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Clean Energy Message Delivered to School Administrators

Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and CT Innovations sponsor fall convocation

(Rocky Hill, CT - September 21, 2001) — Sarah Zisa and Kassie Rohrbach, two students at Connecticut College, had one goal in mind when they convinced fellow students to pay an additional $25 in student activities fees this year. The goal was to contribute to a cleaner environment. The additional funds contributed by the student body, along with bake sales organized by the two girls and their friends, enabled the college to become the first in the nation to purchase 100% Green-e certified power.

Victor Budnick, president of CT Innovations, recognized the two college students during the 3rd Annual Fall Convocation presented by the Connecticut Association of Public School Principals and Connecticut Association of Schools. CT Innovations and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund were also presenters of the event which brought hundreds of school administrators from across the state to the Aqua Turf on September 19, 2001.

Budnick spoke about initiatives the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund has been undertaking to benefit Connecticut’s ratepayers, including investments in two green power suppliers — the Connecticut Energy Co-op and Green Mountain Energy. These two companies provide CT ratepayers the option to purchase green power.

“In recent months energy has been very much in the news. We’ve seen blackouts in California, gasoline prices that rose sharply earlier this year and nationwide electric deregulation. Then there are all the environmental issues: Climate change. Acid rain. Air pollution. These are real concerns,” said Budnick. “At the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, we also see these as opportunities — opportunities to stimulate innovation. Opportunities to support the development of technologies that will use local resources to produce electricity from clean an renewable sources. These technologies will harness the power of the sun, wind, waves and other sustainable resources to produce electricity without polluting our air and our water or disfiguring our landscapes. They will reduce our dependency on foreign oil, fossil fuels and nuclear materials.”

He emphasized to the administrators that making the switch to green power requires little research and action, just a commitment by the school system.

Sarah Zisa added, "Clean energy is not something that only radical environmentalists should be advocating — it's something that everyone needs to get behind. Schools, universities and colleges are the natural place to promote clean energy. It will help students begin to understand how necessary it is for the future of our environment."

Along with the Connecticut College’s endorsement of green power, other CT schools are introducing renewable energy discussions and exercises into their curriculum. Budnick recognized Madison Elementary School who won a statewide essay contest on the benefits of solar power, which the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund co-sponsored with Green Mountain Energy. The award for winning the contest — a solar panel capable of powering 20 computers.

"This competition has been a wonderful opportunity for our students. The solar panels will provide a hands-on experience with the concepts of renewable energy for our students," said Dr. Kaye Griffin, Madison Schools Superintendent. "The solar panels our school will receive will yield excellent opportunities for science lessons, as well as awareness of energy generated technology. We greatly appreciate the energy companies making it possible for our students and society to learn more about renewable energy."

At the end of his comments, Budnick presented Anthony Molinaro, president of the Connecticut Association of Schools, with a wind certificate. “This certificate means that tonight’s event is the first pollution-free gathering of its kind in Connecticut,” he said. Wind certificates can be purchased by select power companies to cover the difference in cost between electricity produced from fossil fuels and that produced by non-polluting sources, such as wind. Purchasing certificates demonstrates market demands for clean energy and promotes the construction of wind farms.

Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, in its continued outreach efforts particularly to educators, will also be sponsoring the CONNECT Day this November specifically for K-12 teachers. The topic of discussion for the meeting — clean energy.

To learn more about the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, visit www.ctcleanenergy.com. Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CEF) invests in enterprises and other initiatives that promote and develop sustainable markets for energy from renewables and fuel cells for the benefit of Connecticut ratepayers. The fund is managed by Connecticut Innovations.