Green Bank Wins “Innovations in American Government” Award from the Ash Center at Harvard University – Launches Green Bank Academy with Prize
The Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation, a leading research center at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, named the Connecticut Green Bank the winner of the 2017 Innovations in American Government Award. The Green Bank, working in collaboration with the Coalition for Green Capital, will use the $100,000 prize (with a $100,000 match from the Green Bank) to launch the Green Bank Academy, which will support the replication of the green bank model.
Recognized by Harvard for its “Sparking the Green Bank Movement” nomination, the Green Bank is the first of its kind in the United States and continues to be a thought-leader in green financing innovation. Established by Governor Malloy through bipartisan support from the Connecticut General Assembly in July of 2011, the green bank model demonstrates how public resources can be better invested in ways that mobilize private investment in local green economies. From greater deployment of green energy by local contractors, to lowering consumers’ energy burden, the Green Bank is committed to realizing a vision of inclusive prosperity through its charge to protect the environment.
In creating a thriving clean energy market, the Green Bank is advancing a larger mission that not only makes green energy more accessible and affordable for Connecticut families and businesses, but also creates jobs and spurs local economic development. Since 2011, for every public dollar invested, the bank has attracted six dollars of private investment. An estimated 13,000 jobs have been created through the Green Bank, which has also driven a total of $1 billion of clean energy investment across the state. This translates to more than 215 megawatts of clean power, over 20,000 projects, and a reduction of CO2 emissions by 2.6 million tons. As for cost, clean energy prices have decreased by an estimated 20–30 percent.
“The Connecticut Green Bank has sparked a green bank movement. Our simple promise of increasing affordability and accessibility to green energy has evolved into a greater commitment to our stakeholders,” states Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “We believe that everything we do, we do to help families thrive and businesses grow. We do it in the interest of achieving inclusive prosperity not only within Connecticut and across the country, but around the world.”
The Innovations in American Government Award is the nation’s preeminent recognition for excellence and creativity in the public sector. The award program receives thousands of applications which are evaluated on criteria to assess their novelty, effectiveness, significance, and transferability. The Ford Foundation created the Innovations in American Government Awards in 1985 in response to widespread pessimism and distrust in government’s effectiveness.
GRID Alternatives, America’s largest nonprofit solar installer, has expanded its multifamily affordable solar program into the Connecticut market. The program helps affordable housing owners and operators reduce energy costs with solar, providing no-cost technical assistance, as well as turnkey solar design and installation services.
The expansion was announced at a solar installation on the 57-unit Fair Street Apartments in Norwalk. The project, financed by the Connecticut Green Bank, is one of the first of its kind in the state, and will provide over $360,000 in lifetime energy cost savings for affordable housing provider New Neighborhoods Inc. It also includes energy efficiency education for residents and hands-on solar workforce training for local job trainees and community college students.
To learn more, click here.
New England Hydropower Company, LLC energized the first Archimedes Screw Turbine generation facility in the United States at the Hanover Pond project in Meriden, Connecticut. The facility, financed with a combination of public and private capital via the first official “Green Bond” issued by the Connecticut Green Bank, is expected to generate 920,000 kWh of electricity annually to Meriden under a long-term agreement with the City.
The Connecticut Green Bank announced its C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) program has reached the milestone of $100 million in total closed project financing. The solar photovoltaic (PV) and energy efficiency projects, which vary in size and scope, are saving more than $9.29 million annually in energy costs for nearly 170 building owners across multiple sectors.
The Green Bank, which administers the C-PACE program, seeks to make green energy more accessible and affordable to commercial and industrial property owners by providing no money down long-term financing for meaningful energy upgrades to their buildings. C-PACE enables building owners to finance qualifying energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill. As the program grows, more Connecticut businesses can achieve lower energy costs.
Reaching $100 million in closed project financing positions Connecticut’s program as a national leader. According to market data from PACENation, an industry group promoting Property Assessed Clean Energy, California is the only state to have closed a larger total sum of project financing for commercial PACE projects.
Click here to learn more about C-PACE.
The Connecticut Green Bank, in association with Energize CT, select local lenders, and contractors, is offering an extraordinarily low rate of 0.99% on home energy improvement loans. The new low rate is being offered as part of the Smart-E Bundle program, which is available when homeowners choose to finance two or more qualifying energy efficiency projects. The rate is also extended to current special single measure promotions such as natural gas conversion and heat pump installations. By bringing the rate down to 0.99%, the Green Bank is encouraging Connecticut residents to both do and save more with multiple energy related home improvements.
Click here to learn more about Smart-E.
Earlier this year, two new members of the Green Bank’s Board of Directors were appointed: Betsy Crum and Gina McCarthy. Crum comes to the Board with substantial background in affordable housing development and financing serving communities of need. McCarthy most recently served as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama.
Click here to view the recording and slides from the FY17 quarter four stakeholder webinar, presented by Green Bank CEO and President Bryan Garcia.