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PACE and CT Towns Working Together for a Better Future

HeatSmart Success Story: Branford

Branford Energy Task Force

Being a coastal town, Branford is particularly susceptible to hurricanes and other extreme weather. Residents have noted that such events are increasing in frequency and intensity.  Wanting to take action to reduce the impacts of climate change, the Branford clean energy committee, approached PACE looking to better understand their town’s energy use and what could be done.  Shirley McCarthy – chair of the committee and a professor with the Yale School of Medicine, noted that “ QUOTE HERE”

The first step in the journey was to get a baseline of the entire community’s energy use. The model, which PACE had been developing for a number of years, showed that …  The Branford team quickly realized that one of the ways that they could make a big impact was to work towards reducing building emissions. Not too much later PACE initiated HeatSmart, an outreach and education program designed to promote heat pumps. Branford was the first town that came to mind to pilot this program. They had done the background reviewing the energy model, created a town energy plan, had already done a Solarize campaign, were highly-motivated to make change, and had a very supportive first selectman in Republican Jamie Cosgrove.  In fact, it was Cosgrove’s idea to include energy efficiency services into the program. “ QUOTE HERE   “

Energy Plan Success Story: Avon

Avon Connecticut is a small town in central Connecticut and has been active in clean energy and energy conservation efforts for decades. They have an active clean energy commission that helps the town, residents, and businesses become more energy efficient and adopt clean energy resources.

 

In the past they’ve hired energy consultants to create an energy plan for Avon’s Schools and Town operations. When it came time to develop a new energy plan Carrie Lenarcic Firestone, Chair of the Avon Clean Energy Task Force and Grace Tiezzi, assistant town manager decided to develop the plan themselves and to expand the plan’s scope to encompass the entire Avon community.

 

Carrie and Grace asked PACE to develop an energy model for Avon as a foundation for the plan. Thus started a partnership project that extended for over a year as the model was incorporated into a plan narrative. PACE has several template planning models available for towns which Avon used to create its own plan community wide plan.

Outreach Success Story: Powersmart and PACE

Energy is one of the most important issues in our lives. Yet many people do not understand how their energy choices impact the environment. For the past few years, PACE has been making a concerted effort to promote awareness of these issues through a multi-media approach. We create videos, reports, op-eds, booklets, handouts, and other materials in an effort to increase not only understanding but action.

Recently, we created a series of animated videos explaining various energy incentives available through the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), as well as state and local incentives. Simultaneously, we developed a series of seven 8-page booklets that discuss different aspects of solar in Connecticut. The booklets were produced with the intent of informing legislators about solar issues but also the general public.

It turns out that these materials were of interest to the SmartPower team which is currently running the PowerSmart campaign to promote battery storage in the state. They approached us to ask if they could use the Battery Storage Incentives video during their presentations. We were happy to work with them and even add their branding to the video. Solar and storage are the perfect pairing so we provided them with sets of the solar booklets, which includes a booklet on storage.

This is one example of how PACE magnifies its efforts through collaboration with other organizations.