Town, Eversource To Ink Deal Bringing Natural Gas to New Canaan Starting Next Year

The town’s highest elected official on Monday night said he’s poised to sign an agreement that will bring natural gas to New Canaan public buildings, businesses and some homes, signaling the introduction in earnest of a widely anticipated energy source following years of stop-and-go efforts. First Selectman Rob Mallozzi and representatives from Eversource unveiled a plan to bring a 4.7 mile “trunk line” up Route 106 from Stamford to serve New Canaan High School, South School, Saxe Middle School, the YMCA and Waveny Care Center, as well as East School, in 2018. After that, Eversource’s program manager for gas expansions, Chris Luca, told members of the Utilities Commission at their regular meeting, the company in 2019 will lay an additional five miles of lines to bring natural gas to residences along the South Avenue corridor, from Farm Road toward the downtown. Additionally, Eversource will offer natural gas to residences where it makes sense along the route to East School—the proposed route calls for a line to run down Harrison and then up Main and along Lakeview to the school. And then in 2020, the natural gas line build-out will come to the business district, Luca said.

‘A Very Positive First Step’: Utility Co. Reopens Natural Gas Talks with Town, Officials Say

Town officials said Monday night that the utility company has restarted conversations about bringing natural gas to New Canaan—a three-year-old effort that stalled and finally broke down last summer in a finger-pointing squabble between the parties. Yet Eversource has returned to the town “and said that they would like to present a new proposal and have a new discussion about bringing natural gas into New Canaan,” according to Utilities Commission Chairman Tom Tesluk. “They are very conscious that a lot of discussion took place and went nowhere last time,” Tesluk said at the commission’s regular meeting, held at Town Hall. “I think they’re sincere in bringing a proposal to the town, so we’ll just have to wait and see what they come up with. But there are some obvious advantages to being able to have natural gas in New Canaan and I think it’s safe to say that most of us would welcome it if it can be done efficiently.”

Tesluk said members of the commission and Board of Selectmen met with Eversource officials recently.

Enduring Gratitude for Howard Freeman

Last week, we lost Howard Freeman to a valiant fight against cancer—a fight that spanned several years, with diagnosis, remission, recurrence, and an aggressive and courageous treatment regimen. You would never know because he didn’t dwell on it. He was that kind of person. Howard exhibited the same kind of quiet courage when he took over as Chairman of the Utility Commission, having only served as Commissioner for a short period of time. Not really knowing all of what would be required of him, Howard leaned into the Chairmanship anyway.

First Selectman: Solarize New Canaan ‘Very Successful’

[Editor’s Note: The following press release was issued by the Office of the First Selectman of New Canaan.]

First Selectman Rob Mallozzi announced today that the Solarize New Canaan program, which began in December and will end on Earth Day, April 22, has been very successful, more than doubling the amount of solar panel kilowatts in the town from 223 kW to 483 kW. He also noted that PurePoint Energy, the Norwalk-based solar provider, had just announced that, based on 250kW of solar panels to be installed under the program, New Canaan had achieved Tier 3 maximum savings are based on the kW of the particular installation but for the average size system there would be additional bonus savings of $2,200 from the already discounted pricing. Similar savings will go to everyone that committed during the program. In addition, activities associated with the program have educated numerous residents about both solar power and energy efficiency audits. The First Selectman stated, “I was very impressed by how Solarize New Canaan involved so many different groups in looking at ways to become more energy efficient.” In that regard he wanted to thank New Canaan High School, which was the venue for the launch of the program in December, as well as the New Canaan Nature Center and the New Canaan Library for providing venues for later events.