CT Chambers Host Sen. Winfield and CT Green Bank President on Briefing Call

Green Bank says “Bring your projects, we have capital!”

Senator Winfield, (D-New Haven) co-chairs the Banking Committee, and the Energy and Technology Committee.

Here are his key messages to local chambers:

 Sen. Winfield

Sen. Winfield

  • “If Connecticut wants to stay competitive in a region that is increasingly adopting clean energy, we need better policies.”
  • “There are a lot of economic opportunities out there if we open ourselves to renewables.”
  • “Renewable energy sources tend to generate more jobs and that means more economic activity and more opportunities.”
  • “I think it’s great that the state is looking to get renewables to 40 percent, but I do think a more ambitious goal—something along the lines of 50 percent—also makes a lot of sense.”

The Senator, who is also the Deputy Majority Leader, made his comments during a February briefing call co-hosted by the two largest Local Chambers of Commerce in the state, Middlesex and Greater New Haven, in partnership with Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy.

“These issues are really important to me and to our chamber,” said Garrett Sheehan, incoming President and CEO of the Greater New Haven Chamber. “They are going to take a collaborative approach, and a key step is education, which is something calls like this provide.”

“Bring your projects, we have capital”

There is plenty of money available to finance cost-saving clean energy upgrades, said the Connecticut Green Bank’s President Bryan Garcia.

 Bryan Garcia

Bryan Garcia

“We are focused on driving and attracting more investment in clean energy because those are the foundations to economic growth and job creation,” Garcia said. One important tool for doing this is through a program known as Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy or C-PACE.

“C-PACE is an innovative and affordable way for businesses, manufacturing, and nonprofits to pay for clean energy improvements. It pays for 100 percent of the project costs with no money down,” said Garcia, adding: “It immediately increases cash flow while improving the overall value of the building.”

The Middlesex Chamber of Commerce recently teamed up with the Green Bank to bring C-PACE to its members. (Stay tuned for more information.)

“Energy is a critical issue to all our members and our Chamber, and we’re seeing C-PACE get more and more traction,” said Jeff Pugliese, Vice President of the Middlesex Chamber. 

Sen. Winfield asked Local Chambers to voice their clean energy support to their legislators, saying:

 “Chambers have a lot of influence in this building and have a lot of business owners who have influence. That influence should be used to express to legislators that clean energy funds will benefit the state of Connecticut.” He added, “It is not even a bipartisan issue, it is a nonpartisan issue.”

Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy (CICE) will continue to keep you informed as these issues move forward. If your chamber is interested in learning more about how your members can benefit from C-PACE financing, contact Jessica Bergman of CICE at Jessica@ChambersforInnovation.com.