C-PACE Program Announces Quarter One 2020 Stats

Connecticut’s C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) program continues to be successful thanks to pacesetters, the building owners, contractors, municipalities, and other stakeholders who use this innovative financing structure to make energy improvements.

In Quarter 1 of 2020, the program reached 308 total funded projects in Connecticut, and the total amount of project financing has surpassed $164 million. Building owners are continuing to find that C-PACE is an innovative way to make money-saving clean energy projects viable at their properties.

With 134 cities and towns participating in the program, building owners across the state can access C-PACE financing for projects from small to large, with the average project size cost above $500,000. Any upgrade that reduces energy costs or produces renewable energy, like solar photovoltaic systems, can qualify for C-PACE.

To learn more about how C-PACE can help your building, please visit www.cpace.com.  To see more Quarter 1 stats, go to https://www.cpace.com/quarterly

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Connecticut Green Bank expands clean energy investment with Green Liberty Bond (podcast)

April 23, 2020The Bond Buyer recently interviewed Connecticut Green Bank President and CEO Bryan Garcia and Managing Director of Operations Eric Shrago about Green Liberty Bonds and the role this new subcategory of bond will play in expanding clean energy investment. These small-denomination retail-investor focused municipal bonds are modeled after the World War II Series E bonds, and the proceeds are independently certified to confront climate change.

Listen to The Bond Buyer podcast here.

To learn more about Green Liberty Bonds and sign-up for notifications, please visit www.greenlibertybonds.com

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Smart-E Lenders Eligible to Support the Paycheck Protection Program “Step-Up” for Connecticut’s Clean Energy Industry

CorePlus Credit Union, Ion Bank, Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union, and Union Savings Bank are available to help local clean energy contractors access federal aid

Rocky Hill, CT (April 13, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank, working in collaboration with local community banks and credit unions, is helping connect small businesses to lenders supporting the state’s clean energy industry to access federal assistance programs during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last week, the Office of Governor Ned Lamont, the Connecticut Green Bank, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), the Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD), Eversource, and Avangrid wrapped up a series of informational webinars for small businesses in the clean energy industry on state and federal aid, including unemployment insurance and the CARES Act’s Paycheck Protection Program

“Connecticut’s clean energy industry, which has taken decades to build, is suffering the negative impacts of this pandemic,” said Vicki Hackett, Deputy Commissioner of DEEP.  “It’s critical that we act swiftly to help our small businesses and workforce in the clean energy industry understand and access state and federal relief so that, as the current crisis subsides, they are ready and able to contribute to Connecticut’s economic recovery.”

On Friday, March 27, Congress passed, and the President signed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, a $2 trillion emergency stimulus bill to address the economy-wide impacts of COVID-19.  Included in the CARES Act is $349 billion to help small businesses stay open and provide direct incentive for them to keep their workers on the payroll through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

“In order to continue our outreach, and to provide further assistance to Connecticut’s clean energy businesses, we approached our local community banks and credit unions that support the Smart-E Loan program,” stated Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “A few of the Smart-E Loan program lenders are also lenders supporting the CARES Act, which is great because they can provide direct assistance for those small businesses that may or may not have a direct relationship with a financial institution that is eligible to lend under the Paycheck Protection Program.”

Although the PPP is a large federal emergency assistance program to help small businesses manage through the COVID-19 pandemic, Connecticut businesses are encouraged to act now to secure access to these funds. “Connecticut’s businesses should, if they haven’t done so already, look into the Paycheck Protection Program, as a way to help them manage through this crisis,” says Jorge Perez, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Banking  “Our local community banks and credit unions are here to assist you.”

The following Smart-E Loan program lenders are supporting applications to the Paycheck Protection Program:

Supporting existing and new clients:

Supporting existing clients only:

“We are working hard to help the community during this unprecedented time. Our ability to lend through the SBA and offer assistance with the Paycheck Protection Program have been really valuable to businesses in the community,” said Nutmeg Credit Union CEO John Holt.

Administered by the Green Bank in partnership with nine local lenders (community banks, credit unions and a community development financial institution), the Smart-E Loan offers long-term, low-cost financing for more than 40 qualifying energy improvements. A network of over 500 eligible local contractors completes these upgrades, including insulation, windows, efficient heating and cooling, electric vehicle home charging stations, and solar systems.

 

 

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COVID-19 Update

Dear Value Stakeholders:
In this challenging, rapidly-changing time, we wanted to again assure you that the Green Bank is doing its best to support the essential contractors, communities, customers and capital providers that we do business with, and our teams are available to answer questions, provide information, manage transactions, and participate in remote meetings and calls. 

We expect to continue to operate remotely through April 22, 2020, in line with Governor Lamont’s Executive Order 7H, and until further notice.  We would advise all of our Connecticut-based stakeholders to remain updated on COVID-19 through the Office of Governor Lamont as well as the official COVID-19 state website.

We will continue to follow Governor Lamont’s instructions during this pandemic.

Also, in order to assist our heroic public health workers during this period of time, we wanted to see if any contractors have any Personal Protective Equipment (e.g., N95 respirators, face and surgical masks, face shields, gloves, protective clothing, etc.).  There are shortages of PPE, which can protect our public health workers who are providing healthcare during this COVID-19 epidemic.  If you can help, please do so (click here).   

We continue to assess the Connecticut market and beyond to better understand and anticipate potential impact, problems and solutions, as we all manage through the COVID-19 situation. We remain committed to strengthening our communities by supporting your businesses that are critical to making the benefits of the green economy inclusive and accessible to all individuals, families, and organizations.

Our stakeholders, including essential contractors, customers, and capital providers, may receive emails dealing with specific programmatic details shortly from specific Green Bank teams with whom you work directly.

In the meantime, remember that we can work through this together in the days ahead. Feel free to reach out with any questions or contact your Green Bank program teams (see email addresses below).
 
Thank you,

Bryan Garcia
President & CEO, Connecticut Green Bank


Green Bank program email addresses:
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Connecticut Green Bank presents PACEsetter Awards

Rocky Hill, CT (March 12, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank has announced the winners of the 2019 PACEsetter Awards. The Connecticut Green Bank created the PACEsetter Awards to acknowledge contractors, building owners and other stakeholders who are advancing the green energy movement through C-PACE, and whose leadership establishes a “pace” for others in their field to follow. The award winners are a driving force behind the success of the Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program. These are the fifth annual PACEsetter Awards. 

C-PACE is an innovative program, administered by the Green Bank, which helps commercial, industrial, and non-profit property owners access affordable, long-term financing for qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements that are repaid through a voluntary assessment on the building owner’s property tax bill. As the program grows, more Connecticut businesses achieve lower energy costs and increase their bottom-line. The Green Bank announced last month that it had surpassed a total of 300 closed C-PACE projects in 2019, crediting much of this success to PACEsetters and other dedicated supporters of the program.

“The growth of C-PACE is thanks to the efforts of contractors, municipal officials, capital providers, property owners and other stakeholders who have all come together and leveraged this innovative financing tool to build a cleaner, greener and more prosperous future,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Green Bank.

The Green Bank acknowledged contractors, building owners and other stakeholders across multiple categories for their work in 2019:

 Top Performer, 2019

  • Green Earth Energy, a commercial solar developer and C-PACE contractor based in East Windsor who closed 10 C-PACE projects in 2019, the most of any contractor in the C-PACE program for this year;

Outstanding Project, 2019

  • Verogy, a commercial solar developer and C-PACE contractor based in Hartford, CT and L.C. Doane Company, a manufacturer of shipboard lighting based in Essex, CT, for their 202 kW solar PV project which received funding from Energy on the Line (a program offered by Connecticut Green Bank in partnership with the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development’s Manufacturing Innovation Fund) and was financed with C-PACE;

  • Con Edison Solutions a commercial solar developer and C-PACE contractor with offices in Danbury, CT & Mutual Security Credit Union, a community based financial institution and one of the top performers in the Green Bank’s residential Smart-E Loans program, for their solar project – a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) secured through C-PACE – at their branch location at 97 Newtown Road in Danbury, CT;

Accelerating PACE, 2019:

  • Spinnaker Real Estate Partners, a real estate company based in South Norwalk and 64 Solar, a commercial solar developer and C-PACE contractor based in Port Chester, NY who lead by example and have shared their story to demonstrate how a partnership between a portfolio building owner and solar PV developer can lead to increased solar PV deployment;

Recently, the Green Bank announced the Charge Up CT Buildings initiative, through which building owners closing on C-PACE financing for qualifying projects can receive up to three free electric vehicle charging stations. For more information, property owners can visit chargeupct.com.

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Smart-E Loan Top Performers for 2019 Honored

On Wednesday, Feb. 26, 2020, the 18 Smart-E Loan “Top Performers” of 2019 were honored at the Connecticut Green Bank in Rocky Hill. These 18 contractors are headquartered and serve customers across the state, from New Milford to North Stonington and South Windsor to Stratford, and include HVAC, home performance and solar-focused companies. In 2019, the Top Performers helped over 300 Connecticut families make home energy improvements – allowing them to save money, reduce their carbon footprint, and live more comfortably in their homes.

In partnership with nine participating local lenders, the Top Performers’ projects equaled $4.1 million in closed Smart-E Loans. Financed projects include insulation and window upgrades, solar, high efficiency heating and cooling solutions, and more; all helping the state of Connecticut work towards meeting its climate change plan, which focuses on three mitigation wedges: decarbonizing electricity generation, decarbonizing transportation, and decarbonizing buildings.

Out of more than 400 contractors who participate in the program, the Smart-E Loan Top Performers were chosen based on criteria including more than just closed loans (though each had many!). The contractors scheduled in-person Smart-E training for their staff, used Smart-E marketing materials, developed partnerships with Smart-E lenders, and avoided inspection issues. These 18 contractors embraced the Smart-E Loan in 2019, utilizing the flexibility of the product to best serve their customers across the state.

The 2019 Top Performers (in alphabetical order)

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Connecticut Green Bank Surpasses 300th C-PACE Project

Rocky Hill, CT (Feb. 25, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank announced today that the state’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program surpassed 300 closed projects at the end of 2019, reaching a total of more than $163 million in clean energy financing investment in local businesses. C-PACE is an innovative program that helps commercial, industrial and multifamily property owners access affordable, long-term financing to make smart energy upgrades to their buildings that can create immediate savings.

According to PACENation, the non-profit industry group that promotes Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) financing, only California and Ohio had more total investment deployed through the end of 2019 using C-PACE than Connecticut.

“As Connecticut passes the 300 project milestone, the state continues to lead the C-PACE market it helped to pioneer,” said Colin Bishopp, PACENation’s Executive Director. “Their innovative approach serves as a template for other states continuing the adoption of C-PACE.”

These closed projects will provide an estimated lifetime energy cost savings of $271 million, created 1,797 direct and indirect job years, and reducing energy usage by five million MMBTUs through efficiency upgrades and renewables, which resulted in over 39 megawatts of installed solar PV capacity.

“The growth of C-PACE is thanks to the efforts of contractors, municipal officials, capital providers, property owners and other stakeholders who have all come together and leveraged this innovative financing tool to build a cleaner, greener and more prosperous future,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Green Bank. “Working together to lower the energy burden on businesses and nonprofits is a key piece of the Green Bank’s vision.”

A new campaign, Charge Up CT Buildings, was launched in January and can provide free electric vehicle charging stations to building owners completing qualified projects using Green Bank C-PACE financing. Applications are due by May 15, 2020.

For more information on C-PACE, please visit www.cpace.com.

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Green Bank’s Solar MAP makes it easier for municipalities to go solar

New program is providing a roadmap for Connecticut’s towns and cities to go green

Rocky Hill, CT (Feb. 4, 2020) – The Connecticut Green Bank is making it easier for municipalities to access renewable energy and achieve energy savings at their buildings through the Solar Municipal Assistance Program (MAP). Solar MAP simplifies every step of the process so towns and cities can realize all the cost-saving benefits of going solar with fewer challenges and roadblocks. Partnering with CSW Energy, who was chosen through a competitive process, the Green Bank is currently providing technical support to over 20 municipalities to develop solar photovoltaic (PV) projects on municipal buildings, such as town halls, emergency services buildings, schools, and more. Connecticut Green Bank will provide financing for the solar systems through a power purchase agreement (PPA).

Since 2014, the Green Bank Solar PPA has allowed municipalities to install solar on municipal buildings with no upfront installation costs, no new debt to incur, and no operations and maintenance costs. Through the PPA, the municipality purchases the electricity generated by the solar array, and locks in low electricity cost so the cash flow is positive in year one.

The Solar MAP enhances the Green Bank Solar PPA by offering analysis of a municipality’s portfolio of buildings and identifying the best opportunities for solar. The service includes review of municipal building energy demand, developing system designs, negotiating the terms of a contract with a solar installer, and securing financing through the Green Bank Solar PPA. For municipalities that have considered adding solar in the past but needed more guidance to navigate the process, Solar MAP is the solution. Met with a lot of interest, the Green Bank is wrapping up introductory meetings across the state and looking forward to discovering the solar potential in each community.

“While everyone in the community benefits from the services provided by public buildings, state and municipal properties have a significant environmental footprint,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of Connecticut Green Bank. “When government buildings take advantage of solar energy, they take the first step towards creating a cleaner, greener future for their communities while also reducing the burden of energy costs. The Green Bank Solar PPA unlocks the potential for solar to bring our communities together and make them more resilient.”

The Town of Coventry is one municipality that has been reaping the benefits of the Green Bank Solar PPA for several years. In total, Coventry has installed 582.5 kW of solar PV across six rooftops and two carports using the Green Bank Solar PPA.

“Our community is using solar energy at town buildings including our schools, public safety buildings and our Town Hall – and the Green Bank Solar PPA has made it easy and affordable,” said John Elsesser, Town Manager for Coventry. “The town is saving money, and since we’re not responsible for managing and addressing performance systems through the PPA, we’re enjoying stress free energy production. This is allowing the town to play an integral role in building a cleaner community and in setting an example for our homeowners and businesses who are interested in going solar.”

“Solar MAP is geared towards towns and cities that lack the resources for solar procurement internally and would require technical assistance to put solar on municipal sites,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President Commercial, Industrial & Institutional Programs. “We heard from municipal leaders who want the benefits of solar energy for their properties, but faced many challenges when getting started. This program was created to simplify the process and provide a comprehensive look at the towns solar potential.”

The Solar MAP can also help municipalities earn points through Sustainable CT, a program designed to make an impact on sustainability in communities across the state. Sustainable CT is helping the Green Bank to educate towns and cities about Solar MAP. “We are thrilled the Green Bank has added yet another tool to help towns and cities take action on sustainability” said Lynn Stoddard, Executive Director for the Institute for Sustainable Energy at Eastern Connecticut State University, which runs the Sustainable CT Program.

For more information on the program or to have someone contact you about participation, please visit ctgreenbank.com/solarmap/.

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Brick Walk Professional Building Looks to the Sun

New rooftop solar system will provide electricity for medical offices

 

Fairfield, CT (October 21, 2019) – The Connecticut Green Bank and Kleban Properties LLC are proud to announce that a rooftop solar photovoltaic system will soon produce electricity for the Brick Walk Professional Building, part of the portfolio of Brick Walk properties located on the Post Road in Fairfield. The 64 kilowatt system will be financed through the Green Bank’s C-PACE program, and installed by Energy Resources. The building provides offices for doctors, dentists, social workers, and other medical professionals.

Kleban Properties, a real estate development firm headquartered in Fairfield, manages over 1.5 million square feet of commercial and residential property for the Kleban family. Working in real estate development in Connecticut for five generations, the Klebans have a history of visionary leadership in property development, including in Fairfield where they have created mixed-use spaces like Brick Walk that serve as community destinations.

“As a leader in commercial property management, we are always looking for cogent value-add strategies, and we believe in creating sustainable communities. Installing solar on the Brick Walk Professional Building fits this model,” said Ken Kleban, President of Kleban Properties. “It adds value to the property, lowers energy costs, and shows our environmental commitment to our tenants and residents.”

C-PACE, or Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, allows building owners to make energy upgrades immediately and pay back over time through a voluntary benefit assessment lien that is repaid along with real property taxes.

“We are excited to see leaders like Ken Kleban, who focus on building thriving communities, making energy consciousness decisions part of their investments,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial and Industrial Programs. “Projects on high-traffic properties help spread the word to other developers, building owners, and residents that energy efficiency and renewables are good financially and for the environment.”

The financed amount of the project was $243,790 and the estimated cost savings over the expected useful life of the project (20 years) is over $340,000.

For more information on C-PACE, please visit www.cpace.com.

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Using Sunshine to Make Stencils: Stencil Ease Goes Solar

First commercial/industrial property in Old Saybrook to use C-PACE financing

 

Old Saybrook, Conn. (Oct. 7, 2019) – The Connecticut Green Bank and Greenho Enterprises are pleased to announce the closing of a financing agreement that will allow Stencil Ease, located at 7 Center Road West in Old Saybrook, to generate over 90 percent of their business electricity needs from a solar photovoltaic (PV) system on their roof. Stencil Ease is the largest specialty stencil manufacturing company in the United States, producing stencils from one-off custom to production runs in excess of 100,000 units.

“When I moved Stencil Ease to Old Saybrook in 1997, we bought our first piece of manufacturing equipment and have been vertically integrated ever since,” said Brian Greenho. “I sold the business to private equity in 2015 and the new owner group has built on the legacy of stencil manufacturing and being able to ship any of 55,000 items anywhere in the world in 24-48 hours. Through my commercial real estate and solar development company, Greenho Enterprises, LLC, I wanted to make an environmentally conscious decision to globally reduce overall consumption of fossil fuels.”

This 15,000 square foot state-of-the-art laser cutting facility is the first commercial/industrial business in town to use Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing provided by the Connecticut Green Bank. The 72 kilowatt (kw) system consisting of 208 roof top panels will be installed by Smart Roofs Solar of Newtown.

C-PACE allows property owners to install energy efficiency upgrades or renewables on their buildings without upfront costs using financing that is repaid through the town’s property tax billing system as a benefit assessment akin to a water or sewer assessment. Through C-PACE, energy savings projections help building owners to feel confident that expected savings should exceed their investment and result in positive cashflow. The project’s gross installed cost is $215,000, and the expected average annual energy cost savings over 20 years is estimated at about $20,000 a year. Stencil Ease is also a beneficiary of an Energy on the Line grant of $14,081, a program developed in partnership with the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development’s (DECD) Manufacturing Innovation Fund to provide Connecticut manufacturers with even greater net energy savings from a C-PACE project.

“Connecticut is home to many great manufacturers, from submarines to stencils and everything in between, and our C-PACE program is helping them reduce their energy costs,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial and Institutional Programs at the Connecticut Green Bank. “With a lower energy burden, these businesses can focus on their products and services, while increasing their bottom line.”

Greenho hopes to realize further green energy improvements to the property in the future.

“By 2021, the building will have electric vehicle charging stations enabling employees to charge their cars directly from the sun,” said Greenho.

 

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by 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. For information on C-PACE, please visit www.cpace.com.

About Stencil Ease

Stencil Ease is the largest specialty stencil manufacturing company in the USA. Since 1980, our focus and dedication to manufacturing stencils, be it large-scale industrial, custom stencil or decorative painting stencil, has separated us from all others. Our web site offers an unlimited selection of designs, sizes, material options and customization options. Learn more at https://www.stencilease.com/pages/about-us.

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