New Canaan is close to opting into a program that would allow commercial property owners to access very low-interest financing for energy efficiency upgrades to their buildings.
Through the Connecticut Property Assessed Clean Energy program, building owners finance qualified improvements through a voluntary assessment on their property tax bills.
Selectman Beth Jones said Tuesday that for-profit businesses as well as nonprofit organizations.
“It is virtually a no-interest loan that you pay back, and it’s guaranteed through your property tax but it’s paid back with the savings you get from energy,” Jones said during the Board of Selectmen meeting, held in the training room at the New Canaan Police Department.
“They [C-PACE], if they can prove there are energy savings, they will back it with a no-interest loan as part of Connecticut’s effort to have clean energy and to conserve energy, and from looking at it, there is nothing to lose,” she added. “And I am hoping that next time we may also be doing the community … And I just think that with what seems to be a debacle we are facing with the natural gas situation, that it’s crazy to sit back and wait for that to work out if we can find energy savings in the meantime in other ways.”
The board voted unanimously to recommend that the Town Council enter into a C-PACE agreement. New Canaan would be the 85th Connecticut municipality to do so, according to C-PACE. Others that have done so include Darien, Fairfield, Greenwich and Wilton. New Canaan’s agreement would cover businesses and nonprofits—not private residences or town buildings.
First Selectman Rob Mallozzi credited members of the Utilities and Conservation Commissions—JoAnne Kennedy and Mark Robbins, specifically—for bringing the C-PACE idea to the selectmen. The town’s tax collector and assessor each were looped in so that New Canaan could update its backend coding for commercial property owners to take advantage of the program. “It’s something that we should be supporting,” Mallozzi said.