Solar For All Benefits the Poor

Note: On August 13, 2020, the Hartford Courant ran a Letter to the Editor submitted by Connecticut Green Bank CEO and President Bryan Garcia. The published letter was a shortened version (to fit the Courant’s guidelines); the full version of the letter is below.  

By Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank

Paul Steidler’s July 26, 2020 article “Rush to Renewable Energy Hurts Poor” tries to make the point that America’s expanded use of natural gas will not only benefit our economy and the environment, but also help those who are less fortunate.  He notes that renewable energy is among the reasons why residential electricity is 66% more expensive in New England than the rest of the country.

In Connecticut, low-to-moderate income families and communities of color are reducing the burden of their energy costs not by consuming more natural gas, but by installing solar on their rooftops and making their homes more energy efficient. The energy affordability gap for our most vulnerable citizens is about $1,400 per year, which means that the poor are paying more for energy in our state than what is affordable.  Through state efforts in partnership with the private sector, it is solar power and energy efficiency that are reducing that affordability gap by nearly $1,100 per year not natural gas.  Our state is a “parity state” when it comes to income and “beyond parity state” when it comes to race in terms of solar deployment – meaning the poor and communities of color are demanding solar power and energy efficiency more than those with means and who are White.

Nearly a year ago to the day, Hartford experienced some of the hottest weather on record.  The weather was so hot and humid that state officials warned people about two problems – excessive heat and bad air.  This resulted in higher air conditioning usage stressing the electricity grid, resulting in ISO-NE calling upon higher-cost and higher-polluting power that came from fossil fuels.  These fossil fuel power plants emit pollutants that react with sunlight to create smog which contributes to poor air quality and is harmful to public health.  At the same time, across the Constitution State, there were nearly 28,000 homes powered by the sun that were providing 230 MW of power output during peak times. This reduced $3 million of peak demand costs which lowered energy costs for all electric ratepayers. It also removed the need for more power generation from burning fossil fuels thereby cleaning the air we all breathe.

Air pollution is not good for our public health – and it is especially detrimental when you have a disease that targets the respiratory system such as COVID-19.  We are seeing more clearly today than ever before, how pollution from fossil fuel resources creates a disproportionate share of the negative environmental impacts on the public health within communities of color.  Call it environmental justice or climate justice, natural gas and its infrastructure aren’t good for the poor! 

Right now, Connecticut is in the process of modernizing and decarbonizing its antiquated energy system into a 21st century clean energy platform that will continue to enable the growth of our green economy.  By combining renewable energy resources like the sun, with energy efficiency, battery storage, and demand response, we are working towards a zero-carbon electricity grid that will fuel zero emission vehicles for our roads and power carbon-free renewable heating and cooling systems for our homes.

During this pandemic, we are all experiencing tough economic times, but everyone can be part of the solution. Schedule a home energy audit (no-cost). Insulate your home to make it more energy efficient (rebates up to 100 percent available). Install solar on your roof (it’s affordable).  Solar for all, benefits all of us, especially the poor!

Municipal leaders & volunteers attend C-PACE focused event

Cromwell, CT (May 22, 2019) – The Connecticut Green Bank hosted an event this morning for municipal officials. More than 40 municipal officials and community leaders from across the state attended. The event’s focus was on the Green Bank’s popular C-PACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy) program which has supported more than $140 million in financing for over 260 energy saving projects at commercial properties. Community leaders attended to learn how they could enhance their town or cities involvement in C-PACE, reducing energy burdens for the commercial, industrial, and non-profit property owners they serve.

Panelists Michael Harris, Energy Coordinator for City of Middletown, Jessica LeClair, Program Manager, Community Engagement & Outreach for Sustainable CT, Jim Bellano, Director of Economic Development for Town of Windham, Jack Banks, Owner Operator of Malibu Fitness in Farmington, and Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Programs at Connecticut Green Bank.

C-PACE is a unique repayment mechanism for projects that include energy saving measures like solar or energy efficiency. Payments are made through a benefit assessment placed on the property and collected through the municipality (in a similar fashion to a sewer assessment) in coordination with the Green Bank. Municipalities must opt into the program by passing a resolution, enabling property owners in their town or city to take advantage of the innovative financing solution. Currently, 131 of the state’s 169 municipalities are participating in the program.

At this event, Green Bank officials provided more information about how C-PACE can help to improve communities and outlined opportunities for municipal officials – including chief elected officials, energy coordinators, economic development officials, and staff or volunteers serving on energy task forces – to work closely with the Green Bank to promote C-PACE to property owners.

The event featured a panel that discussed the importance of C-PACE financing from multiple perspectives. The panel illustrated how C-PACE can be leveraged to spark the growth of green energy in communities across the state. Panelists included:

  • Jessica LeClair, Program Manager, Community Engagement & Outreach for Sustainable CT
  • Michael Harris, Energy Coordinator for City of Middletown
  • Jim Bellano, Director of Economic Development for Town of Windham
  • Jack Banks, Owner Operator of Malibu Fitness in Farmington

The Green Bank is hopeful that more communities will adopt the C-PACE program and that those already participating will turn to the Green Bank for more support in building owner outreach.

“Towns and cities play a vital role in Connecticut’s C-PACE program,” said Mackey Dykes, Vice President of Commercial, Industrial and Institutional Programs at Connecticut Green Bank. “Not only do they support the implementation of C-PACE, but these important partners help to identify constituents who need support in addressing their energy costs. This means that we can work with businesses, employers, and nonprofits or other vital community organizations in these municipalities, using C-PACE to help them thrive – saving them energy and money and upgrading them to more modern, resilient buildings.”

Participating municipalities are already seeing property owners in their communities reduce their energy costs by participating in the C-PACE program.

“The City of Middletown has the advantage of working together with a strong partner, the Middlesex Chamber of Commerce, to serve local business with the knowledge and support that they need to implement cost-effective energy improvements,” said Michael Harris, an event panelist and the Energy Coordinator for the City of Middletown. “Connecticut Green Bank’s C-PACE program is one of the primary tools Middletown businesses have at their disposal to accomplish these improvements – from energy efficiency to solar energy. The City of Middletown is pleased to participate in the program, where over $5 million in C-PACE financing has supported 9 energy saving projects.  We continue to organize and participate with the Chamber in educational events to help local businesses understand how C-PACE works and how to access its benefits.”

For more information about C-PACE, please visit


About 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

Boston University Questrom School of Business Wins Aspen Institute’s International MBA Case Competition Featuring Connecticut’s Green Bank

Aspen Institute’s Competition asked 23 international business schools to address future programmatic direction of nation’s first green bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was recently the focus of the Aspen Institute’s Business & Society International MBA Case Competition, where students representing 23 top international business schools analyzed a Yale School of Management (SOM) authored case study centered on the quasi-public agency’s future sustainability. The five highest scoring teams recently presented their proposals and the winner, Boston University Questrom School of Business, was announced on April 26 at a ceremony at the Yale Club in New York City where Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont was the keynote speaker.

“As Connecticut strives to become greener and more energy efficient to meet our statutory goals, we no longer have to choose between the environment and economic growth, as the Green Bank has proven,” said Governor Lamont. “Our state has been a hub for clean energy innovation — an effort strengthened recently through my first executive order as governor, which expanded Connecticut’s ‘Lead By Example’ initiative. Proposals like these not only help the Green Bank become more resilient and sustainable in the future, but support investments in sustainable businesses and further safeguard our environment.”

As the nation’s first green bank, the Connecticut Green Bank is no stranger to innovative thinking and was awarded with the “Innovations in American Government Awards” by the Kennedy School’s Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation in July of 2017 for “Sparking the Green Bank Movement.” It was this kind of solution-oriented thinking back in 2011 that led the state’s General Assembly, on a bipartisan basis, to form the Green Bank to promote cleaner, less expensive, and more reliable sources of energy while creating jobs and supporting local economic development. Since then, the Green Bank has invested more than $1.5 billion into clean energy projects that have generated more than 330 MW of installed capacity. This has helped create 16,500 induced, indirect and direct job years and prevented more than 5.3 million tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere.

In its tenth year, the Aspen Institute’s Competition tasked students with helping the Green Bank and Inclusive Prosperity Capital (IPC), a non-profit organization co-created by the Green Bank in 2018, by proposing a new program or an enhancement to an existing program that would position both organizations to become sustainable. The teams’ proposals were judged on the depth and breadth of their analysis, the development of the rationale for their recommended action, the impact on affected constituencies, and the anticipation of challenges.

In addition to the winner, rounding out the top five teams were: Isenberg School of Management, University of Massachusetts, Amherst; John F. Donahue Graduate School of Business, Duquesne University; Leonard N. Stern School of Business, New York University; and the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan.

“Our competition prompts MBA students to innovate for the good of business and society, using their analytical and critical thinking skills on a real situation, and the Green Bank is a perfect subject,” said Justin Goldbach, Founder & Director of The Aspen Institute’s Business & Society International MBA Case Competition. “The Yale SOM case study on the Green Bank highlights its success in Connecticut, and its influence on the formation of other green banks, but also shows their continued need to innovate to remain viable and overcome obstacles.”

The teams offered critical insight into potential new directions for the Green Bank and IPC. Ideas proposed for the Green Bank included enhancements to the existing programs, like Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE), and suggestions for new programs for the promotion of Clean Energy Microgrid (CEM) installations, a pilot bonded financing model for infrastructure upgrades, the formation of a green start-up incubator, and investment in electric vehicles. The winning team suggested investment in a new fleet of electric buses for Connecticut schools and the Department of Transportation.

“This has been the peak learning experience of our MBAs so far, and it’s been so awesome to meet the other teams,” said Sara DuPont, a member of the winning team.

For IPC, suggestions included expanding the Smart-E loan program, creation of a fellows initiative, and developing a certification program for contractors.

“At the Connecticut Green Bank, we spend our days working to balance business goals with societal impacts, while finding innovative ways to confront climate change,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “It was inspiring to read these proposals from the best international business school students who could see the Green Bank’s vision and help guide our mission in the future.  We look forward to bringing several of these innovative ideas into the marketplace.”


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


About the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program

Founded in 1998 by Yale SOM alumnus Judith Samuelson, the Aspen Institute Business & Society Program works with business executives and scholars to align business decisions and investments with the long-term health of society—and the planet. Through carefully designed networks, working groups and focused dialogue, the Program identifies and inspires thought leaders and “intrapreneurs” to challenge conventional ideas about capitalism and markets, to test new measures of business success, and to connect classroom theory and business practice. For more information, visit


Green Bank Employee Receives Caren Franzini Fellowship

Columbus, OH (April 5, 2019) – The Council of Development Finance Agencies (CDFA) is pleased to announce the following individuals for receiving the 2019 Caren S. Franzini Fellowship. Congratulations to:

  • Donna Culpepper, Executive Director, Nocona Economic Development Corporations, Nocona, Texas
  • Julia Schneider, Assistant Vice President, New York City Economic Development Corporation, New York, New York
  • Barbara Waters, Associate Director of Marketing, Connecticut Green Bank, Rocky Hill, Connecticut
  • Johanna Nelson, Finance Development Specialist, New Mexico Economic Development Department, Sante Fe, New Mexico

“CDFA is proud and honored to recognize Donna, Julia, Barbara and Johanna as our first class of Caren. S. Franzini fellows. These
inspirational women represent rising, talented stars in the development finance world and we are thrilled to welcome them into the CDFA
family.” states Toby Rittner, DFCP and President & CEO of CDFA. “Over the next year, we will challenge our four fellows to explore
development finance with the energy, passion and dedication demonstrated by my good friend and mentor, Caren Franzini. Her legacy lives on through this fellowship and we are proud to honor her memory while helping to brighten the professional future for women throughout the country.”

The Caren S. Franzini Fellowship was established in 2017 by the CDFA Board of Directors to recognize the exemplary leadership of Caren
Franzini, a past President of CDFA and former CEO of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority (NJEDA). During her career, Caren was dedicated to the advancement of development finance best practices, education, and advocacy.

Recognized by her peers and colleagues as “simply the best,” Caren brought a high level of mastery and acumen to her work. Her
commitment to the development finance industry is evident in the numerous programs created and the billions of dollars of investment that she catalyzed during her tenure at NJEDA. She was equally passionate about building leaders and experts in the field as she was about
financing businesses and expanding economic growth and job creation for New Jersey communities.

The Caren S. Franzini Fellowship was created to build leadership positions for women in the field of development finance and to inspire
them to embody Caren’s spirit and professionalism. Franzini Fellows are given the opportunity to work directly with CDFA through a one year program aimed at developing perpetuating female leadership in the field of development finance. Each class of Franzini Fellows will
collaborate on a project of significance to the development finance industry and present it to a national audience. Franzini Fellows may build a new type of financing program, research creative deal structures, write a publication of best practices, or demonstrate new methodologies in the development finance industry. Collectively, their work will showcase expertise in development finance and the power of women-led initiatives. To read more about the Franzini Fellowship, please visit our webpage.

The Council of Development Finance Agencies is a national association dedicated to the advancement of development finance concerns
and interests. CDFA is comprised of the nation’s leading and most knowledgeable members of the development finance community
representing public, private and non-profit entities alike. For more information about CDFA, visit



Are you ready for an electric ride? Make the switch and start saving today

Dave Paquette Testimonial
“As a father of three, I want my children able to grow up, enjoy the outdoors and become good stewards of the planet,” said Dave Paquette. “The ride is not only fast and smooth, but also green and emissions-free.”

Have you ever considered driving a zero-emission electric vehicle to avoid volatile gas prices and high maintenance costs of traditional cars and trucks? If you haven’t, you should really give EVs another look and join a growing number of people who are making the switch.  The technology is improving rapidly, and these cars offer a smooth ride, quick acceleration, and very low maintenance and fuel costs.

If you think an EV is in your future, here are a few considerations:

Daily commute

A common objection to EVs stems from range anxiety, the fear caused by concerns about running out of power in a limited range vehicle. This doesn’t happen with traditional vehicles, as gas stations are easy to find in most places. A vehicle’s range should be a purchase consideration, but not a deal breaker. Some battery electric vehicles have a range as low as 62 miles, while others can travel distances of 335 miles on a single charge.

If you are like most working Connecticut residents, EVs are a good choice for your commute. The 2015 Fast Facts from the Connecticut Department of Transportation found that 95% of residents travel less than 50 miles to work each day.

“I was originally concerned about the range limits,” said Dave Paquette of Canterbury, who recently purchased a Nissan Leaf with a range of nearly 110 miles. “But since I use this primarily as a commuter, and since I have another vehicle for family trips, it works out. If 90% of your driving is commuting, it’s a great car.”

“My highway (fastest) route to work is 48 miles, and my EV is rated for 107 miles on a single charge,” said Al Corsi of Milford. “However, the regenerative braking mode extends the range to about 130 miles. My experience has been great so far.”

Charging Up

There are over 400 public charging stations in Connecticut, and more – and faster – chargers are steadily getting installed. (Maps of public charging stations can be found at EVConnecticut, PlugShare, or through network providers such as ChargePoint and EVgo.) Most EV drivers charge at home, and take advantage of public stations as needed at workplaces, destinations, and along travel corridors.

EV drivers say they are mindful about the limits of their charge, however proper planning and switching from the fastest route to the shortest distance helps. Apps and in-vehicle systems help drivers find charging stations just like they were gas stations. And again, an advantage of EVs is that drivers can also fuel up at home or work – wherever there’s a plug. EVs also tend to have powerful regenerative braking systems (like hybrids do) to help feed the engine battery.

Al Corsi Testimonial
“It’s a little car with big attitude and a tiny eco footprint!,” said Al Corsi. “We’re impressed at what this little car can do!”

Incentives and great financing options

Avoiding the gas station and repair shop are not the only ways EV drivers see savings. The Connecticut Hydrogen and Electric Automobile Purchase Rebate (CHEAPR) can reduce a purchase or lease price by several thousand dollars, and a federal tax credit of up to $7,500 is still available. Some dealerships also run specials that offer deep discounts of their own or from manufacturers.

The Connecticut Green Bank has partnered with three local lenders (CorePlus Credit Union, Mutual Security Credit Union, and Nutmeg State Financial Credit Union) and local car dealerships to offer Smart-E for EV loans on new or used EVs for a limited time. With maximum loan amounts of $30,000 and terms up to 72 months, it’s never been a better time to purchase an EV. The year 2018 will mark the release of the most advanced models yet.

Go solar and fuel is free

If electricity is the fuel source for your car, and your house has solar photovoltaic (PV) panels, you could effectively drive for free. “If you have solar panels and produce excess power, it pays for itself,” said Paquette.

When Corsi installed solar panels at his home in Milford, he was looking ahead to adding an EV within five years for this reason. “Our solar panels are providing benefits beyond a lower electricity bill,” said Corsi.

If you already own or lease an EV, but do not have solar on your home, the Smart-E Loan can help. The loan would allow you to finance the total cost for the installation of solar and/or a charging station at your home with a low fixed rate and flexible terms.

Improved lifestyle, better future

Lastly, don’t overlook the environmental and lifestyle benefits of an emissions-free ride. Tailpipe emissions are the largest contributor to air pollution in Connecticut, and switching to an EV can make a difference with a clean ride.

“As a child, I thought it would be cool to have a car powered by electricity,” said Paquette. “My kids love it, and love that it doesn’t ‘make smoke’.”

For Corsi, his EV has triggered some positive lifestyle changes.

“While planning my errands around the availability of charging stations, my EV takes me to the local library,” said Corsi. “There I can plug-in and charge, walk off to my errands, return to have my car charged. So I’m walking a lot more!”

Both Corsi and Paquette have received their share of compliments on their new EVs.

“Everyone admires the EV,” said Corsi. “It’s quiet, sleek, fun to drive, and so they think it’s a great new experience.”

“I’ve had some family members pretty impressed by it and think it’s cool,” said Paquette. “Others are naysayers and try to come up with arguments against one, but when I present evidence on the cost per mile, [they see] I’m spending half the cost of an efficient gas burning vehicle.”



Resources for State Residents to Navigate Solar Questions, DCP’s Solar Panel Buyer’s Guide offer unbiased input

Rocky Hill, CT (August 2, 2017) – As solar installations in Connecticut continue to increase, the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP), the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC), and the Connecticut Green Bank want to remind residents that informational resources exist to help guide them through the process of adding solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to their homes.  Two suggested resources are and DCP’s Solar Panel Buyer’s Guide.

As of July 2017, nearly 25,000 state residences have installed solar, producing more than 175 MW of clean, renewable power. Through GoSolarCT, the Connecticut Green Bank seeks to make information on the solar process available in one location for homeowners in the state.

“The GoSolarCT website helps Connecticut residents understand the costs, installation, and upkeep of solar projects in one location,” states Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “This website is an educational outreach tool for Connecticut residents wanting to convert to solar energy. This project and others that educate Connecticut residents on solar installation and renewable energy sources benefits the state and the entire region.”

“There are a lot of different aspects to going solar,” said Consumer Protection Commissioner Michelle H. Seagull. “We want to make sure consumers know who they’ll be interacting with, what credentials those professionals need to have, and what questions they should ask throughout the process. Going solar, like any home improvement related project, is a big investment, and it’s important that consumers do their research before making a commitment.”

GoSolarCT shares pertinent information in an easy, interactive way for Connecticut homeowners and includes a glossary of terms, a potential energy savings calculator and a list of frequently asked questions and answers.

The GoSolarCT website identifies four key areas for people considering installing solar products:

  • How solar works
  • Selecting a contractor and various financing options
  • The installation process
  • Ongoing maintenance

“I’m delighted the Connecticut Green Bank and DCP are assisting customers with these guidance resources,” stated Consumer Counsel Elin Swanson Katz. “My office has handled occasional inquiries from customers looking into solar, but are struggling with weighing financing options, choosing a contractor, and understanding savings estimates. It is important that customers feel that they have made a well-informed choice with regard to this major decision, and these resources should make the process both reassuring and hopefully exciting. I commend the Connecticut Green Bank and DCP and look forward to continuing to work in partnership with them to promote solar growth and understanding.” 


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

For more information, contact: Rudy Sturk, Senior Associate, Marketing, Connecticut Green Bank, at (860) 259-1154 or


About the Department of Consumer Protection (DCP)

The Department of Consumer Protection’s mission is to ensure a fair and equitable marketplace, safe products and services for consumers in the industries that we license, regulate and enforce. The Department has seven divisions with their own areas of expertise: Drug Control, Foods and Standards, Investigations, Gaming, Licensing, Liquor Control, Occupational and Professional Licensing, and Trade Practices. The Department also administers 18 professional Boards, Councils and Commissions.

For more information, contact: Lora Rae Anderson, Director of Communications, Department of Consumer Protection, at (860) 713-6019 or


About the Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC)

The Office of Consumer Counsel (OCC) serves as a strong independent voice for Connecticut’s public utility and telecommunications consumers through advocacy and customer education. The OCC is authorized to participate on behalf of consumers in all administrative and judicial forums and in any matters in which the interests of consumers with respect to public utility matters may be involved.

For more information, contact:  Joseph A. Rosenthal, Principal Attorney, Office of Consumer Counsel, at 860-827-2906 or




Financing Clean Energy in Affordable Housing (webinar recording)

Over the past several years, Connecticut Green Bank has partnered with the affordable housing sector and private capital providers to provide critical education, financing, technical assistance and resources that address barriers to deployment of clean energy projects in affordable housing properties. In March 2017, Connecticut Green Bank strengthened its commitment to the state’s low-to-moderate income residents by welcoming Betsy Crum, a veteran professional in affordable housing development and finance, to its board of directors.

The Green Bank Network held a webinar on the approaches the Connecticut Green Bank is taking to increase financing for clean energy in affordable housing properties and how Crum’s appointment to the Board will push the bank even further in its efforts.

The presenters were:

  • Betsy Crum, Executive Director of the Women’s Institute for Housing and Economic Development and Member, Connecticut Green Bank Board of Directors
  • Kerry E. O’Neill, Vice President of Residential Programs at Connecticut Green Bank
  • Kim Stevenson, Associate Director, Multifamily Housing at Connecticut Green Bank

The recording of the webinar is below.




Building a Market for Renewable Thermal Technologies

March 23, 2017 – Though a mature technology, renewable thermals occupy a small niche in Connecticut — and in the U.S. at large. A new Yale-led study analyzes the market potential of this technology across the state and provides key insights into spurring consumer demand.

According to the analysis, led by the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY), renewable thermals have significant market potential in the state if supported by appropriate public policy and financing tools. Renewable thermal technologies comprise a range of products—from solar water heaters to district energy systems — all designed to use renewable energy in the cooling of space and the heating of both space and water.

Collectively, the use of energy for thermal purposes accounts for roughly one-third of all U.S. energy consumption. In Connecticut, over 60 percent of the energy used in residential and commercial buildings is for space heating and cooling; this demand, combined with the energy used to heat water, account for 30 percent of the state’s greenhouse gas emissions. Switching from conventional fossil fuel providers of thermal energy to RTTs could offer significant cuts in greenhouse gas emissions — of particular relevance as Connecticut aims to reduce emissions to 80 percent below 2001 levels by 2050.

“Renewable heating and cooling are not as visible or high profile as renewable electricity, but holds an enormous reservoir of possibility for utilizing local resources to off-set fossil fuels. Like renewable electricity, renewable heating and cooling need supportive policies and financing products to kick start a viable market,” says Helle Gronli, associate research scientist at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES) and director of the Feasibility of Renewable Thermal Technologies in Connecticut project (FORTT).

The FORTT team is based at the Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY) and is part of a larger coalition that includes the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Eversource Energy, the United Illuminating Company, and the Connecticut Green Bank. CBEY is based at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and the Yale School of Management.

The first part of the study analyzed the market potential of RTTs in Connecticut through 2050. The findings suggest that RTTs could competitively serve 19 percent of thermal demand in buildings across the state. Annually, this represents the curtailment of 1.4 million tons of CO2e emissions. However, realizing Connecticut’s overall goal requires a considerably higher rate of RTT deployment than what currently is found competitive.

The second part of the study, more behavioral in nature, revealed existing barriers and drivers that influence whether or not consumers choose to adopt renewable thermal technologies. Through a series of in-depth interviews across the range of RTT stakeholders, the findings revealed interventions needed to establish a marketplace in which RTTs are both viable and trusted alternatives to non-renewable technologies. The results can be distilled into four core insights:

  1. Public institutions, which tend to be both large property owners and heavy energy users, should show direction by adopting RTTs internally and establishing external regulation (e.g. building codes) to encourage the development of the nascent market and increase customer awareness.
  2. Innovative financial products and strategies to improve the value proposition of RTT investments are needed to help the financing of RTTs achieve scale; this, in turn, will reduce upfront costs.
  3. Resources must be deployed to develop a competent and competitive regional industry. A well-supported and trustworthy base of installers and experts focused on the RTT industry directly supports consumer trust in this new market.
  4. New policies should be considered to create value streams attached to RTTs. Thermal renewable energy credits, carbon pricing and voluntary markets for clean energy are clear examples, as are building certification schemes through which property value and market rents reflect efficient thermal technologies.

“In order for us to achieve our long-term climate change strategies in Connecticut, we are going to need to scale-up the deployment of renewable thermal technologies in households and businesses throughout the state,” states Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “By working together with Avangrid, Eversource, and Yale we can attract private investment to scale-up the deployment of renewable thermal technology while creating jobs and helping consumers.”

On the supply side, the study shows that clear policy guidelines and standardized regulatory processes are needed to build a fluid and efficient RTT market.

Among consumers, RTTs tend to suffer from a deficit of awareness. Marketing campaigns to raise their profile, similar to Connecticut’s recent “Solarize” campaign, could go a long way to increasing demand and lowering soft costs. These efforts could be paired with financial tools, whether block grants or leasing agreements, to help defray upfront installation costs—one of the central barriers to adoption.

“This report builds our understanding of the work that’s needed to support the deployment of renewable thermal technologies in Connecticut,” said Rob Klee, Commissioner of Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). “Developing a sustainable market for renewable thermal technologies will help us reach Connecticut’s climate change goals as part of the work of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change, while at the same time advancing implementation of our Comprehensive Energy Strategy.”

Download full copies of the reports here.



Construction near Completion for Solar Exhibit at the Energize Connecticut Center

Students work on exhibit for residents and business owners to learn more about solar energy

North Haven, CT (March 22, 2016) – Work is nearly completed on a new solar energy exhibit at the Energize Connecticut Center in North Haven.  The exhibit, being installed with the help of students from E.C. Goodwin Technical High School and Platt Technical High School, will allow children and adults to learn about the benefits of solar.

The Energize Connecticut Center is a place where adults and children may experience hands-on learning of energy efficiency and renewable energy concepts and solutions.  The facility is a museum and a resource center, staffed by individuals who help Connecticut residents and business owners make smart energy choices. The Energize Connecticut Center is part of the Energize Connecticut initiative, an effort of the Connecticut Green Bank, the State, Eversource, The United Illuminating Company (UI), the Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation (CNG) and The Southern Connecticut Gas Company (SCG).

The new solar exhibit educates people and businesses on the benefits of using solar energy.  It also teaches people how the technology works, describes the different steps in the process of going solar, and explains different ways to pay for solar such as different types of available financing structures. The exhibit was funded by the Connecticut Green Bank with the goal of educating Connecticut citizens and making the benefits of green energy clear.

The solar panels at the exhibit are being installed by students from the Connecticut Technical High School System. The school system trains students on how to properly install solar panels, preparing them for careers in the solar industry and equipping them with mastery of other technical skills. A recent survey from the nonprofit research group The Solar Foundation projects that solar jobs in Connecticut will grow by 6.8% in 2016, underscoring the importance of preparing students to work in this rapidly growing industry.

“We are very excited about the new solar exhibit at the Energize Connecticut Center in partnership with The United Illuminating Company, Eversource and the Connecticut Technical High School System,” says Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank.  “As residents and businesses witness more and more solar energy being deployed in their communities, interest in more and more renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies will continue to rise. The Energize Connecticut Center’s solar exhibit not only offers a fun way to learn about solar PV technology but also underscores how simple the process of going solar actually is. I’m confident the Energize Connecticut Center’s solar experience will inspire more people to take control of their own energy use. Because the truth is, when more people in Connecticut make the decision to go solar, we grow businesses, we create jobs and we help people thrive.”

The Green Bank, which administers the Residential Solar Investment Program, an incentive program for homeowners who are going solar, reports that more than 17,000 homeowners in the state have already made the decision to go solar. The Green Bank offers financing programs for homeowners and business owners that make solar and other energy improvements more accessible and affordable.

Visitors are welcome to see the new exhibit at the Energize Connecticut Center, located in North Haven, Connecticut at 122 Universal Drive North. The Hours of operation are Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Admission is free.

About Connecticut Green Bank

The Connecticut Green Bank was established by Connecticut’s General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80. This new quasi-public agency 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. For more information about Connecticut’s Green Bank, please visit

About Energize Connecticut

Energize Connecticut helps you save money and use clean energy. It is an initiative of the Energy Efficiency Fund, the Connecticut Green Bank, the State, and your local electric and gas utilities, with funding from a charge on customer energy bills. Information on energy-saving programs can be found at or by calling 1.877.WISE.USE


Governor Malloy Tours Bridgeport House with Solar and Energy Efficiency Measures

An innovative public-private partnership that is making clean energy more accessible and affordable to families susceptible to rising energy costs

Bridgeport, CT (July 21, 2015) – Governor Malloy toured the house of Susan Young in Bridgeport on Tuesday,to view the installation of solar power and energy efficiency measures –financed through a public-private partnership between PosiGen Solar Solutions and the Connecticut Green Bank.  The innovative financing program combines a solar lease with an energy savings agreement to lower the energy burden of participating households.  Accompanying the Governor wereBryan Garcia, president and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank, Thomas Neyhart, CEO of PosiGen, and Chris Anastasi, Sustainability coordinator for the City of Bridgeport.

In a concerted effort to extend the reach of the Governor’s renewable energy policies, the Green Bank teamed up with PosiGen, a New Orleans solar company that recently located its New England business in Bridgeport, CT.Focused on closing on what many see as a clean energy affordability gap, the partnership is designed to give people like Ms. Young access to an affordable solar leasing structure that will deliver energy savings for this often overlooked market segment.

“We are making Connecticut greener, cleaner and more efficient than ever before, and in the process we’re helping residents save on energy while creating thousands of new jobs in the industries of the future,” Governor Malloy said.  “These initiatives help the state meet the growing homeowner demand for residential solar, and we’re doing it through cost-effective solutions that increase private investment and use less ratepayer and taxpayer incentives.  Connecticut is helping lead the nation in the clean energy advancements of tomorrow.”

PosiGen focuses its efforts on improving the financial sustainability of low-to-moderate income families who are most susceptible to rising energy costs by reducing their energy consumption and providing opportunities to leverage state and federal incentives.  “We are excited to be partnering with the Connecticut Green Bank to enable innovative financing through a combination solar lease and energy savings agreement offering,” says Mr. Neyhart.  “We are making the combination of solar and efficiency upgrades more accessible and affordable for low-to-moderate income families that need to reduce their household energy burden.”

The Connecticut Green Bank is investing in PosiGen to provide low-cost debt capital and a tiered incentive for participating households in communities across the state.  “This partnership with PosiGen, and their private investors, will lower the energy burden on limited income households through financing and the deployment of clean energy,” states Mr. Garcia.  “As Connecticut continues to deploy more and more clean energy in our communities, we want to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to realize the benefits it offers.”

“I am excited to be one of the first homeowners in Connecticut to take advantage of the PosiGen offering to lower my energy costs,” says Ms. Young, theBridgeport homeowner.  “I was able to install a solar power system, insulation, water-savings aerators and CFL light bulbs, which are already providing energy savings that I can put to better uses for my households.”

“I am thrilled with the work PosiGen did on my house.  I did not think I could afford to install solar panels to help with my energy costs, however, the lease option made it possible, I am so happy to help protect our environment.  I encourage other homeowners to look into their options to cut down on their energy costs.”


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

About PosiGen Solar Solutions

Headquartered in New Orleans, PosiGen Solar Solutions is one of the nation’s leading residential solar, energy efficiency and energy education providers. PosiGen has more than 6,000 residential customers, 165 direct employees and 150 contract employees in Louisiana, Connecticut and New

York. PosiGen’s unique services and products make solar energy affordable to homeowners ofall income levels, and offer individuals, families and businesses the opportunity to achieve greater fiscal autonomy and energy independence by lowering their utility bills. To learne verything about PosiGen, please visit


For More Information, Contact:

Gladys Rivera
Connecticut Green Bank
(860) 257-2351

Rebecca Brockway
McDowell Jewett Communications
(860) 604-6653