Friday, July 27, 2012

$2 Million Available for CT Commercial Solar Hot Water

The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) today launched the second round of project solicitations for the Commercial Solar Hot Water Program (Program). The Program has a $2,000,000 budget that will support approximately forty-five solar hot water projects on schools, restaurants, apartment houses, hospitals and other establishments that use a significant amount of hot water.

The Program is designed to facilitate the transition between CEFIA’s federally-funded Solar Thermal Rebate Program, which ended in April, and a more sustainable long-term program based solely on financing from Connecticut’s ratepayers.

This Program combines both approaches, giving applicants the opportunity to tailor the incentive package to their financing needs. It is a competitive Program – winning projects will be those that use CEFIA’s ratepayer funds most efficiently, with priority given to requests for financing, as opposed to outright grants. Projects approved for incentives in the first round, which closed on June 1, 2012, included two schools, an industrial plant, a food market and a waterfront resort.

Following this second round of applications, which closes on August 24, there will be two more solicitations, which are expected to close in October and late November. Currently, $450,000 is available for round 2, $900,000 has been allocated for round 3, and $575,000 for round four. All projects under this program must be completed by June 30, 2013.

Bryan Garcia, CEFIA President stated, “We are pleased to offer this “hybrid” incentive program to help ease the transition of the solar industry from subsidy-based incentives to a sustainable model based on financing alone. Solar Thermal systems offer a cost-effective source of clean and efficient hot water production that can pay back the capital costs in ten years or less through the savings in fuel costs. CEFIA looks forward to continuing to work with market participants and industry stakeholders.”

Commercial building owners interested in learning more about this program opportunity or to apply should visit

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Win For Commercial Solar

via the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority
The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) is preparing to roll out a new program designed to encourage clean energy projects in commercial and industrial buildings throughout Connecticut. During a special session of the legislature June 12, action was taken to approve a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program, which will allow commercial and industrial property owners to pay for energy-related improvements to their properties using a finance program that offers low fixed rates and longer repayment periods than traditional loans. Public Act 12-2, which contains provisions for C-PACE, was signed by Governor Malloy on June 15.

“C-PACE will play a significant role in helping Connecticut become a national leader in clean energy by facilitating major energy savings for commercial and industrial properties,” said CEFIA President Bryan Garcia. “It also creates new opportunities for Connecticut banks and financial institutions to invest in local clean energy projects through a proven financing mechanism.”

“The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority looks forward to working with the Connecticut Bankers Association, Connecticut Business and Industry Association, Connecticut Conference of Municipalities, Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund, and numerous other key stakeholders to develop standards and protocols to support this statewide clean energy financing effort,” Garcia said. “C-PACE is a ‘win’ for all involved, as it will encourage and enable local institutions to invest in commercial clean energy projects and help Connecticut’s businesses stabilize their energy costs and continue to increase their competitiveness.”

Under C-PACE, the cost of an energy project may be funded by special financing arranged through CEFIA and repaid annually by the property owner through a special “benefit” assessment on their property tax bill. C-PACE spreads the cost of energy improvements over the expected life of the measures and allows the repayment obligation to transfer automatically, like other property assessments, to the next owner if the property is sold.

Benefit assessments are a safe and familiar tool of municipal finance that has been used for many projects including, street paving, water and sewer systems, and street lighting. C-PACE is a proven and effective vehicle to attract private capital into the clean energy market. Twenty-seven states and the District of Columbia have PACE enabling policy and thousands of energy projects have been funded through PACE assessments.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Good News for People Who Heat With Oil!

Last night the Connecticut General Assembly passed Senate Bill 501. This bill allows oil customers to receive $75 Energy audits through the Home Energy Solutions (H.E.S.) program. The H.E.S. program provides weather stripping, energy efficient light bulbs, aerators for faucets, low flow shower heads, insulation for copper piping and more. I decided to get an energy audit at my town home apartment even though I was only renting for 1 year. Sometimes it's not about the return on investment it's about the reduction of carbon!

For more information on the Home Energy Solutions Program visit Save Energy with Home Energy Solutions

Did you have an energy audit at your home? Share your experience with other readers in the comments section!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

The Global Market for Carbon Offsets

The Verified Carbon Standard has the bulk of the market share.
The most expensive carbon offset was the J-VER ($120/ton), from Japanese forest management.

A total of 93  MtCO2e were sold in 2011 for a total of $574 million.

The average price for Verified Emissions Reductions ( VERs) in 2011 was $6.2/tCO2e

Prices increased since 2011 due to "highly charismatic projects" e.g. Wonderbag 

Learn more in the full report by Bloomberg and Ecosystem marketplace.