Local Initiatives from the CT Energy Network: How Municipalities Advance Energy Efficiency and Promote Renewables

A talk by Kate Donnelly, Patrice Gillespie, Michael Harris, Dan Rabin, Mark Scully, Bob Wall and Woodie Weiss
Hampton Green Energy Committee, Clean Water Fund's CT Energy Network, Middletown’s “CHEER” program, Branford Clean Energy Ad Hoc Committee, People's Action for Clean Energy, Sustainable Fairfield Task Force and Madison Energy Committee

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About this talk

Engaging the power of a volunteer workforce: Operating in tandem with the CT Energy Network, PACE’s 100PercentCT program creates a pathway to a clean energy future. Our collaboration empowers community leaders and municipalities to be full-on partners with the State in meeting climate goals while implementing equitable energy efficiencies. It recognizes many examples of cutting-edge work at the grassroots level. Some of the projects highlighted in this session used PACE resources and others were done independently.

Five exemplary initiatives will be presented:

• Hampton’s town-wide energy survey, by Kate Donnelly

• Branford’s “HeatSmart” campaign for residential air source heat pump HVAC, by Dan Rabin

• Middletown’s “I❤️ My Home”: Weatherization for low-income households, by Michael Harris

• Fairfield’s massive solar projects plus microgrids and EV readiness, by Bob Wall

• Madison’s Library expansion and GeoExchange-based energy retrofit, by Woodie Weiss

Our healthful renewable energy future will come one town at a time. That progress is accelerated and maximized with shared thought experiments and joint planning by local volunteers who engage their communities. We use interactive tools as simple as a Google Group listserv and as complex as infusing local Plans of Conservation & Development with forward-thinking visions of sustainability to move things forward.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Envision what a healthful and renewable energy future looks like

  2. Develop locally deployable action plans to get to that future

  3. Develop programs that volunteer advocates, town staff, elected officials and community groups can collaboratively use to realize those plans

  4. Use data to benchmark progress while advocating for effective environmental policies

1 GBCI CEU (self-reported) 1 LFA CEU (pending)