Town Council Approves Clean Energy Agreement
WETHERSFIELD - Wethersfield will be implementing a new clean energy financing agreement aimed at making it easier for property owners to make environmentally-friendly upgrades to their buildings.

       The Town Council voted unanimously to approve the Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy, (C-PACE) agreement, which was introduced in Hartford last year, at its May 20 meeting.

       “There’s no public money in the deal,” said Wethersfield Town Manager Jeff Bridges during the meeting. “It’s all private.”

       The funding for clean energy projects will be fronted by a C-PACE provider through an agreement with the property owner. Funds generated from the owner’s property tax dollars will go through the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) to reimburse the C-PACE provider, according to a CEFIA presentation on the program.

       “The full amount is paid back to the lender,” Bridges said after the meeting. “The town does not determine the repayment. The repayments of the loan are assessments on the tax bill, not additional taxes.”

       CEFIA is “Connecticut’s clean energy bank,” aimed at obtaining funding for low cost clean energy projects to make environmentally-friendly strategies more affordable for customers. Lack of capital is the primary barrier preventing property owners from installing green upgrades to their buildings and businesses, according to CEFIA.

       Eligible upgrades under the agreement include lighting, HVAC systems and controls, VSDS, chillers, boilers, furnaces, hot water heating systems, water conservation, heat recovery and steam traps, and renewable energy systems, according to CEFIA.

       Part of the funding approval process is obtaining the consent of the property owner’s mortgage lender, after which the applicant and C-PACE provider can work out an agreement. The municipality, as well as CEFIA, must also agree to come on board. The additions must be permanent, and a C-PACE representative will stay on to oversee the sight, even after a change in property owners.