Solarize Connecticut Wins “Project of Distinction Award” at PV America

Connecticut’s Green Bank, Yale, Duke & SmartPower Honored As “Driving Force” for Solar Energy

Boston, MA – Solarize Connecticut, a cutting-edge residential solar program that makes going solar easy and affordable, has been awarded the highly coveted “Project of Distinction Award” by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) and the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). The Award was presented at the Annual PV America Conference on Monday.

Solarize CTSolarize Connecticut is spearheaded by Connecticut’s Green Bank and is part of the US Department of Energy’s Solar Energy Evolution and Diffusion Studies (SEEDS). The entire program is a partnership with The Green Bank, SmartPower, Yale University and Duke University.

The 2015 Project of Distinction Award recognizes excellence in the industry, and to acknowledge that projects such as Solarize Connecticut and SEEDS Research are the driving force behind the success, growth, and future of solar.

“We are extremely proud of what the Green Bank and our partners have brought to Connecticut through the Solarize program,” stated Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “The Project of Distinction award is truly an honor as it highlights the patent success of the Solarize model in bringing down the cost and accessibility of solar to Connecticut’s homeowners.”

“We’ve known that Solarize works,” said Brian F. Keane, President of SmartPower. “But to be recognized as ‘the driving force behind the success, growth and future of solar’ is a huge honor. To be sure, the real winners here, are the thousands of families across Connecticut who are now using solar power.”

“From providing a great educational opportunity to our student team at Yale to leading to cutting-edge research to truly helping Connecticut residents make an impact in meeting the state’s renewable energy goals, this collaborative project has been an unquestionable success,” said Ken Gillingham Assistant Professor at Yale University.. “We couldn’t be more happy to receive this recognition from PV America.”

“This has been an amazing collaboration between industry, government, and academia to study the factors that drive the success of the Solarize model,” said Bryan Bollinger, Assistant Professor of Marketing at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business.

Solarize is an increasingly popular program offered by the Connecticut Green Bank, formerly known as The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), in partnership with SmartPower that increases residential solar through a proven formula. It relies on an on-the-ground outreach campaign that helps educate consumers while at the same time creating awareness and walks the consumer all the way from awareness about solar to actually purchasing it.  In Connecticut over 2,000 residential homes are now powered by solar energy as a result of the Solarize Connecticut Campaign.

About The Green Bank (formerly CEFIA)

CEFIA was established by Connecticut’s General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. This quasi-public agency, now known as the Connecticut Green Bank, superseded the former Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. The Green Bank’s mission is to lead the green bank movement by accelerating private investment in clean energy deployment within Connecticut and to achieve economic prosperity, job creation and energy security throughout the state. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, the organization leverages public and private funds to drive investment and scale up clean energy deployment in Connecticut.

About SmartPower

SmartPower is the nation’s leading non-profit dedicated to helping Americans make clean energy decisions. Named the nation’s best non-profit marketing firm, SmartPower’s exclusive focus on energy efficiency and clean energy results in high visibility, high impact on-the-ground community campaigns designed to transform how customers use, adopt and invest in clean energy and energy efficiency.  www.smartpower.org.

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Contacts
SmartPower:
Brian F. Keane
202-775-2042

CT Green Bank:
Craig Connelly
860-257-2353

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CT Solar Loan Partner Graduates from Connecticut Green Bank

Sungage Financial’s $100 million partnership with DCU demonstrates “Green Bank” model succeeding in Connecticut

ROCKY HILL, Conn. (October 29, 2014)– The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), also known as the Connecticut Green Bank (CT Green Bank), today announced that one of its earliest partners, Sungage Financial, has graduated from its CT Solar Loan pilot program with a $100 million partnership with Massachusetts-based Digital Federal Credit Union (DCU) for solar loans in Connecticut and three other states. The graduation marks the first time that a CT Green Bank product has fully transitioned to a private capital partner from the quasi-public financial support of the CT Green Bank. The CT Green Bank’s support of Sungage led to tremendous success and a positive growth outlook for the company, which attracted DCU’s $100 million commitment.

“The ultimate goal for all of our programs and product offerings is to attract private capital investment, transition away from ratepayer support and subsidies, and create a sustainable market for clean energy to thrive in Connecticut,” CT Green Bank Chief Financial Officer Bert Hunter said. “Sungage’s graduation from reliance on subsidized funding to self-sustainability through private capital exemplifies a successful Green Bank model at work here in our state.”

In 2012, the CT Green Bank and Sungage created the CT Solar Loan pilot, which became the industry’s first dedicated solar loan product not linked to a specific solar panel manufacturer, nor requiring any home equity or lien on the home. The Green Bank provided a $300,000 loan loss reserve, $1 million of subordinated debt and a $5 million warehouse for the CT Solar Loan.

The CT Green Bank selected the Boston-based startup Sungage to serve as program administrator of CT Solar Loan. The product provides homeowners with the opportunity to own solar PV with a small down payment and low monthly payments. Since March 2013, CT Solar Loan has financed over 200 projects, totaling nearly $5 million in loans while deploying more than 1700 kW of clean energy throughout the state.

“We are witnessing a solar boom in Connecticut,” Sungage Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Sara Ross said. “Over the past two years, Sungage has worked with CT Green Bank to successfully grow our business and help more homeowners access affordable, solar energy. We are excited to be entering this new phase of our business and are grateful to CT Green Bank for its support in getting us to this point.”

“The CT Green Bank is continually evolving with the success of our products, particularly when we create a marketplace for the private sector to step in and invest in clean energy in Connecticut,” CT Green Bank President and Chief Executive Officer Bryan Garcia said. “Congratulations to Sungage and DCU. This $100 million commitment by DCU allows us to move on to the next challenge, continuing to leverage limited public dollars to attract private investment, and advance the growth of Connecticut’s clean energy economy – an economy that makes clean energy more accessible and affordable to consumers while creating jobs and protecting the environment.”

About CEFIA (The Connecticut Green Bank)

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, now known as the Connecticut Green Bank superseded the former Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. The Green Bank’s mission is to lead the green bank movement by accelerating private investment in clean energy deployment for Connecticut to achieve economic prosperity, create jobs, promote energy security and address climate change. As the nation’s first full-scale green bank, the organization leverages public and private funds to drive investment and scale-up clean energy deployment in Connecticut.

About Sungage Financial

Sungage Financial is a marketplace that provides homeowners with easy, online access to low-cost financing for solar equipment. Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, Sungage partners with leading solar installers and institutional investors to help homeowners save money on energy. An innovator in solar finance, Sungage launched the nation’s first secured solar loan program in 2013 and received an award from the U.S. Department of Energy SunShot Initiative in 2014. The company is committed to helping homeowners save more through ownership. For more information, please visit www.sungagefinancial.com.

About DCU

DCU, based in Marlborough, Massachusetts, is a full-service, not for profit financial institution cooperatively owned by and operated for its members. Since being chartered in October 1979, DCU has been chosen as the credit union for employees and members of more than 800 companies and organizations along with their families. DCU, the largest credit union in New England, serves over 400,000 members in all 50 states. For more information, please visit www.dcu.org.

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Contacts
Justin May, on behalf of Connecticut Green Bank, 860-839-1538, [email protected]
Meredith Frazier, on behalf of Sungage Financial, 202-609-7622, [email protected]
John LaHair, on behalf of DCU, 508-263-6887, [email protected]

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West Hartford Residents Save Money, Use Cleaner Energy

Limited Discount Bundle to Increase Comfort through Smart-E Home Energy Loans

West Hartford, Conn., July 1, 2014 — The time is right for West Hartford residents to consider a Smart-E home energy loan. These attractive loans offer consumers easy, affordable, and flexible financing resulting in more energy-efficient homes. A new limited-time offer makes participation in the program even more affordable.

For the first time, CEFIA is offering a bundle promotion including discounted interest rates. It is available to residents who complete more than one of a selection of energy efficiency and clean energy improvements, such as converting from oil to natural gas and adding insulation or installing a Solar PV system. These discounted interest rates range from 2.75 percent to 2.99 percent. Lenders include: Eastern Savings Bank (online application www.eastern-savings.com/energyloans) and Nutmeg State Federal Credit Union.

West Hartford residents are already engaging in smart energy opportunities through Solarize and the West Hartford Thermal Imaging Campaign.

Smart-E loans are available in five-, seven-, 10- or 12-year terms. For Connecticut homeowners who do not plan on taking advantage of the bundle promotion, maximum loan rates range from 4.99 percent to 6.99 percent. Qualifying Connecticut residents do not require home equity, and the loan does not require a lien on the home. There is no down payment necessary and no pre-payment penalty.

“Smart-E loans provide homeowners with an opportunity to finance more than 40 energy improvements that can result in positive-cash-flow-savings in the first month,” said Bryan Garcia, president and CEO of the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA—“CT Green Bank”), which manages Smart-E. “Approximately 150 Connecticut residents already have taken advantage of Smart-E loan options over the past year, and more and more homeowners are seeking Smart-E loans to upgrade their homes.”

Smart-E, an Energize Connecticut initiative, www.EnergizeCT.com/SmartE, is designed to help consumers not only use cleaner energy, but also save energy and money, which is particularly attractive as Connecticut residents pay some of the highest home energy prices in the nation. The initiative is supported by the West Hartford Clean Energy Task Force.

About The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority

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 supports 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 state Green Bank, CEFIA leverages public and private funds to drive investment and scale up clean energy deployment in Connecticut.

About Energize Connecticut

Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), the Energy Efficiency Fund, the State of Connecticut, and local electric and gas utilities, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy programs can be found at www.EnergizeCT.com.

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