March 30, 2020 — When Environmental Finance’s 2020 Bond Awards winners were announced earlier this week, the Connecticut Green Bank was recognized with two honors: the Award for Innovation – Green Bond Structure and the Award for Asset-Backed or Asset-Based Bond. These awards highlight the innovation and success of the Green Bank’s April 2019 $38.6 million in green asset backed securities, which was its first rated debt issuance, and the first ever solar asset-backed security (ABS) transaction by a green bank. The awards were judged by an independent panel comprising of 30 of the world’s largest green, social and sustainability bond investors.
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.
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/.
Report Details Key State Efforts to Expand Clean Energy since 2015
Connecticut is highlighted in the newly released report, Returning Champions: State Clean Energy Leadership Since 2015, by the Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA), a national, nonprofit coalition of state agencies and other public organizations. The report provides a comprehensive look at the ways in which states are advancing clean energy and suggests how to further encourage growth. Insert a sentence at the end of this paragraph which briefly summarizes the clean energy developments in your states, as recognized within the CESA report. Connecticut was recognized for the Solar For All program with PosiGen and its solar incentive for low-and-moderate income homeowners.
“We are pleased to be recognized as one of 21 innovative models states are using to grow clean energy markets nationwide,” said Isabelle Hazlewood, manager at the Green Bank. “The Connecticut Solar for All program is a shining example of how public-private partnerships can expand access to clean energy for underserved communities and achieve inclusive prosperity in the clean energy economy.”
Returning Champions describes the many important ways that states across the nation are supporting clean energy generation and markets. The report highlights 21 case studies from 19 states, covering a variety of state programs such as r community solar, low-income solar access, bioenergy, renewable heating and cooling technologies, energy storage, offshore wind, and renewable thermal.
The report’s four thematic chapters emphasize the most important issues that the states have been focusing on over the past few years:
- Setting more aggressive goals for renewable energy electricity generation, for carbon-free energy, and for energy storage.
- Supporting markets for emerging technologies, including offshore wind, electric vehicles, air source heat pumps, battery storage, microgrids, hydropower from irrigation systems, and advanced biomass and biogas systems.
- Modernizing the electricity grid to incorporate variable sources of electricity generation, distributed generation, and electric vehicles efficiently and cost-effectively, as well as efforts to replace fossil fuels for heating.
- Focusing on fairness and equity for clean energy to ensure that low- and moderate-income households can access the benefits of clean energy and to put appropriate consumer protection measures in place.
CESA Executive Director Warren Leon, the report’s lead author, summarizes the overall role of the states: “The United States is experiencing a transition to clean energy in great part because states have been able to propel clean energy policy implementation, and because governors, legislators, and state agency staff have provided leadership, innovation, and funding to support the transformation of the energy sector to cleaner and more reliable technologies.” He added, “It is important to recognize the achievements of Connecticut’s clean energy programs and those of other states so that public support for these programs continues and additional progress is made.”
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.
US Department of Energy Funds CESA’s Efforts to Scale Up Solar for Low-and Moderate-Income Households
Montpelier, VT (October 3, 2019) – The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) will lead a wide-ranging initiative to accelerate the development of solar projects that benefit low-and-moderate-income (LMI) households and communities. The “Scaling Up Solar for Under-Resourced Communities Project” is being supported by a three-year funding award of $1.1 million from the US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office.
The project team will focus on three distinct subsets of the LMI solar market: single-family homes, manufactured homes, and multifamily affordable housing.
For the single-family homes component of the initiative, CESA will work with Connecticut Green Bank, Inclusive Prosperity Capital, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and PosiGen Solar to evaluate and promote a successful initiative that has brought solar to more than 2,500 Connecticut single-family homes, most of which are LMI. State agencies from across the country will be given the opportunity to join a working group where they will receive technical assistance and other support to consider adopting similar programs for their states.
For manufactured homes, CESA, with assistance from representatives of the New Mexico Energy Conservation and Management Division, will examine the potential for using solar to power manufactured homes in different states, based on their housing stock, solar policies, geography, and the applicability of different possible technologies. State government agencies, rural electric cooperatives, municipal utilities, and other stakeholders will be encouraged to join a learning network to explore the potential for launching a pilot project or program for manufactured homes.
The multifamily affordable housing component of the project will build on work carried out by Clean Energy Group (CEG) in conjunction with the Kresge Foundation. CEG and CESA will work with housing developers/owners and community development lenders to replicate and expand loan guarantee and other foundation program-related investment (PRI) models for solar and solar plus battery storage (solar+storage) projects for multifamily affordable housing. Principal objectives will be to increase community resilience and reduce energy costs for low-income households.
CESA has worked actively on LMI solar more than five years. CESA Executive Director Warren Leon remarks that: “CESA is committed to helping state governments and other stakeholders implement solar in ways that provide meaningful benefits to under-resourced communities. The new grant from the US DOE solar office will enable us to significantly expand our outreach and assistance.”
To carry out the new initiative and other work CESA is engaged in related to solar for LMI communities, two talented individuals with strong experience working on this topic have been added to the CESA staff.
CESA Project Director Nicole Hernandez Hammer is a well-known environmental justice advocate, climate change expert, and sea-level researcher. A Guatemalan immigrant, she has worked to address the disproportionate impacts of climate change on under-resourced communities across the US. For the past year, she has been a consultant to the Rhode Island Office of Energy Resources, working primarily with community groups on LMI solar. She was a climate science and community advocate at the Union of Concerned Scientists and assistant director of the Florida Center for Environmental Studies, among other positions. She was recently recognized by NBC as one of the #NBCLatino20.
Laura Schieb, CESA project associate, earned a JD at Vermont Law School, as well as an LLM in Energy Law with a Certificate in Climate Law. While at the law school, she was employed as a Global Energy Law Fellow, implementing projects at the Energy Law Clinic, including leading a team preparing a report on low-income solar ownership in Vermont.
To learn about or to sign up for updates about the new Scaling Up Solar for Under-Resourced Communities Project, go to www.cesa.org/projects/low-income-clean-energy/scaling-up-lmi-solar/.
About the Clean Energy States Alliance
The Clean Energy States Alliance (CESA) is a national nonprofit coalition of public agencies and organizations working together to advance clean energy. CESA members—mostly state agencies—include many of the most innovative, successful, and influential public funders of clean energy initiatives in the country. CESA facilitates information sharing, provides technical assistance, coordinates multi-state collaborative projects, and communicates the achievements of its members. For more information, visit www.cesa.org.
About the Solar Energy Technologies Office
The US Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office supports early-stage research and development to improve the affordability, reliability, and performance of solar technologies on the grid. Learn more at energy.gov/solar-office.
For more information, contact: Nate Hausman, Project Director, Clean Energy States Alliance, [email protected]
Ph: 802-223-2554 x206
Longtime U.S. Military supplier in Ivoryton sees environmental, financial benefits of going solar
Ivoryton, Conn. (Aug. 12, 2019) – The Connecticut Green Bank and the L.C. Doane Company are pleased to announce the closing of a financing agreement that will help the company expand existing solar systems on their roof. Verogy, a Hartford-based solar developer, will complete the installation.
For over 70 years the L.C. Doane company, located at 110 Pond Meadow Road in Ivoryton, Conn., has served the United States Navy and Coast Guard supplying commissioned fleets with tough, reliable MIL-Spec Shipboard lighting. Since October 2008, L.C. Doane has used solar photovoltaics on their roof to supply electricity to their 150,000 square foot factory. Now, thanks in part to the recent closing of Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financing through the Connecticut Green Bank, L.C. Doane is expanding their solar system to generate more energy to power their machinery. When completed, the new solar systems will add more than 200 kW of capacity.
“As a government subcontractor in the defense industry, it is essential to keep our own lights on,” said Bill Psillos, Vice President. “While manufacturing occurs under our roof, the power source is created from above. Our solar panels provide us with clean energy right on-site. Another level of U.S.-made, environmentally conscience manufacturing. As we continue to expand so does our roof!”
In addition to adding to the existing solar array and installing a larger one, L.C. Doane is also replacing roofing beneath the original panels. The total project costs are $1.46 million with the C-PACE financing covering over $1.06 million. Through C-PACE financing, the project is paid off over 10 years through a voluntary benefit assessment lien to be repaid along with their property taxes.
L.C. Doane worked with Verogy and the Connecticut Green Bank to arrange the multi-faceted project. “C-PACE allows companies the flexibility they need to solve their unique energy needs,” said William Herchel, CEO of Verogy. “We’re glad we were able to help L.C. Doane navigate the options, and find the best possible outcome.”
Project costs are being offset by a $40,000 Energy on the Line Grant, a program funded through the Department of Economic and Community Development’s (DECD) Manufacturing Innovation Fund to help manufacturers lower their energy costs.
“It’s great to see a long-time Connecticut manufacturer like the L.C. Doane Company expanding their commitment to generating clean energy,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial and Institutional Programs at the Connecticut Green Bank. “C-PACE financing is designed to make projects like this feasible, so companies can benefit from their upgrades immediately and continue to focus on their core business.”
In addition to their subcontracting work with the U.S. military, L.C. Doane’s trusted quality is designed to meet commercial lighting applications including healthcare, industrial, correctional, and institutional industries. All L.C. Doane products are designed and manufactured in the U.S.
“L.C. Doane is setting a great example for other businesses in the region, demonstrating how a commitment to sustainability can also allow building owners to reduce energy costs and remain competitive” said Jeff Pugliese, Vice President, Middlesex County Chamber of Commerce. “The Chamber has been an advocate for making energy efficiency and renewable energy programs more accessible to businesses in the region, and we are excited to see member businesses taking advantage of solar energy and the Green Bank’s C-PACE program.”
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 the L.C. Doane Company
Lighting by the L.C. Doane Company has withstood the worst environments and toughest abuse onboard U.S. naval vessels since 1947. Utilizing our experience with shipboard lighting we have been building tough, reliable lights for other demanding environments including industrial, correctional, institutional, and commercial marine – setting new records in durability and performance. For more information about the L.C. Doane company, please visit www.lcdoane.com or contact Joe Thomas ([email protected]).
Verogy originates and develops renewable energy projects across the United States to provide savings and long-term value for its clients. Verogy manages all aspects of each project to ensure optimal production and financial performance. For more information on Verogy, visit www.verogy.com.
Trend Report: Fintech’s Ripple Effect on the Renewable Energy Market
Written for members of the investment community focused on energy efficient asset classes, this issue of the T-REX Trend Report uses Connecticut Green Bank’s landmark SHREC ABS deal to showcase how smart technology drives market transformation.
New York, NY, July 16, 2019 — T-REX, a leading data services and software provider for complex financial markets, shares insights on investing, data transparency, and technology trends in its latest Trend Report.
Report Abstract: Financing for solar installations is challenging. However, with greater access to financing, more solar energy systems can be installed. This increased deployment of clean energy not only leads to an overall better quality of life for the public, it creates a ripple effect that impacts local communities from a number of different angles. This, coupled with their high yield potential, makes renewables extremely attractive for investors seeking high impact, socially responsible additions to their portfolios. Despite the draw, green energy remains exposed to friction across the financing and investment lifecycle due to data, analytics, and workflow limitations.
Knowing the friction that exists in the financing of solar and other renewables, Connecticut Green Bank (CGB) decided to leverage T-REX to bring transparency and efficiency to their first securitization. The highly successful, landmark transaction not only led to a number of benefits for Connecticut’s 3.5 million residents, it also set an important example of how smart technology transforms markets by simplifying and streamlining process. In this edition of the Trend Report, we use CGB’s transaction to walk through the typical financing challenges and best practices that pre-emptively address them.
Access a complimentary copy of the T-REX Trend Report at https://www.trexgroup.com/t-rex-trend-report-july-2019/
T-REX combines sophisticated SaaS technology with big data and asset class expertise to drive down cost of capital and reduce risk exposure for complex investments. Solutions address friction at each stage of the asset lifecycle, from origination through investment. By empowering efficient finance, T-REX creates significant investment opportunities across $500 billion in new assets every year. Performance Data Service and analytics platform for Loan and Asset Warehousing, Structured Credit, and Energy Project Finance.
Solar Home Renewable Energy Credit Program Achieves Climate Bond Certification for $38 Million Issuance
Rocky Hill, CT (June 6, 2019) – The Connecticut Green Bank has issued green Asset-Backed Securities consisting of $36.8 million in Solar Home Renewable Energy Credits (SHREC) Collateralized Notes Series 2019-1 Class A and $1.8 million Series 2019-1 Notes, Class B. The financing is certified against the Climate Bonds Standard, providing investors with assurance of the deal’s green credentials. Verification against the Climate Bonds Standard was done by Kestrel Verifiers, a US-based company. Climate Action Reserve, a non-profit specializing in environmental impact assessment, provided an independent review of the beneficial impacts of the activities and programs financed with the securities. The Green Bank worked with RBC Capital Markets as their underwriter and sole book runner in this green bond transaction.
The proceeds from the monetization of the SHRECs are allocated to fund the Residential Solar Investment Program (RSIP), which was created to fulfill state policy adopted in 2015 that mandated the installation of 300 MW of new residential solar by 2022, while developing a local solar industry. The Green Bank is moving swiftly towards accomplishing this goal two years ahead of schedule. Through its ongoing evaluation efforts to measure positive societal impact, the Green Bank will be tracking job growth, tax revenue generation, air pollution reductions, public health improvements, and equitable access to clean energy as a result of increased investment in the deployment of clean energy.
“In an effort to accelerate the growth of the market for residential solar PV in Connecticut, this transaction represents an approach that can scale-up public and private investment in our state’s growing green energy economy,” stated Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Such investment will not only reduce the burden of energy costs on our families, specifically low-to-moderate income families, but it will also create jobs in our communities and reduce the pollution that causes climate change.”
A Regional Leader and National Model
A regional leader in sustainability and climate finance, the Connecticut Green Bank was recognized as the 2017 Innovations in American Government Award winner from the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University for their “Sparking a Green Bank Movement” nomination. The Green Bank’s public-private partnership structure is often cited as a model for national green bank proposals introduced in Congress, which would rely on the issuance of federal green bonds for funding. Issuing Certified Climate Bonds further demonstrates the Green Bank’s commitment as a regional and national leader and model.
The Climate Bonds Standard and Certification Scheme is like fair-trade labelling for financial instruments. Rigorous scientific criteria ensure that the activities to be financed are consistent with the 2 degrees Celsius warming limit in the Paris Agreement. Climate Bonds Certification is used globally by bond issuers, governments, investors and financial markets to prioritize investments which genuinely contribute to addressing climate change.
Environmental Outcomes Measured by Metrics
The Connecticut Green Bank recognizes the importance of leadership in moving toward a zero-carbon future. To this end, the Green Bank has developed clear strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Connecticut and a mission to achieve cleaner, cheaper and more reliable sources of energy while creating high-paying jobs, supporting local economic development, and increasing accessibility and equity for all.
To serve as a leader and enter the green bond market successfully, these strategies and plans must be supported with metrics and data measurement that prove their efficacy.
“The Green Bank has thoughtfully built out our methodologies for assessing impact by consulting and engaging local and national experts,” said Eric Shrago, Managing Director of Operations at the Green Bank. “We have built a world class technological platform that tracks our projects and their performance. This has operationalized our impact methodologies so that we can speak to the societal benefits of all of our activities with ease and reasonable certainty. This transparency in methodology and data gives investors/stakeholders confidence that we are accomplishing what we set out to and demonstrates how we are doing.”
Beyond affordable and clean energy, many of these societal benefits align with those outlined by the United Nations in their 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including ensuring good health and well-being, promoting decent work and economic growth, and building resilient infrastructure.
For example, through the RSIP, the Green Bank has reduced 749,500 tons of CO2e GHG emissions as calculated by Climate Action Reserve’s Climate Impact Score. This is the equivalent of 159,130 passenger vehicles driven for one year, 84 million gallons of gasoline consumed, or the emissions from 1.7 million barrels of oil consumed. Additionally, the RSIP has created more than 14,000 direct, indirect, and induced jobs.
The Green Bank has plans for future issuances.
“The SHREC program and the Climate Bond certified asset backed securities will factor into the Green Bank’s plans going forward,” states Bert Hunter, Executive Vice President and Chief Investment Officer of the Connecticut Green Bank. “By raising capital through the issuance of green bonds, the Green Bank can significantly scale-up its investment activities while increasing opportunities for private investment in our state’s clean energy economy.”
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. In 2017, the Connecticut Green Bank received the Innovations in American Government Award from the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and innovation for their “Sparking the Green Bank Movement” entry. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.
RSIP and Solar for All Programs Lead to Parity in Solar Installations Across Communities of Color and White Neighborhoods
Rocky Hill, CT (May 20, 2019) — Connecticut is bucking a national trend of disparity when it comes to solar adoption among communities of color, according to figures released today by the Connecticut Green Bank. The rise is due to Green Bank’s successful efforts to make solar energy more accessible and affordable for homeowners in communities of color and low-to-moderate income (LMI) households by intentionally engaging these traditionally underserved communities.
Many homeowners are installing rooftop solar photovoltaic systems to save money on energy costs while generating clean, renewable energy. Although the number of rooftop solar installations in the U.S. has increased more than 50% per year for the past seven years, in many states, communities of color have not participated in this rapid adoption of solar. A 2019 Tufts University study found that majority Black and Hispanic neighborhoods have installed less rooftop solar compared to neighborhoods with No Majority race by 61% and 45%, respectively, while majority White neighborhoods installed 37% more.
In 2012, the Green Bank launched the Residential Solar Investment Program (RSIP) to make rooftop solar installations more affordable by providing Connecticut homeowners with rebates and performance-based incentives (PBI) designed to lower initial out-of-pocket costs. Overall, RSIP has helped more than 30,000 households to date add solar as it continues to quickly approach its current 300MW program allocation.
In 2015, the Green Bank and its Board of Directors addressed an observed income disparity in solar adoption by adding special incentives for low and moderate income households to the residential solar program, which quickly accelerated solar adoption in low and moderate income communities. Recent analysis shows that this has also been extremely successful in reaching communities of color in the state. Today, on a per owner-occupied household basis, there are 86% more RSIP installations in majority Black neighborhoods, 18% more in majority Hispanic neighborhoods, and 20% more in No Majority race neighborhoods as compared to majority White neighborhoods.
A primary driver of democratized access to solar energy in the state has been the Green Bank’s Solar for All program. In 2015, at the same time Green Bank established its LMI incentive, the organization released a request for proposals seeking contractors to help reach underserved markets. This RFP resulted in a partnership with solar provider PosiGen and the creation of the Solar for All program. Solar for All leverages Green Bank’s elevated incentive to offer LMI homeowners a solar lease paired with energy efficiency upgrades customized for each home including air sealing, LED light bulbs, pipe wrap and programmable thermostats. These measures are in addition to the energy efficiency measures that are installed as part of the state’s Home Energy Solutions (HES) program.
PosiGen’s Solar for All program has been even more successful than the overall RSIP program in reaching communities of color. PosiGen has more projects per home in majority Black (1275%), Hispanic (408%) and No Majority race (427%) neighborhoods than in majority White neighborhoods.
“In 2015, when we realized that all homeowners in Connecticut did not have access to the benefits of the clean energy economy, our mission compelled us to act. This study confirms that the response to our programs in underserved communities of color has been even more positive than we anticipated,” said Bryan Garcia, president and CEO of Green Bank. “Today, there are still significant opportunities for residential solar growth in owner-occupied homes across the state, and we are committed to working with partners like PosiGen to continue to make green energy available and affordable for all Connecticut neighborhoods.”
“The Solar for All program has been an astounding success in Connecticut, closing the clean energy affordability gap and increasing solar adoption by more than 187% in LMI communities,” said Thomas Neyhart, CEO of PosiGen. “With the help of the Green Bank, the state is also leading the way in bringing cost-savings and energy independence to households in communities of color.”
To access the full report, “Sharing Solar Benefits: Reaching Households in Underserved Communities of Color in Connecticut,” please visit: https://www.ctgreenbank.com/sharing-solar-benefits-may2019/
About the Connecticut Green Bank
The Connecticut Green Bank (formerly the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority) 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. In 2017, the Connecticut Green Bank received the Innovations in American Government Award from the Harvard Kennedy School Ash Center for Democratic Governance and innovation for their “Sparking the Green Bank Movement” entry. For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.
Headquartered in New Orleans, LA, PosiGen is one of the nation’s leading residential solar, energy efficiency and energy education providers for low-to-moderate income families. PosiGen has more than 14,000 residential customers, over 220 direct employees and supports more than 120 employees through its contractors in Louisiana, Connecticut, New Jersey and Florida. PosiGen’s unique services and products make solar energy affordable to homeowners of all income levels, and offer individuals, families and businesses the opportunity to achieve greater fiscal autonomy and energy independence lowering their utility bills. To learn everything about PosiGen, please visit www.posigen.com.