy Credit, or ZREC/LREC, program provides 15-year contracts for developers to install facilities featuring technologies such as solar and fuel cells throughout the state.
St. Mary Parish in Newington was recently recognized by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for its commitment to reducing its energy consumption and air pollution during summer 2012. The parish was one of eleven organizations statewide to receive a "Summer Saver" award.
Windsor-based Walgreens Distribution Center was recently recognized by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) for its commitment to reducing its energy consumption and air pollution during summer 2012. The distribution center was one of eleven organizations statewide to receive a "Summer Saver" award.
The West Hartford WOW! Work Out World was recently recognized by the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection for reducing energy consumption during the summer months. WOW! was one of three recipients of the Summer Saver Bronze Award, which is "given to organizations or businesses that reduce electricity consumption and demand by five to ten percent during the summer months," according to a news release from the Energize Connecticut initiative.
April 30, 2013 – The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) is pleased to announce that Nutmeg State Federal Credit Union has partnered with CEFIA on the Smart-E Loan product. Smart-E loans provide homeowners an affordable way to finance a wide range of clean energy technology installations by local energy contractors – including renewable energy, energy efficiency and fuel conversions – many of which offer households immediate net savings. Nutmeg State FCU is a community-focused credit union with branches in Hartford County, a footprint in Hartford and Middlesex Counties, and membership that extends throughout Central Connecticut.
A bipartisan group of senators will introduce legislation this week that would extend a project-financing structure to renewable energy. Sens. Chris Coons (D-Del.), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) will unveil the Master Limited Partnerships Parity Act during a Wednesday news conference, said Ian Koski, a spokesman for Coons. It would allow investors in renewable energy projects to take advantage of master limited partnerships, which currently are available only to oil and gas endeavors.
Some New England lawmakers hope aid to poor is boosted.
Washington - President Obama's latest request for funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program - LIHEAP - is again meeting with the cold shoulder from legislators representing the cold weather region of New England.
Berlin is considering joining about 20 other towns and school districts to buy natural gas in quantity to save money. The proposal, discussed by the town council on Tuesday night, is similar to an existing cooperative of about 90 municipalities that use their combined purchasing power to buy low cost electricity, town engineer Art Simonian said. Berlin joined the electrcity buying plan in 2011.
Berlin is considering joining about 20 other towns and school districts to buy natural gas in quantity to save money. The proposal, discussed by the town council on Tuesday night, is similar to an existing cooperative of about 90 municipalities that use their combined purchasing power to buy low cost electricity, town engineer Art Simonian said. Berlin joined the electrcity buying plan in 2011.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has honored Connecticut's governments, its electric utilities, and a Norwalk hospitality firm for their commitment to energy efficiency. The EPA's Energy Star Partner of the Year awards honor organizations that seek to reduce environmental impact by increasing their efficiency. The Northeast Energy Efficiency Initiative – which includes the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund and electric utilities Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating – won its 14th Partner of the Year award in 13 years for sustained excellence in promoting energy efficiency. CL&P and UI fund CEEF to perform energy upgrades and businesses and homes.
The town is considering a solar energy project for two municipal buildings that officials say would significantly lower electric bills. But the officials can't say exactly how much the savings would be, explaining that it would reveal closely guarded market information. "What I can say is that these are very significant savings, and I underline the word 'very,'" Town Manager Mike Maniscalco said Wednesday. Maniscalco said solar arrays would be placed on a hillside to generate power for the municipal sewage treatment plant on Route 66, while a second group of arrays would be installed on the roof of Memorial School on Smith Street.
Connecticut on Monday proposed entering into a regional clean energy partnership with Massachusetts, Vermont, and other neighboring states to use their collective purchasing power to obtain renewable energy at competitive prices. "We have waited too long for renewables to come to us," said State Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), co-chair of the General Assembly's Energy & Technology Committee. "We want this to be competitive, and we want prices to be reasonable." By partnering, the states hope to bargain down prices on the power from renewable installations and create enough critical mass where energy developers can look at pursuing larger renewable projects.
When the electric bill comes, we pay it. Faithfully. We like the amenities it provides -- refrigerators, computers, televisions, a lamp shining in the window when we get home at night. But have you ever wondered why people in Connecticut pay some of the highest electric bills in the country? Do you understand where your power comes from? What about all the different charges and fees on your bill? Is there anything you can do to reduce the tab?
Microgrid Projects Move To Final Funding Round In State PrograMore than two dozen applications for the state's microgrid program moved to a final round for design and engineering, the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection said Wednesday. The 27 applicants chosen by DEEP proposed electricity systems that would establish some form of local power generation with the ability to operate independently from the region's power grid. The capability has been increasingly attractive following recent widespread power outages caused by hurricanes and snow storms. The projects that were chosen for this next step were among 36 originally submitted and analyzed for feasibility by technical expects and the state's two major electric utilities.
The lingering effects of the Great Recession continue to create challenges for Connecticut's businesses. Rising costs of doing business, increased regulations and global competition make it more important than ever for companies to operate efficiently and find cost savings that will enhance their bottom line. Luckily, in Connecticut there are programs available to help reduce a major line item in many businesses' budgets: energy costs.
The governor made public Tuesday the final version of his energy plan after months of public comment and debate over its hallmark feature: increased availability of natural gas. From draft to final version, the broad strokes of the "Comprehensive Energy Strategy" remain intact, according to an executive summary of the plan viewed by The Courant on Monday. Additions to the plan include a $500 tax credit to help residents with the switch to natural gas, a call to expand natural gas pipeline capacity, a further look at "large-scale hydropower," and a push to develop a cyber security strategy for Connecticut's electric grid.
“The Comprehensive Energy Strategy sets Connecticut apart by bringing down energy costs for both residents and businesses,” Malloy said in a written statement announcing the plan. “Focusing on innovative approaches to energy efficiency—cost effective renewable power, smarter building management, and expanded use of low-cost natural gas, we are reducing consumer costs, making the state more competitive, and creating good jobs with good benefits.”
Hartford conglomerate United Technologies Corp. on Tuesday closed on the sale of its South Windsor fuel cell manufacturer to Oregon's ClearEdge Power. The financial terms of UTC Power's sale were not disclosed. The sale was first announced on Dec. 22. UTC had its fuel cell subsidiary on the market since the second quarter, as part of its attempt to finance the $16.5 billion acquisition of North Carolina aerospace manufacturer Goodrich Corp. and reorganize to focus more on aerospace and building systems. ClearEdge decided to purchase UTC Power to expand its presence in the fuel cell market, particularly on the East Coast.
Energize Connecticut, in partnership with Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating, is conducting the ninth annual eesmarts contest for students in all grades. The eesmarts program is a K-12 energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy education initiative that annually invites Connecticut students to showcase their "energy smarts" about saving energy, efficient and renewable energy technologies, and sustainability through various media forms.
It's called commercial and industrial property assessed clean energy -- a mouthful of jargon that doesn't tell the uninitiated much, even with its acronym C-PACE. It's actually a reasonably innovative way to finance energy efficiency and clean energy systems and upgrades with low interest loans that are paid back through assessments added to property tax bills. If the property is sold, the assessment stays with it -- just like a property tax.
In Connecticut's case PACE can be used for projects in commercial, industrial and multifamily properties. It's officially operational as of a few days ago with a website and 11 communities signed on and another couple of dozen getting close, said David Goldberg of the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, which was designated by law to develop the program.
On October 25, 2012, the world watched as Hurricane Sandy swept up the east coast. Over these past few years, we have seen storm after storm leave our homes battered, our possessions ruined, and our towns and cities without power for weeks on end. Most of us in the renewable energy world take it for granted that man-made climate change contributes to the increased intensity of these major weather events, and that renewable energy will reduce the already adverse effects of climate change. But the recent barrage of natural disasters has also revealed something else: the utility company model – based on the centralized delivery of a commodity product – leaves something to be desired, and solar power can help there, too.
The fact is that energy is a service, no matter how it’s provided (whether through gas-fired generation, nuclear plants, or one’s own roof). Rather than trying to sell capital improvements to risk-averse and cash-strapped customers, the clean energy industry needs to be in the business of offering a cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy service.
Connecticut's clean-energy promoter is trying again to solicit applicants capable of building and running a pilot facility in which microbes convert food waste into usable energy. The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) in Rocky Hill announced Wednesday a modified request for proposals for a three-year, $6 million pilot program.
The Connecticut Post reports that a polluted Brownfield on Railroad Avenue in Bridgeport, Connecticut, may soon be the site of a $65 million project representing the largest single source of alternative energy in the nation. The Bridgeport City Council recently approved a plan that would allow FuelCell Energy Inc., of Danbury, to pay personal property and real estate taxes totaling $275,000 annually for 17 years for the project. With approval, FuelCell can begin the process of obtaining loans from the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, one of Energize Connecticut's partners.
The Westport Daily Voice reports that home owners now have until January 14, 2013, to sign up for the Solarize Connecticut. The pilot program is being offered in four Connecticut towns and encourages residents to install solar panels on their homes by making them more affordable. The program provides group pricing discounts on the sale or lease of solar energy installations: The more homeowners in town that participate in the program, the greater the discount.
The East Haven Patch reports that residents can get advice on the “Do’s and Don’ts” of winter home weatherization through the Home Energy Solutions program. Through the program, certified contractors evaluate your entire home including heating and air conditioning systems, lighting, windows, duct work and appliances to help you understand how your home uses energy.
West Hartford News reports that a ribbon cutting ceremony will celebrate the installation of a 10.8 kilowatt (kW) solar photovoltaic system at Wolcott Elementary School in West Hartford. The solar system was earned through the Clean Energy Communities program, an Energize Connecticut initiative designed to help homes and businesses save money and use clean energy. Through the Clean Energy Communities program, West Hartford has earned a total of 17 kW of solar PV.
The Hartford Courant reports that Modern Woodcrafts, a wood paneling manufacturer worked with Energize Connecticut and its partners to designate about $134,000 in efficiency investments that ended up knocking out about a third of the company's energy use. Contractors installed new air compressors, thermostats, curtains to block air near loading docks, compact fluorescent bulbs, and motion-sensor-controlled lights in the warehouse. A variable-speed exhaust system was added to the finishing room and exit signs were changed to LED models. The upgrades were financed through a $52,000 incentive and a zero percent loan that was put on the company's utility bill. The loan payments and energy cost savings balanced out, so in the company's 29-month repayment period, there are still net savings. Annually, after the loan is repaid, Modern Woodworks will save about $35,000 in electric costs a year.
The New Haven Register reports that Energize Connecticut unveiled a newly-designed ENERGY STAR® LED display at the 2012 Fantasy of Lights. The display is one of twenty-one displays that have gone green with LED light bulbs. These bulbs save energy, money and last a long time. They also enable the Fantasy of Lights to be brighter and more colorful.
The Hartford Business Journal reports that Energize Connecticut will start providing construction courses through the Connecticut Green Building Council beginning December 4, 2012. The courses will provide green professional building skills training to professionals such as builders, renovators, and building maintenance professionals, helping them achieve proper accreditation for sustainability in construction.
Shore Publishing reports that the town of Madison, Connecticut, and its Energy & Efficiency Committee partnered with Energize Connecticut to offer local homeowners and renters the opportunity to reduce their energy costs and at the same time provide a donation to the Madison Foundation's Neighbor to Neighbor Fund.
Environmental Headlines reports that Bridgeport Hospital, one of the largest employers in the City of Bridgeport, worked with Energize Connecticut's partners to improve its equipment, conserve energy and save money. The Hospital participated in the Energy Opportunities and Operations & Maintenance programs to implement energy efficiency upgrades including new lighting sensors, an energy management system, and variable speed drives. The hospital is projected to save $357,108, or 2.2 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of energy annually, with a lifetime energy savings of $5,145,620, or 32.1 million kWh.
The Hartford Courant reports that at $75 an Home Energy Solutions audit is the best deal in Connecticut homeownership. Aside from a full-house energy assessment, the $75 covers some quick fixes: Technicians seal ductwork leaks, install low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators and energy-efficient compact florescent bulbs throughout the house.
The Register Citizen reports that Connecticut officials and Energize Connecticut unveiled the state’s second E-House at Oliver Wolcott Technical High School. The E-House was drafted, constructed and assembled by Oliver Wolcott and Windham Technical high school students and faculty and represents a laboratory for learning green construction while promoting clean energy and energy efficiency curricula.
The New Britain Harold reports that New Britain Mayor Tim O'Brien had an Home Energy Solutions assessment conducted on his circa-1830 home and is hoping other residents will have their homes assessed. The assessment’s cost is $75, and homeowners can receive up to $700 of improvements in the few hours it takes to do the assessment. Possible improvements include; identifying and sealing air leaks from windows, doors, attics and ductwork; installing low-flow showerheads, faucet aerators and hot water pipe insulation; and replacing incandescent bulbs with energy-saving compact fluorescent light bulbs.
The Hartford Business Journal reports that the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority Trash Museum in Hartford worked with the Energize Connecticut to open a new Energy-Recycling Connection exhibit. The exhibit will teach visitors about energy and materials conservation.
The Hartford Business Journal reports that the former 32,000-square-foot Marlow's department store building in Manchester, Connecticut, has been renovated with various energy savings measures, such as ENERGY STAR® appliances and efficient lighting, with help from Energize Connecticut. The green improvements will be for twelve apartments. The building will also serve as a green laboratory for area students from Eastern Connecticut State University, Manchester Community College, and regional vocational schools.
Westfair Communications Online reports that the Chelsea Piers rink in Stamford, Connecticut, installed energy-efficient lighting and built a high-efficiency ammonia ice rink with help from Energize Connecticut. Compared with a traditional ice rink, the ammonia rink will save the sports facility more than $63,000 a year on its energy bill, as well as 7,562 tons of coal, 32 million pounds carbon dioxide, 9,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide and 18,000 pounds of sulfur oxide.
The Hartford Courant reports that as part of the Energize Connecticut initiative, the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund and the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority have joined forces to launch a new and improved version of the nationally recognized Clean Energy Communities program. The program incentivizes Connecticut municipalities to improve energy efficiency and promote the use of renewable energy. With the expansion of the program, communities across the state are being asked to renew their pledges to support renewable energy and energy efficiency. The addition of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund as a program administrator provides support and incentives for municipal energy reduction.