x

Clean Energy Communities

Become a Clean Energy Community
 

Cities and towns can join the charge toward energy efficiency through the Clean Energy Communities program. By following three easy steps, your community can demonstrate its leadership and can qualify for ”Bright Idea Grants” for energy-saving projects.

Create a Cleaner Future for Your Community

Your community can come together to support energy efficiency and renewable energy, creating a cleaner future today and for generations to come. The Clean Energy Communities program offers three simple steps ("program guidelines") to help community leaders, households, and local businesses work together to set clean energy goals and receive rewards for their achievements.

The three steps your town or city can take to become a Clean Energy Community are:

  1. Commit to the “Clean Energy Communities Municipal Pledge” to save energy in municipal buildings; 

  2. Fulfill the Clean Energy Communities Municipal Pledge by taking actions to save energy; 

  3. Earn energy efficiency points that can be redeemed for energy-saving projects.

Couldn’t attend the March 30, 2017 Eversource Alignment to US EPA Portfolio Manager With ENERGY STAR Webinar? Watch a recording of the webinar

Couldn’t attend the February 23, 2016 Save Money By Saving Energy In Your Business Webinar? Watch a recording of the webinar

Couldn’t attend the December 10, 2015 How to Earn and Redeem Your Bright Idea Grant Webinar? Watch a recording of the webinar.

Couldn’t attend the December 8, 2015 Engage Your Residents and Businesses to Earn BIG Rewards Webinar? Watch a recording of the webinar.

Step 1 – Commit to the “Clean Energy Communities Municipal Pledge”

Your community takes the first step toward becoming a Clean Energy Community by committing to the “Clean Energy Communities Municipal Pledge” to save energy in municipal buildings.

The Pledge must be signed by your town’s mayor, first selectman, or town manager and can be downloaded here. Once completed, it should be sent to cleanenergycommunities@eversource.com.

By signing the Pledge, your community demonstrates its support for energy efficiency by committing to reduce municipal building energy consumption by 20% by 2018, according to the following schedule:​

  • July 1, 2013, to June 30, 2014:  8% Reduction
  • July 1, 2014, to June 30, 2015:  11% Reduction
  • July 1, 2015, to June 30, 2016:  14% Reduction
  • July 1, 2016, to June 30, 2017:  17% Reduction
  • July 1, 2017, to June 30, 2018:  20% Reduction

Visit the Online Dashboard

Be sure to visit the online dashboard to check on your community’s progress toward becoming a Clean Energy Community: If your town or city has not yet taken steps toward becoming a Clean Energy Community, contact your mayor, first selectman, town manager, or local clean energy task force to let them know about the program. If your town or city is already participating, get in touch with the local clean energy contact listed on your community’s page to find out how you can get involved.

Step 2 – Fulfill the Clean Energy Communities Municipal Pledge

After signing the Pledge (see Step 1), your community takes the next step toward becoming a Clean Energy Community by fulfilling the Pledge’s goals of saving energy in municipal buildings.

Save Energy in Municipal Buildings

To demonstrate its commitment to energy efficiency, your city or town must save energy in municipal buildings and document its savings according to the schedule outlined in the Pledge.

The first step in this process involves creating a Municipal Action Plan (MAP) describing how your community plans to save energy and purchase renewable energy. In order to create this plan, your city or town must measure municipal building energy use and compare it to a baseline year. This process is called “benchmarking.” 

Eversource and United Illuminating's Clean Energy Communities teams provides free technical assistance and support in helping communities fulfill their pledge to reduce energy consumption by 20% by 2018. Additionally, free periodic training on benchmarking and guidance on setting energy reduction goals is provided. Get started today and learn about the free benchmarking software (Portfolio Manager) and a free Benchmarking Starter Kit available through the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The Clean Energy Communities team also provides free technical assistance, guidance on setting energy reduction goals, and periodic trainings on benchmarking. Recorded webinars on Portfolio Manager are available for viewing anytime.

The benchmarking process requires the selection of a baseline year. The Clean Energy Communities program allows one of the following years to be used based on when the pledge was signed:

  • Baseline Year 2: July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010
  • Baseline Year 3: July 1, 2010 to June 30, 2011
  • Baseline Year 4: July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012

Beginning July 1, 2015, communities must demonstrate that they are meeting the Pledge’s energy-saving goals in order to earn incentives for clean energy systems and ”Bright Idea Grants.”

Visit the Online Dashboard

Be sure to visit the online dashboard to check on your community’s progress toward becoming a Clean Energy Community.  If your town or city has not yet taken steps toward becoming a Clean Energy Community, contact your mayor, first selectman, town manager, or local clean energy task force to let them know about the program. If your town or city is already participating, get in touch with the local clean energy contact listed on your community’s page to find out how you can get involved.

Step 3 – Earn Energy Efficiency for Rewards

Communities that have committed to the “Clean Energy Communities Municipal Pledge” and have fulfilled the Pledge’s requirements can earn energy efficiency points that can be redeemed for ”Bright Idea Grants” for energy-saving projects.

Earn Energy Efficiency Points for “Bright Idea Grants”

Once qualified as a Clean Energy Community, your town or city can earn energy efficiency points that can be redeemed for “Bright Idea Grants” for energy-saving projects.

To qualify for a Bright Ideas Grant, your city or town must earn 100 energy efficiency points by participating in Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund programs. Grants range in size from $5,000 to $15,000 and can be used toward energy-saving projects in your community. For more information, see the Bright Idea Grant overview.

Eligible Bright Idea Grant projects:

  • Upgrading to energy-efficient LED lighting
  • Installation of high efficiency HVAC equipment
  • Installation of ENERGY STAR® windows or doors
  • Installation or upgrade of insulation
  • Municipal building energy audits
  • Light bulb swaps
  • Coverage of the Home Energy Solutions copay

Energy efficiency points are rewarded for the following activities:

Points Activity
Awarded for every 1% of households that participate in the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund’s residential programs: the Home Energy Solutions program, the Home Energy Solutions Income-Eligible program and the Residential New Construction program. Participation is retroactive back to January 1, 2010.
Awarded for every 1% of households who redeem rebates for energy-efficient technologies. Participation is retroactive back to January 1, 2010.
4Awarded for every 1% of commercial or municipal entities who participate in a Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund business or municipal program, such as the Small Business Energy Advantage program or the Energy Opportunities program. Participation is retroactive back to January 1, 2010.
1-10Awarded for special project points for communities that host or promote a special energy conservation program or energy-saving project must be initiated after January 1, 2012.

Earn Bonus Rewards

Your community can earn bonus points towards your next Bright Idea Grant by achieving special milestones, carrying out outreach campaigns, hosting events/workshops, or taking actions to increase community-wide participation in Energize Connecticut programs. In order for your city or town to receive special project points, fill out the special projects points application and submit it to cleanenergycommunities@eversource.com.

Visit the Online Dashboard

Be sure to visit the online dashboard to check on your community’s progress toward becoming a Clean Energy Community. If your town or city has not yet taken steps toward becoming a Clean Energy Community, contact your mayor, first selectman, town manager, or local clean energy task force to let them know about the program. If your town or city is already participating, get in touch with the local clean energy contact listed on your community’s page to find out how you can get involved.

Our Partners

Visit to CT Power Update page