Chosen from more than 500 Nominations for the Ash Center’s Innovations in American Government Award
Rocky Hill, CT (May 16, 2017) – The Connecticut Green Bank was recently named as one of seven finalists in this year’s Innovations in American Government Awards competition. The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, made the announcement and will host the competition for the $100,000 grand prize in Cambridge.
Recognized for its “Sparking the Green Bank Movement” nomination, the Green Bank was the first of its kind in the United States and has been a thought-leader in green financing innovation since being established in July of 2011. The Green Bank Movement demonstrates how public resources can be better invested in ways that attract more private investment in our communities, lead to deployment of more green energy by local contractors, and most importantly providing positive value to consumers.
“We created the Connecticut Green Bank in 2011 to accelerate the deployment of clean energy in our state in order to promote energy security and economic growth, create new jobs in the clean energy sector, and address climate change,” Governor Malloy said. “Making clean energy more affordable and accessible to consumers by leveraging limited public funds to attract private capital investment is a way that we can make our own positive impact in the global climate change efforts.”
This is only the third time a Connecticut initiative has been honored since the inception of the American Government Awards in 1985. In that time, more than 27,000 nominations have been submitted, with nearly 500 initiatives recognized including from Connecticut the Hartford Action Plan on Infant Health (1986 Finalist) and Supportive Housing Pilot (2006 Winner).
“The Connecticut Green Bank has sparked a green bank movement that is leading to local, state, and national government consideration of public-private partnerships to scale-up clean energy deployment that wisely and strategically uses public resources,” stated Reed Hundt, Founder and CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital, the non-profit organization that nominated the Green Bank.
Stephen Goldsmith, director of the Innovations in Government program at the Ash Center, called the recognized programs “the vanguard of creative, solution-oriented governing, demonstrating that the drive to make government work better and do more comes from all levels and jurisdictions of every size. These programs are focused on an impressive range of areas and some of the country’s most pressing social concerns, including the opioid epidemic, government efficiency and efficacy, environmental conservation, homelessness, and the school and workforce readiness of our citizens.”
“The Connecticut Green Bank is helping consumers and small businesses lower their energy cost burden by providing them with access to capital to finance clean energy improvements on their property,” stated Catherine Smith, Chair of the Connecticut Green Bank and Commissioner of the Department of Economic and Community Development. “On behalf of the Board of Directors, we want to recognize all of the finalists in this Ash Center competition, including our Connecticut team. It is terrific to see these government-based innovations now being recognized by this esteemed panel of judges.”
The Green Bank will compete before a National Selection Committee for the distinction of being the Innovations Award winner.
To learn more about the top programs in this year’s Innovations in American Government Awards competition, please visit https://ash.harvard.edu/news/ash-center-announces-finalists-and-top-25-programs-innovations-american-government-award. The presentations by the finalists will be livestreamed on Wednesday, May 17 on the Ash Center website at http://ash.harvard.edu.
Supportive Quotes from Connecticut’s General Assembly
“The Connecticut Green Bank is a national model for green financing innovation,” said Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk). “This is further recognition that the Connecticut Green Bank has the set standard for attracting private investment in green, sustainable projects.”
“In this time of highly competitive public dollars, the Green Bank has been a great partner in utilizing public-private partnerships to increase energy efficiency programs throughout our state. I applaud the Green Bank for its leadership and ingenuity in moving our state to a more energy efficient future,” said Senator Paul Formica (R-East Lyme), Co-Chair of the Energy and Technology Committee.
“This nomination is a testament to the effective and innovative work they have been able to accomplish since their creation in 2011,” said Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz (D-Berlin/Southington). “In six short years the Connecticut Green Bank has put Connecticut on the map as a leader in the clean energy finance movement. They are an invaluable asset to our state, and it is great to see their hard work recognized at the national level.”
“It is no surprise to me that the Green Bank is among the few finalists being considered for the Innovations in American Government Awards,” said Representative Laura Hoydick (R-Stratford), Ranking Member of the Legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee. “The Connecticut Green Bank has been a leader in making businesses, cities, towns and homes more energy efficient, leading to lower overall energy costs for all. They have a proactive model that promotes innovation, and other states would do well to look at their successes and emulate their work.”
“The Green Bank combines innovative thinking with prompt action to solve problems and produce real world results,” said State Representative Lonnie Reed (D-Branford), House Chair of the Energy and Technology Committee. “It demonstrates daily how government can and must play a vital role if we are to truly confront challenges and get things done. I feel incredibly proud that our first in the nation Green Bank continues to earn such national recognition and acclaim.”
About the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation
The Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation fosters excellence in government around the world in order to generate and strengthen democracy. Through its awards program, its research, publications, and curriculum support, and its global network, the Ash Center champions critical milestones in creative and effective governance and democratic practice. By highlighting exemplary government programs, by generating and supporting research and curriculum materials, and by engaging a broad, global community in which knowledge is shared, the Center serves as a catalyst for successfully addressing many of the world’s most pressing concerns and, in turn, improving the lives of its citizens.
The Ash Center is housed at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
About the Innovations Program
The Innovations in American Government Program identifies and promotes creative problem solving in the public sector through a national awards program that confers broad public recognition and monetary grants on innovative government programs. Since its inception in 1985, the Program has recognized over 500 innovative programs (from more than 27,000 nominations), which have received over $22 million in grants. The Ford Foundation is the founding donor of the Innovations in America Government Program.
About the Connecticut Green Bank
The Connecticut Green Bank was established through bipartisan support of the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, it is leading the clean energy finance movement by leveraging public and private funds to scale-up renewable energy deployment and energy efficiency projects across Connecticut. The Green Bank’s success in accelerating private investment in clean energy is helping Connecticut create jobs, increase economic prosperity, promote energy security and address climate change. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.