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CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

Weston is the first town to take advantage of augmenting their earned 4kWs with an additional 3kWs. The ribbon cutting ceremony is planned for August 12, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. at the installation site, Weston Board of Education.

The modifications to our Clean Energy Communities program that are discussed below have been posted on our website for a while. Nevertheless, we want to be sure that all participating communities are aware of them. We will be seeking input for further program changes (in particular, clean energy commitments after 2010) in the near future.

In November 2008, the CCEF implemented new requirements and qualification standards for the Clean Energy Communities program. Those changes were intended to promote a holistic approach to energy and also to help us to meet ambitious goals for voluntary support for clean energy.

One thing we did not anticipate when we developed the new program plans was the catastrophic downturn of the economy. Along with virtually every other aspect of our lives, the CTCleanEnergyOptions (CCEO) program has been impacted with growth slowed throughout the state and net losses reported in some towns.

To help regain the momentum that typified the early years of the program, we are introducing our own “stimulus package,” effective immediately.

First, the minimum installation size for solar photovoltaic systems will be lowered from 4 kilowatts to 2 kilowatts. A town can reach this qualification threshold several ways.

  • A community can achieve 200 points through CCEO signups, commercial purchases and/or local clean energy installations. Please note that solar thermal and geothermal systems funded by the CCEF will also earn points.
  • A town can achieve 100 points and earn a bonus for reaching 5% household participation in CCEO or by becoming an EPA Green Power Community (as Cornwall recently did).
  • A town can achieve 100 points and purchase additional kW. The CCEF will pay 50% of the additional cost, up to a total of $8,000.

In order to encourage greater participation by commercial and industrial customers, smaller purchases of Green-e certified Renewable Energy Certificates will now be recognized. Accordingly, purchases up to and including 10,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) will earn 1 point for every 20 MWh. Purchases greater than 10,000 MWh will earn 500 points plus 1 point for every 200 MWh greater than 10,000 MWh. Middletown, Newtown, Hartford, Ridgefield and Stamford have all earned bonus kWs through commercial and institutional (C&I) purchases.

Towns that qualify by achieving points equal to 10% of the households in a community can now earn a bonus 1 kW for achieving 15% household penetration. Those towns can continue to earn kWs for each 10% household participation above 15% (e.g., 20%, 30%, etc.)

Finally, any towns within a regional school district can now pool their points provided they have satisfied the clean energy purchase requirement and joined the EPA’s Community Energy Challenge. Previously, every town within the regional school district was required to meet these steps.

Please remember that in order to qualify as a Clean Energy Community a town must make a municipal clean energy purchase of at least 13% in 2010. We will be asking towns to complete an electronic form that assists us in tracking these clean energy purchases. For more information on how to make a town purchase, please click here: How to Make a Town Purchase . We look forward to celebrating the continued rise of Connecticut’s Clean Energy Communities.

Bob Wall
Director, Energy Market Initiatives
CCEF

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