Connecticut Green Bank, the Country’s First State Green Bank, Salutes U.S. Congress and President Biden for Passage and Signage of Inflation Reduction Act

 Historic legislative package takes bold climate action and advances clean energy future while establishing a National Climate Bank

 

HARTFORD, Conn. (August 16, 2022) – The Connecticut Green Bank, the nation’s first state-level green bank, applauds the U.S. Congress’ passage and President Biden’s signage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), which includes $369 billion in investments to advance the country’s clean energy transition and fight climate change. The Green Bank is proud to have its successful model emulated and has high hopes for the IRA’s impact.  

“Our administration is making unprecedented investments to mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure that our state parks and open spaces are maintained for generations to come. We applaud President Biden’s leadership, and that of our Congressional delegation, in confronting climate change and building the green economy for all Americans through the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and now the Inflation Reduction Act. Since I took office, I have been a steadfast supporter of the Connecticut Green Bank not only as a partner in this work but as a model for the rest of the country to follow,” said Governor Ned Lamont.

The Act includes $27 billion through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (a.k.a. National Climate Bank or Clean Energy and Sustainability Accelerator) to spur investment in projects, activities, and technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with $15 billion explicitly earmarked for low-income and disadvantaged communities for local, state, tribal, and nonprofit green banks in partnership with the private sector.

“Over a decade ago, we passed nearly unanimous bipartisan legislation establishing the nation’s first state-level green bank,” said Lonnie Reed, Chair of the Connecticut Green Bank, and former Co-Chair of the Energy & Technology Committee.  “We have demonstrated in Connecticut how to deploy public resources to attract and mobilize private investment that is creating jobs in our municipalities, reducing energy burdens on our families and businesses, and confronting climate change – especially in vulnerable communities.”

Since 2011, Connecticut has provided a successful model for the establishment of a federal green bank, mobilizing nearly $2.5 billion into the state’s green economy while creating thousands of jobs, reducing energy costs for thousands of families, businesses, and communities, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions that worsen public health.

Additionally, the Connecticut Green Bank has established a goal of directing no less than 40 percent of investment and benefits from its programs into vulnerable communities that are disproportionately impacted by the effects of climate change by 2025.

“This historic legislation creates a national plan for combatting the climate crisis. As the first green bank established a decade ago, the Connecticut Green Bank is ready to build on our success and keep improving the lives of residents in our state – especially low-income and disadvantaged communities and households,” said Bryan Garcia, president and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “Our staff and board of directors have continued to work hard to demonstrate how government can confront the climate crisis in innovative ways, and we are thankful for Connecticut’s congressional delegation, Governor Lamont, and the Connecticut General Assembly for their support. Our vision of a planet protected by the love of humanity reflects an unwavering commitment and incessant hope to the betterment of our communities and country.”

For more information about the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit www.ctgreenbank.com.

For information on the impact of the Connecticut Green Bank, please download our FY22 impact report at https://www.ctgreenbank.com/strategy-impact/impact/societal-impacts/

To access the Comprehensive Plan of the Connecticut Green Bank, please visit  https://www.ctgreenbank.com/strategy-impact/planning/

 

About the Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2011 as the nation’s first green bank and has since supported the creation of more than 26,000 green energy jobs in the state, while reducing the energy cost burden on over 66,000 families, businesses, and nonprofits. The Green Bank’s vision is a planet protected by the love of humanity and its mission is to confront climate change and provide all of society a healthier, more prosperous future by increasing and accelerating the flow of private capital into markets that energize the green economy. This is accomplished by leveraging limited public resources to scale-up and mobilize private capital investment into Connecticut. 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. To date, the Green Bank has mobilized nearly $2.5 billion into the State’s green economy. This has reduced the energy costs for thousands of families and businesses, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions that cause climate change and worsen public health.

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 Supporting Quotes

This landmark legislation has created strong enthusiasm and optimism with its provisions, signaling a new approach to fast tracking and implementing the necessary climate change policies, and many of energy and environmental allies and professionals wanted to share their support. 

  • Senator Blumenthal – “This new national climate fund — modeled on our state’s green bank — will be a game changer. It’s an economic and environmental winner, enabling major investments in clean energy and vital infrastructure. Especially at this critical climate change crossroads, an institution inspired by the Connecticut Green Bank can make a historic difference. I look forward to seeing Connecticut Green Bank’s successes replicated on a national level through more jobs and lower energy costs for consumers.”
  • Representative Himes (CT-04) – “For years, I’ve championed legislation to create a national green bank to help finance and kick-start investment in clean energy technologies. The Inflation Reduction Act will – at long last – make that vision a reality. The Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, modeled on the Connecticut Green Bank, will bring security and stability to private investment within the clean energy sector. I was thrilled to help pass this historic investment in sustainable innovation, and will continue to work with local, state, and federal leaders to protect our planet.”
  • Representative Larson (CT-01) –  “Over the last ten years, the Connecticut Green Bank has supported projects that protect the planet and make clean energy more accessible,” said U.S. Rep. John B. Larson. “The Inflation Reduction Act is the nation’s largest-ever investment to combat climate change, finally delivering the results our country has demanded. I worked with my colleagues on the Ways and Means Committee to expand green energy deployment nationwide, and I am thrilled we created a Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund modeled after our state’s Green Bank to invest in zero- and low-emission technologies.”
  • Ash Center at Harvard University – “In 2017, the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University honored the Connecticut Green Bank with the prestigious Innovation in American Government Awards for ‘Sparking the Green Bank Movement’,” states Steve Goldsmith, the Derek Bok Professor of the Practice of Urban Policy. “The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, and its inclusion of the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (a.k.a. National Climate Bank), is an example of how proven subnational government innovation can serve as a model for adoption by the highest orders of government in the United States of America.”
  • Coalition for Green Capital – “Having led the effort to support Governor Malloy and Commissioner Dan Esty to establish the Connecticut Green Bank over a decade ago, I can attest to the importance of public-private partnerships to combat the climate crisis,” states Reed Hundt, CEO of the Coalition for Green Capital and former member of the Board of Directors of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “The board of directors and staff of the Connecticut Green Bank – the nation’s first state-level green bank – has served as an example for other city, county, and state green banks, and now the nation.  We have built a coalition of green banks across the country, including public, quasi-public, and nonprofit organizations like credit unions and community development financial institutions that stand ready to mobilize hundreds of billions of dollars of investment in low-income and disadvantaged communities. We will build cheaper and clean power faster than anyone has ever thought possible.”
  • Amalgamated Bank – “The Inflation Reduction Act is an historic step in tackling the climate crisis. Amalgamated Bank is proud to stand with Connecticut Green Bank and our many clients in the clean energy sector as well as advocacy communities who have for decades worked for climate policy and tax fairness. We will stand with them as this bill is signed to keep pushing for climate justice and a safe planet,” states Ivan Frishberg, Chief Sustainability Officer of Amalgamated Bank.
  • Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union – “Since 2013, we have offered the Smart-E loan in partnership with the Connecticut Green Bank as a way to provide our members with low interest rate financing to make energy- and money-saving upgrades to their homes. This investment improves our communities and our environment, while making homes more comfortable. The passage of the Inflation Reduction Act could unlock similar opportunities for credit unions like ours nationwide,” said John Holt, CEO of Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union.
  • Ramirez & Co. – “The Connecticut Green Bank has been a leader in finding innovative ways to generate revenue while helping the environment. As the nation’s oldest green bank, its vision and success have served as a model for this national initiative.  Demand for socially responsible investing will continue to increase, and this historic federal investment provides the potential for exponential growth in the years ahead,” said Alfredo Quintero, Senior Managing Director, Ramirez & Co., the co-underwriter on two Green Liberty Bond issuances that sold more than $40 million in verified climate bonds retail and institutional investors in support of solar PV and energy efficiency in Connecticut. 
  • American Farmland Trust – “Enactment of the Inflation Reduction Act comes at a pivotal time for our nation’s farm and food system. American Farmland Trust (AFT) applauds Congress for including in the bill a historic investment of more than $20 billion in agricultural conservation. Farmers and ranchers are critical allies in the fight against climate change. Still, they need tools and resources to protect their land, increase resilience to extreme weather, sequester carbon in the soil, and reduce emissions. Inspired by forward-thinking and innovative approaches like the Connecticut Green Bank, the Inflation Reduction Act will scale these types of investments into a national program to improve the climate resiliency of farms and forests,” said Chelsea Gazillo, American Farmland Trust New England Policy Manager. “Thanks to recent state legislation, the Connecticut Green Bank now has the charge of investing in environmental infrastructure, which includes agriculture. We look forward to working with them in this capacity and continuing to show Connecticut as a leader in this space.”
  • Save the Sound – “We are pleased to see that the Inflation Reduction Act’s historic $369 billion commitment to addressing climate action includes a dedicated Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, based on a green bank model, to leverage private capital to finance the needed investments in a clean energy future. Over the last decade, Connecticut’s Green Bank – the first in the nation – has generated more than $2 billion in investments in expanded solar access, energy efficiency improvements, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The Inflation Reduction Act will enable us to build upon and expand that legacy of success,” said Charles Rothenberger, Climate and Energy Attorney, Save the Sound.
  • Clean Water Action “The Inflation Reduction Act is the largest investment in addressing the harmful impacts of climate change and while Clean Water Action is pleased that the bill has been signed into law, we have much more work to do. Many frontline communities and regions will continue to face the disproportionate burden of climate change, particularly with the provisions for fossil fuels that will perpetuate environmental injustices in Appalachia, the Gulf coast, and Alaska. Building on the leadership and innovations of the CT Green Bank can help advance energy efficiency and clean energy solutions beyond Connecticut. These investments make energy efficiency and renewable energy more affordable. They also help propel growth of highly skilled green jobs and the economic engine for shifting to a carbon-free, just transition for all,” said Anne Hulick, JD, MS, RN, CT Director, Clean Water Action. 
  • National Audubon Society – CT State Office “This is an exciting moment for The National Audubon Society — and other conservation organizations — who are concerned about our changing climate. Enactment of Inflation Reduction Act opens up many new funding opportunities, and we are especially pleased with the attention given by federal legislators to environmental and climate justice.  Funding for green banks across the nation is another major provision of the Inflation Reduction Act.  This funding will significantly enhance the opportunities created by Connecticut’s passage of Public Act 21-115 – AN ACT CONCERNING CLIMATE CHANGE ADAPTATION.  That act expanded the Green Bank’s role to include projects related to climate resilience and environmental infrastructure, and we look forward to working with them to define ways to make a positive impact especially with the additional federal funds made available by the Inflation Reduction Act.” said Robert LaFrance, Director of Policy.
  • CMC Energy Services – “Since 1977, we’ve been helping our customers save money on their energy bills. In recent years, the demand for weatherization has increased, and we have been offering Connecticut Green Bank financing to help customers make these important upgrades. The Inflation Reduction Act would help companies like ours in other states provide dependable service and financing to their customers,” said Joseph Roy, Director of Program Delivery at CMC Energy Services, a Green Bank partner on single- and multifamily financing programs.
  • PosiGen “We are excited that the IRA focuses investment into disadvantaged communities because PosiGen’s mission is to make Solar for All,” said Tom Neyhart, PosiGen CEO. “With green investments like this one mean, we are able to expand into communities we previously could not serve, delivering our low cost, no credit check, no money down solar lease product and energy efficiency upgrades to homeowners. That expansion will mean the creation of hundreds of solar installation jobs. The impact that our program has goes farther than just the families we save money. The money we put back in their pockets is spent in the communities. That’s tens of millions of dollars of economic impact in low-income communities and communities of color, creating and sustaining jobs and supporting the businesses in those communities.”
  • DNV – “DNV has worked as a consultant to the Connecticut Green Bank and similar entities in other states for many years, and we’ve seen the direct impact of their investment on job creation and project completion. A national green bank would help unlock funds that will allow for even more energy efficiency and renewable projects across the country,” said Richard S. Barnes, region president, Energy Systems North America at DNV.