The Clean Energy Communities program was developed by the CT Clean Energy Fund (now Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority or CEFIA) to encourage Towns to support the use of clean energy with a goal of improving air quality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. To participate in the program communities must first make the municipal pledge to reduce municipal energy use by 20 percent and voluntarily purchase 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources.
The Windham Town Council passed a resolution in 2013 to participate in the Clean Energy Community program. The Clean Energy Community (CEC) Program is an incentive based program where the community earns energy efficiency and renewable energy “points” when residents, businesses, and the Town take action to increase energy efficiency and participate in the variety of available clean energy programs. These points are redeemable with CEFIA for “Bright Idea Grants” and free photovoltaic solar systems for community buildings. In February 2014 Windham earned sufficient points to install insulation to a Town owned building occupied by the Windham Textile and History Museum.
CLEAN ENERGY PROGRAMS AVAILABLE TO RESIDENTS AND BUSINESSES.
In July 2013 the Town of Windham renewed its commitment to the Clean Energy Communities program making it eligible for more Bright Idea Grants and free solar systems as incentive for participating in new and ongoing clean energy programs. The Conservation Commission is working to engage residential home owners to participate in the Solarize Windham program as well as commercial property owners for the C-PACE program. The more homeowners and businesses that participate in these programs the more the entire community will benefit!
Following an application by the Conservation Commission, Windham was selected by CEFIA on September 4th 2013 to participate in the Solarize CT program. Solarize Windham provides an opportunity for Windham homeowners to reduce their electricity bills by installing solar panel systems on their property at a dramatically discounted cost thanks to the power of group purchasing. Solarize Windham uses a tiered-pricing structure where the more residents sign up the more the cost of the solar panel system comes down for everyone. Solarize Windham is partnership that includes the Town of Windham, CEFIA, a clean energy non- profit group Smart Power, and a competitively selected solar panel installer Renewable Resources Energy Solutions of Stamford, CT. The Solarize Windham program kicks off October 2nd at 7pm in the Town Hall meeting room and lasts for 20 weeks. As an added benefit, each solar system installed through Solarize Windham will earn Windham 3 points through the CEC program.
The Energy Commission recruited a team of Solar Ambassadors to help promote the Solarize Windham program. Residents who are interested in promoting clean energy and working with the Energy Commission, CEFIA, and Renewable Resources are encouraged to email :
This will help the Town in marketing informative materials, working at events, and sharing your experiences with your own solar installation.
C-PACE Connecticut Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is an innovative financing program that provides owners of commercial, industrial, and multi-family properties access to affordable long term financing for energy efficiency and clean energy upgrades to their buildings. In 2013 the Windham Town Council voted to become a C-PACE community. C-PACE allows building owners to finance qualifying projects by placing a voluntary assessment on their property for the cost of the improvements that are paid back over time along the property tax bill. The assessment may continue with the property even if ownership changes; so the financing is not ‘due upon sale’ as typically is the case with most property improvements. This financing provides low cost financing through the private sector to finance qualifying improvements such as energy efficient boilers, new windows, solar panel installations, and energy efficient lighting.
These energy conservation measures will provide commercial property owners access to more reliable energy that could be less expensive, and cleaner for the environment. C-PACE eligible properties may include non-profit or religious institutions and residential with five or more dwelling units provided that the property owner agrees to the payment program. As an additional benefit Windham will earn 20 points for each completed C-PACE program and an additional 5 points for each application for C-PACE funding through the Clean Energy Community Program.
What is the Town doing about Clean Energy
In addition to the 93kW solar photovoltaic system installed at the Windham Water Works as part of the Clean Energy Community program, the Town of Windham has completed a number of other clean energy projects at municipal buildings.
As part of an ongoing commitment to clean energy the Town of Windham on the roof of Glenville middle school as well as part of a Clean Energy Block Grant. Additionally, a geothermal heating and cooling system was installed at Hamilton middle school which will reduce the cost and energy consumption of heating and cooling the school. The Town DPW has upgrading all lighting and has installed small solar panel systems where appropriate around town and the Parking division is exploring a pilot installation of a charging station for electric vehicles. Energy conservation and alternative energy solutions are becoming standard operating procedures for most departments and in the future will result in significant savings.