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Connecticut Communities Raise Bar on Clean Energy with EPA and CT Clean Energy Fund

Release Date: 04/21/2008
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. – April 21, 2008) – What does it mean to be green? This Earth Day, one answer can be found in the Connecticut cities and towns that have committed to support renewable energy, curb energy use, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and save money through both EPA New England’s Community Energy Challenge and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund’s CT Clean Energy Communities program.

“There is a growing energy revolution in New England,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “We are pleased to be working with the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and others in Connecticut to help local communities take advantage of energy efficiency and renewables.

Communities participating in EPA’s Community Energy Challenge – including 16 in Connecticut – have pledged to assess energy use, improve energy efficiency by 10 percent or more, save money, and work to expand renewable energy choices. Nearly 3.5 million people, representing 25 percent of New England’s total population, live in the cities and towns that have signed on to the challenge.

Most of the Connecticut communities participating in the Challenge got started on the path of improved energy use through the CT Clean Energy Communities program, under which they committed to obtain 20 percent of the electricity use for municipal facilities from clean, renewable resources by the year 2010.

“Connecticut is already a national leader in its support of clean energy,” said Bob Wall, director of energy market initiatives at the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. “We now call upon every city and town in the state to join the EPA’s Community Energy Challenge, which is a great way to save the planet and save money.”

Communities across New England are working with EPA, regional utilities, non-profits, and businesses through a variety of programs to find and promote cost effective energy efficiency measures. Through the Community Energy Challenge, cities and towns can take advantage of free EPA ENERGY STAR tools and resources to assess, or benchmark, building energy use in schools, municipal buildings and/or wastewater facilities. Participants also have access to a network of organizations, professionals and funding opportunities that can help them improve energy efficiency and take advantage of renewable energy resources in their community.

"Improving energy efficiency is the first critical step to reducing greenhouse gas emissions for New England municipalities,” said Kim Lundgren Director ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability - Northeast Region. “ICLEI and EPA have been long-standing partners on driving climate protection initiatives at the local level. EPA New England's Community Energy Challenge is another complementary resource for ICLEI members, enabling local governments to identify opportunities for savings in their existing buildings.”

The New England Community Energy Challenge is a regional program of the ENERGY STAR Challenge, a nationwide campaign to improve energy efficiency in commercial and industrial buildings across the United States by 10 percent or more. Cities and towns that join the New England Community Energy Challenge sign on to be an ENERGY STAR partner, and pledge to support energy efficiency measures. Nationally, Americans, with the help of all the ENERGY STAR programs, saved $16 billion in energy costs, and prevented 40 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in 2007 alone, equivalent to the annual emissions from 27 million vehicles.

The 110 municipalities, school and water districts in the Challenge represent the diversity of New England’s cities and towns - large and small - ranging from Wales, NH (population ~380) to Boston, MA (population ~590,000). Participants in EPA’s New England Community Energy Challenge include:

Connecticut: Burlington, Canton, Colchester, Cromwell, Danbury, East Haven, East Lyme, Fairfield, Hamden, Harwinton, Norfolk, Norwalk, Portland, Ridgefield, Stamford, West Hartford

Massachusetts: Acushnet, Arlington, Billerica, Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Charles River Pollution District, Cohasset, Dartmouth, Dedham, Easton, Groton, Hanson, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lancaster, Lowell, Malden, Mansfield, Medfield, Medford, Melrose, Methuen, Milton, Needham, Newton, New Bedford, Newburyport, Northampton, Plymouth, Quincy, Salem, Sharon, Somerville, Southeastern Regional School District, Springfield, Tisbury, Wales, Waltham, Warwick, Westwood, Woburn

Maine: Berwick, Denmark, Falmouth, Kennebec Sanitary Treatment District, Kingfield, Kittery, Madison, Mechanic Falls, Stockton Springs

New Hampshire: Acworth, Alstead, Alton, Antrim, Barrington, Bedford, Brookline, Chester, Colebrook, Dover, Enfield, Fitzwilliam, Gilmanton, Hampton, Hancock, Hanover, Hillsborough, Hopkinton, Hudson, Lincoln, Manchester, Marlborough, Nashua, New Boston, Peterborough, Raymond, Rochester, Rollinsford, Sanbornton, Shelburne, Somersworth, Tuftonboro

Rhode Island: East Greenwich, North Providence, South Kingston, Warwick

Vermont: Brattleboro, Burlington, Essex Junction, Hinesburg, Putney, Richmond, S. Burlington

For more information:

- EPA’s New England
Community Energy Challenge (epa.gov/region1/eco/energy/energy-challenge.html)
- The
ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager tool (energystar.gov/index.cfm?c=evaluate_performance.bus_portfoliomanager)