Connecticut Green Bank Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

Successfully proving the impact of the Green Bank model for a decade, recent scope expansion led by Governor Lamont approved through bipartisan legislative action 

Gov. Lamont signs the bill for Public Act 21-115: An Act Concerning Climate Change Adaptation at Jacob’s Beach in Guilford.

Hartford, CT (July 7, 2021) – The Connecticut Green Bank is marking ten years of its model successfully enabling progress towards its goal of confronting climate change by mobilizing private investment into the state’s green economy. The Green Bank’s model demonstrates how the smart investment of public funds can mobilize more private investment in the state’s economy. Over the last decade, the Green Bank and its partners have deployed nearly $2.3 billion in capital for clean energy projects across the state. Projects recorded through FY 2020 show that for every $1 of public funds committed by the Green Bank that nearly an additional $8 in private investment occurred in the economy. As a result, Green Bank supported projects have created thousands of jobs in our communities, reduced the energy burden on thousands of families and businesses, avoided millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions, and facilitated rapid growth in the deployment of clean energy.

Established on July 1, 2011, by Governor Dannel Malloy and the General Assembly, the Connecticut Green Bank was the first of its kind in the United States. While the landscape of the green economy has changed significantly, Connecticut continues to serve as the model for other green banks, as well as proposals on the national level.

After the signing, Bryan Garcia, Gov. Lamont, and Green Bank Chair Lonnie Reed paused to recognize the moment.

“As we mark our 10th anniversary, we are motivated by the leadership and commitment from Governor Lamont and the continued support of the Legislature, demonstrated by the recent expansion of our mission,” said Bryan Garcia, President and CEO of the Connecticut Green Bank. “This is an endorsement of the green bank model, which has successfully invested public resources to mobilize multiples of private capital investment into our green economy over the last decade. Since a similar need exists regarding private investment into modernizing Connecticut’s environmental infrastructure, we look forward to taking on this new role.”

Some recent Connecticut Green Bank program highlights include:

  • More support for commercial businesses and nonprofits. Connecticut’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program surpassed $217 million in clean energy investment. This supported more than 345 closed projects and will provide an estimated lifetime energy cost savings of over $300 million.
  • Growing the green bond market for retail investors. In 2019, the Green Bank issued its first rated debt issuance and the first ever solar asset-backed security (ABS) transaction by a green bank. This $38.6 million issuance received two honors at Environmental Finance’s 2020 Bond Awards (winner for Innovation – Green Bond Structure, and winner Asset-Backed or Asset-Based Bond). In 2020, the first issuance of $17 million in Green Liberty Bonds, lower-dollar denomination climate-certified bonds available for retail and institutional buyers, sold out in two days. This issuance earned The Bond Buyer’s Deal of the Year award in the Innovative Financing category. In 2021, a second issuance of $25 million in Bonds also sold out, drawing more than four times as much demand as could be fulfilled from retail investors in Connecticut and across the U.S., as well as institutional investors interested in sustainability investments.
  • Reaching solar parity. 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, and easy access to affordable capital to finance such installations. In 2015, an observed income disparity in solar adoption was addressed through the creation of special incentives and financing for low- and moderate-income households, which accelerated solar adoption in these communities. Today, Connecticut is known as a “solar with justice” state as solar adoption is at parity for low- and moderate-income (LMI) residents versus non-LMI households and beyond parity for communities of color (i.e., Black and Hispanic families). Overall, RSIP has helped more than 45,700 households to date add solar as the achievement of the statutory target of 350 MW is approached.
  • Helping homeowners reduce energy costs. Through the Smart-E loan and our partnership with local lenders including credit unions and community banks, more than 5,400 households have been able to make energy saving upgrades to their homes, a total investment of nearly $100 million.
  • New office. In late spring 2021, the Green Bank relocated its headquarters from Rocky Hill into the Atlantic Screw Works building in Hartford. Built in 1903, the site is now home to the CT Nonprofit Center as well as the Capewell Lofts Apartments. This new space allows the Green Bank to operate in a building that represents the values of its mission while providing an opportunity to work with the City of Hartford.
  • Enhanced mission. In June 2021, with bipartisan support, Governor Lamont’s House Bill 6441, was passed and will extend the green bank model beyond clean energy to include environmental infrastructure. This increased scope will encompass structures, facilities, systems, services, and improvement projects related to water, waste and recycling, climate adaptation and resiliency, agriculture, land conservation, parks and recreation, and environmental markets such as carbon offsets and ecosystem services. A statutory requirement, the Green Bank will be developing a Comprehensive Plan over the next year to identify how its scope expansion can be supported through the issuance of bonds and accessing federal resources for environmental infrastructure. Watch the signing of this bill during a July 6, 2021, event at Jacob’s Beach in Guilford. 

For more information on Connecticut Green Bank’s programs visit website at www.ctgreenbank.com.