Herbst: Town committed to clean energy

A solar panel installation on the Agriscience Biotechnology Center at Trumbull High is part of the town’s commitment to clean energy, according to First Selectman Timothy Herbst.

A 3.12 kW solar photovoltaic array was installed at the Agriscience Biotechnology Center at the high school, with the system visible to students throughout this past school year. The system, installed by Ross Solar Group, not only generates clean, renewable energy for the facility, according to a release from Herbst, but it is also providing students with a practical example of alternative energy use. Solar, as well as other energy sources, are part of the curriculum in physical science classes at Trumbull High.

“The solar panels at the Agriscience Biotechnology Center serve as a reminder that our community is a leader in deploying and supporting clean energy initiatives,” Herbst said. “I encourage all of our residents to follow the example set by our municipality in pursuing a smaller carbon footprint, and to use energy resources in a responsible manner. We hope the solar array can be used to educate and inspire not only our students, but all of Trumbull’s residents and business owners, to make smart energy decisions.”

Last summer, Herbst reaffirmed the municipality’s commitment to energy efficiency and renewable energy when he signed a pledge that made Trumbull a part of the expanded Clean Energy Communities program. Trumbull had joined the original Clean Energy Communities in 2005.

Under the expanded Clean Energy Communities program, Trumbull pledged to reduce municipal building energy consumption by 20% by 2018, and to voluntarily purchase 20% of its municipal electrical needs from renewable sources by 2018. Trumbull was one of the first municipalities in the state to indicate support for the expanded communities program, but is now joined by a growing list of over 60 Connecticut municipalities. The Clean Energy Communities program is an Energize Connecticut initiative, administered jointly by the Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority (CEFIA) and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF).

The solar panel system at the school was funded by CEFIA as an incentive for Trumbull’s performance in the Clean Energy Communities program. Residents and businesses in Trumbull can support the Clean Energy Communities initiative by taking advantage of the many energy-saving and renewable energy programs available through the Energize Connecticut initiative.

Through participation in energy-saving and renewable energy programs, Trumbull may earn points towards rewards. For example, when residents or businesses in Trumbull sign up for the Home Energy Solutions (HES) program or take other energy efficiency measures, they earn points for the town. For every 100 points earned for energy-saving measures, the town can earn a “Bright Idea Grant” from CEEF.

Likewise, Trumbull earns points when residents support renewable energy initiatives, such as installing a solar photovoltaic system at their residence or using CEFIA financing products to undertake energy upgrades. Those points may be redeemed by the municipality for clean energy systems, or other rewards from CEFIA, to be placed on town buildings, such as a school.