The first Green Bank in the U.S., the Connecticut Green Bank (CGB) is a quasi-public corporation established in 2011 as part of the Connecticut Legislature’s Public Act 11-80, an act concerning the establishment of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Planning for Connecticut’s clean energy future. The CGB was established to develop and implement strategies that bring down the cost of clean energy in order to make it more accessible and affordable to consumers in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. Its mission is to support the Connecticut Governor’s and Legislature’s energy strategy to achieve cleaner, cheaper and more reliable sources of energy while creating jobs and supporting local economic development. The state’s strategy includes an ambitious goal of achieving 20% electricity production from renewable sources by 2020. CGB is capitalized by a surcharge on electric bills, proceeds from sales of emissions allowances through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, federal competitive and non-competitive grants, and private sources. A Board of Directors, supported by administrative and professional staff, governs the CGB in conjunction with several specialized Committees.
CGB is leading the transition of low carbon, climate-resilient infrastructure finance away from only government-funded grants, rebates, and other subsidies and towards deploying increasing levels of private capital. It participates in the market by offering incentives, co-investment, credit support, warehousing, marketing and other market-based tools. Additionally, it participates in building awareness of Green Banks globally by being a leader in transparency with the public and sharing its lessons learned with other existing or potential Green Banks.
CGB offers green energy solutions to home, building and multifamily property owners, residential and commercial contractors, and even whole towns and cities. Contractors can increase their reach and value offerings by becoming a CGB-certified contractor, thus gaining access to customer financing programs and the ability to borrow working capital up to 50% of project costs for CGB program projects. CGB works with a variety of local lenders and capital providers to both spark and sustain the green energy movement across the state.
Building owners can take advantage of CGB’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program, which offers low-cost capital to fund energy efficiency and renewable energy projects that lower building operating costs. C-PACE allows building managers to pay for green energy improvements over time through a voluntary benefit assessment on their property tax bill and programs are structured so that monthly energy savings more than offset the monthly loan repayment. As of July 2016, CGB has facilitated over USD 73.6 million in closed C-PACE projects ranging from small (USD 30K) to large (over USD 8 million). As the financing model continues to demonstrate its effectiveness, CGB has reduced its own capital contribution to the program from 100% in 2013 to 44% in 2016 as private capital providers have stepped in to use the program.
In additional to C-PACE, CGB offers homeowners low-interest loans with flexible terms for energy efficiency improvements as well as a solar rebate program to lower the cost of installing a system. A new program specially designed to meet the needs of low and moderate income homeowners ensures that clean energy solutions are affordable for all.
With comprehensive annual financial reports and public meetings, CGB is a leader in tracking its progress against performance metrics and reporting them to the public. The FY15 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) indicates that as of June 30 2015, the bank had invested a total of nearly USD 166 million into projects costing a total of over USD 663 million, achieving an overall leverage ratio of 3:1. These investments have led to the creation of 3,092 direct jobs and over 5,200 indirect and induced jobs. The amount of private capital CGB raises with each public dollar of investment is growing every year. The FY15 CAFR also states that CGB has supported deployment of 134.5 MW of installed clean energy capacity that will generate over 5.1 million MWh over its lifetime. Investments will also enable almost 1.3 million MMBtu of energy savings annually and avoid 1,389,105 tons of lifetime CO2 emissions, the equivalent of taking 10,953 cars off the road or planting 16,993 acres of trees.
Last updated August 10 2016