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Community Innovations Grants Program

Program support information for Energy Task Force members

The Community Innovations Grants Program provides eligible communities with a $5,000 block grant to support local public awareness and education projects that support clean renewable energy.  This program is intended to identify “new” ways of promoting and supporting clean renewable energy in our communities.
To learn more about the program, download the following documentation:
Program Fact Sheet - download here
Grant Guidelines - please visit your town’s webpage for the Grant Guidelines
Grant Application Form - download here
Grant Report Form - download here
CTCleanEnergyOptions Sign-Up Forms - please visit your town’s webpage for the Sign-Up Form
For eligible communities to participate, two (2) Energy Task Force members must be trained to implement the program within their respective communities.  The following is a schedule of up-and-coming training workshops in your area.
Please confirm your attendance by contacting Bryan Garcia at
June 19, 2006 in Portland, CT at the Town Library from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m.
July 13 , 2006 in Bethany, CT at the Town Hall (Selectmen’s Meeting Room) from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.
August 31, 2006 in Mansfield, CT at the Community Center from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
September 20 , 2006 in Norfolk, CT at the Town Hall at 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
October 5, 2006 in West Hartford, CT at the Town Hall at 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
October 10, 2006 in Essex, CT at the Town Hall at 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
October 30, 2006 in Meriden, CT at the Town Hall at 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Clean Energy
Its Real! Its Here! Its Working!

Let’s Make More.
  What are some sample projects of community innovation on clean energy?
Clean Energy Corn Maze

For Chris Kueffner and Lynn Stoddard of Mansfield, clean energy was the theme of their annual Merrow Corn Maze.  The four-acre corn maze featured almost two miles of paths winding through images of a sun, a wind turbine, a water wheel, and the words “Clean Energy!”

Visitors to the maze were challenged with 30 questions relating to clean energy that were scattered throughout the maze on signposts.  The goal was to find all of the answers – and then for visitors to find their way out!  Questions ranged in difficulty and included topics such as what is the cleanest energy, how much electricity do American’s consume, how is electricity stored, what is a fuel cell.  And then at the end of the maze, all visitors had an opportunity to sign-up for clean energy through the CTCleanEnergyOptions program.
Clean Energy Mayoral Challenge

For two mayors, Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. (New Haven) and Mayor Scott Slifka (West Hartford), clean energy is about leadership and the engagement of local residents and businesses to challenge each other to support clean energy.  In August of 2005, these two mayors announced the “Clean Energy Challenge” between their respective cities.

This challenge, was a friendly bet to see which city could sign-up the most customers to the CTCleanEnergyOptions program by Earth Day 2006.  West Hartford was the leader at the time of the announcement having 244 sign-ups vs. New Haven’s 175.  When the challenge concluded in April of 2006, the City of New Haven was victorious having signed-up 471 people vs. West Hartford’s 434.  As part of the bet, West Hartford Mayor, Scott Slifka, was presented with a t-shirt that said “I wish I lived in New Haven,” and he presented Mayor DeStefano of New Haven with a box of West Hartford soda.  Mayor DeStefano, not wanting the mayor of West Hartford and its residents to feel left out, presented the town with delicious pizza from Pepe’s in New Haven.  That day, both New Haven and West Hartford citizens won!

This Clean Energy Challenge brought a lot of local attention to the issue of clean energy and its benefits to society including – climate change, economic development, and energy independence.  This challenge also earned both New Haven and West Hartford over 10 kW’s of free solar photovoltaic systems from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund.
Clean Energy Sign-Up Campaign
For a local middle school student named Chad Vicente, initiating a class project focused on climate change required some research and a creative approach.  After coming across his town’s commitment to clean energy through Mansfield joining the SmartPower 20% by 2010 campaign, Chad saw an opportunity to help his community receive a free clean energy system from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund.  By signing-up 100 customers to the CTCleanEnergyOptions program, Chad would help Mansfield become a Clean Energy Community and therefore receive a 1 kW solar photovoltaic system for a town facility.

To support his project, Chad did the following:

Organized a group of his classmates to create and distribute flyers to all of the students at his school – this flyer reached over 1,600 students and parents from 4 different schools;
Sent an e-mail to all town employees – this e-mail reached over 700 town employees; and
Set-up a display at the Mansfield Community Center that included the “Here Comes the Sun” poster, a clean energy flyer, an energy efficiency tips flyer, and a clean energy FAQ sheet.

Chad helped Mansfield reach its 100th customer into the CTCleanEnergyOptions program and was honored by Mayor Betsy Paterson and recognized by the State of Connecticut and Bridgeport State Senator (and Environment Committee co-chair) Bill Finch with a “Connecticut Climate Change Leadership Award for 2006”.

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© 2006 Connecticut Clean Energy Fund