Governor Dannel P. Malloy, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Daniel C. Esty, State Senator Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), and other state and local officials today announced the State of Connecticut's first energy efficiency project financed through the Commercial & Industrial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program, a new and innovative tool that allows property owners to finance efficiency upgrades with little or no upfront costs and re-pay the loan over time on their property tax bill.
"Through the use of innovative financing tools like C-PACE, we can make energy cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable," said Governor Malloy. "Improving energy efficiency, addressing conservation, and supporting alternative sources of power are important for growing Connecticut's clean energy economy and reducing costs for residents, businesses, and government."
The shopping plaza at 542 Westport Avenue in Norwalk financed a $285,000 lighting upgrade through C-PACE. The lighting improvement project is expected to reduce electricity costs by $17,500 per year, and C-PACE will allow the owners to make the payments on their property tax bill over time. The owners also plan to use C-PACE and other financing support available under Governor Malloy's energy plan to install a 100 kilowatt solar project at the site.
"We must bring new thinking and new approaches to the table to achieve our energy vision. Innovation in financing is as critical as innovation in technology -- and that is why we established the nation's first green bank -- the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority -- which administers C-PACE as well as a number of other key financing initiatives," said Daniel C. Esty, Commissioner of DEEP. "We applaud the City of Norwalk for adopting C-PACE early on and moving forward with it."
"C-PACE will help hundreds of Connecticut businesses save real money on their energy costs, and do it by being more environmentally friendly. All of the businesses that rent in this shopping center, both now and in the future, will see a direct benefit from this project," said Senator Duff (D-Norwalk). "It is very personally fulfilling to see the first C-PACE project take root here in Norwalk. I began working with the banking community on this concept as chair of the Banks Committee and vice-chair of the Energy Committee. So many people have come together to make this program a reality, and I especially thank Governor Malloy and Commissioner Esty for their support and for being here today."
Along with 17 other cities and towns, Norwalk was one of the first cities to authorize C-PACE financing. A dozen more municipalities are expected adopt the program in the coming months.
Background on C-PACE:
C-PACE (Commercial and Industrial Property Assessed Clean Energy) is administered by the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) as part of the state's Energize Connecticut initiative, which helps ratepayers lower costs and use clean energy.
C-PACE allows building owners to access capital to finance qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements by placing a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill. Property owners pay for the improvements over time through this additional charge without having to use their own capital. The repayment obligation transfers automatically to the next owner if the property is sold.
The program requires that energy upgrades eligible for financing must lower the energy consumption of the building or enable the building to produce clean energy. Typical C-PACE measures include high efficiency lighting, heating ventilation air conditioning (HVAC) upgrades, high efficiency chillers, boilers, furnaces, and water heating systems, and renewable energy systems such as solar and fuel cells.
C-PACE financing was made possible by the Connecticut State Legislature in PA 12-2, which passed authorizing legislation.
Background on the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA):
CEFIA was established by Connecticut's General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. This new quasi-public agency supersedes the former Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. CEFIA's mission is to help ensure Connecticut's energy security and community prosperity by realizing its environmental and economic opportunities through clean energy finance and investments. As the nation's first full-scale clean energy finance authority, CEFIA will leverage public and private funds to drive investment and scale-up clean energy deployment in Connecticut.