Portland Clean Energy Timeline
March 2004 – Citizens petition Board Of Selectmen for Clean Energy. The Board unanimously passes a resolution endorsing research into the 20% by 2010 Clean Energy Campaign.
November 2004 – BOS becomes the 2nd town (New Haven was the first) to committing Portland to the 20% by 2010 Clean Energy Campaign, unanimously passing the resolution.
March 2005 – Portland Clean Energy Task Force formed, and meets officially for the first time on April 6, 2005.
April 2005 – The DPUC (Dept of Public Utility Control) approved CT Clean Energy Options program lets any ratepayer support clean energy systems to account for the electricity they use.
September 2005 – Portland becomes the 1st municipality buy clean energy through CT Clean Energy Options when the BOS unanimously votes to contract with Sterling Planet, a clean energy supplier.
November 2005 – Portland Clean Energy Task Force presents to the Portland Board of Education the idea for a 100 Kilowatt solar array for a school building. Using a power purchase agreement, there would be no costs to Portland, and the town would buy electricity from the array at a reduced rate, saving money while reducing harmful emissions. The BOE opts not to go forward with the proposal.
May 2006 – With its 87th sign up, Portland achieves a 2.5% per capita CT Clean Energy Options program sign up rate. This will earn the town a free 1 Kilowatt solar photovoltaic panel as soon as Portland becomes a Clean Energy Community.
June 2006 – 126 Portland residents and businesses enroll (resulting in 110 points) with the CT Clean Energy Options program. By getting 100 points worth of sign ups, Portland achieves the status as a “Clean Energy Community” and thus earns a free solar photovoltaic panel. The free panel comes as an incentive from the CT Clean Energy Fund.
Also, the Portland Clean Energy Task Force receives from the CT Clean Energy Fund $5000 to disseminate as ‘Community Innovations’ grants to local groups to promote clean energy activities and enrollments in the CT Clean Energy Options program.
August 2006 - Portland Boy Scout Troop 2 receives first Community Innovations grant and staffs clean energy tables at the Browstone Quarry Festival in September and the Portland Fair in October.
October 2006 – Portland Clean Energy Task Force releases “The Case For Clean Energy” a 15 minute video detailing how clean energy has the potential to address essentially all the challenges facing our current fossil fuel and nuclear based energy system.
October 2006 – Bauer/Schnurman house uses CT Clean Energy Fund 50% rebate to install solar photovoltaic (PV) array. Price per watt of installed solar: $8.52.
October 2006 – Dozens more clean energy sign ups place Portland just over 4% per capita enrolled in the CT Clean Energy Options
November 2006 – Solar Consultant advises town on possible sites for solar array. The Portland Library, Fire House #2, Valley View School and the Buck/Foreman building all get assessed for solar.
November 2006 – Official tally of Portland’s CT Clean Energy Option enrollees reaches 169, giving the town 142.5 points and a 4.79% per capita sign up rate.
December 2006 – Official tally of Portland’s CT Clean Energy Options enrollees reaches 212, giving the town 184.5 points and a 6% per capita sign up rate. Passing the 5% mark earns Portland another array, and reaching the 5% mark first (along with Bethany, CT) earns Portland a 2 Kilowatt bonus.
February 2007 – CCEF (CT Clean Energy Fund) approved solar installers visit Valley View to prepare estimates for a 5 Kilowatt solar array.
April 2007 – Portland Clean Energy Task Force hosts free showing of “An Inconvenient Truth” with over 60 in attendance. Colin Bennett of Clean Water Action speaks afterward.
June 2007 – Portland Clean Energy Task Force hosts four CCEF approved installers (Akeena Solar, Solar Wrights, Solar Works, and PVSquared). Over 80 in attendance.
August 2007 – Portland Clean Energy Sign Up points climb to 201, qualifying the town for an additional 1 kilowatt of solar panels.
September 2007 – Portland Clean Energy Task Force at the Brownstone Quarry Festival host a Hybrid car show-and-tell.
September 2007 – Portland Clean Energy Task Force at the Portland Fair with CT approved solar photovoltaic (PV) installer Solar Wrights.
November 2007 – Portland BOS unanimously approves first of its kind 'hybrid' photovoltaic installation for Valley View School. Using the free five kilowatts (Kw) of PV earned through the Clean Energy Communities program, the town elects to take advantage the CT Clean Energy Fund 50% PV Rebate program to install another 5 Kw of PV. The $83,000 total value of the system requires an outlay of just $14,000, with an estimated payback period of 5.5 years.
December 2007 – Portland Clean Energy Task Force hosts geothermal installer Siverio Mechanical at Portland Library.
December 2007 – Rooney house uses CT Clean Energy Fund 50% rebate to install solar (PV) array. Price per watt of installed solar: $8.35
January 2008 – Portland's clean energy sign ups pass 240 for a 7% per capita sign up rate.
May 2008 – Precision Plastics becomes the first Portland business to use the CT Clean Energy Fund’s 50% rebate to install an 80 KW solar (PV) array.
June 2008 – Portland Clean Energy Task Force hosts two CCEF approved installers (GroSolar, Sunlight Solar). Over 80 in attendance.
July 2008 - Portland Clean Energy Task Force recommends taking the EPA Energy Efficiency Challenge which the Board of Selectmen unanimously approve.
August 2008 – AltPower (a CT CEF approved installer) begins installation of PV array on Valley View school.
September 2008 – Portland Clean Energy Task Force at the Brownstone Quarry Festival unveils CT Solar Lease program that gets residents a PV system on their house for no increase in electricity bills (lease payments are subtracted from utility bill).
October 2008 – Bransfield house installs solar (PV) array.
November 2008 – Valley View receives final OK from CL&P and starts to provide energy to the school. At maximum output, the array will power 50 computers.
March 2009 - Portland Clean Energy Task Force presents Energy Plan to Board of Selectmen who unanimously approve it.
June 2009 - Portland reaches 276 enrollments for the CT Clean Energy Options (a 7.6% sign up rate)
August 2009 - Portland begins 'benchmarking' energy use for town facilities in order to prioritize energy projects.
September 2009 - Portland is one of three finalists for an Energy Conservation award from the Hartford Business Journal.
September 2009 - With help from Clean Water Action and CL&P, Portland Clean Energy Task Force starts promoting Home Energy Solutions to residents. Any town residents who enroll are entered into a drawing for an Energy Star laptop computer (good till 12/31/2009). Two HES contractors, Lantern Energy and New England Conservation Services, offer to rebate back to the town's Energy Efficiency Programs account $25 for each HES done. The account will be used to fund energy efficiency measures for the community and town facilities.
October 2009 - Pear house installs solar PV array. Price per watt of installed solar: $7.11
November 2009 - Portland Clean Energy Task Force unanimously approves joining with the Community Energy Saving Project, a 14 town pilot program that seeks to use ARRA funds for energy efficiency. This will later be known as the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Efficiency Challenge. With the possibility of receiving assistance for residential energy efficiency that includes online tracking software, an energy efficiency revolving loan fund, and various other support mechanisms for activities the Task Force promotes anyway, the Task Force wholeheartedly endorses Portland’s participation in this project to the Board of Selectmen.
December 2009 - Over 70 town residents have a HES done on their homes, reducing emissions and saving money. Portland Clean Energy Task Force extends promotion to Earth Day, April 22, 2010.
January 2010 - Portland Clean Energy Task Force collaborates with Lantern Energy, New England Conservation Services, and CL&P to offer a coupon good for $50 off the $75 HES fee.
February 2010 - Portland Clean Energy Task Force partners with Sideliners, Portland School PTO's, and Portland Garden Club to help spread the word about the HES. In return, the Task Force will split the $25 bonus with them.
February 2010 - Lantern Energy and New England Conservation Services present mid-term checks totaling $1,825 to Portland's Energy Efficiency Programs account.
April 2010 – Portland Clean Energy coordinates with St. Clements Castle to host an Energy Expo.
April 2010 – Portland Clean Energy endorses PACE (Property Assessed Clean Energy) and sends a letter to Rep. O’Rourke and Senator Daily to also support PACE. This eventually passes in the state legislature.
June 2012 – Portland bids for and is selected to be one of four CT towns to pilot CEFIA’s SolarizeCT program, where each town works closely with a solar installer to promote residential installation of solar panels. The Task Force and volunteers provide outreach and grassroots support, the installer offers a lower-than-market rate (approximately $5 per watt of installed solar) for arrays.
August 2012 – Portland chooses to partner with Real Goods Solar for SolarizeCT Portland.
September 2012 - 72 People attend the public launch of SolarizeCT Portland at the Portland Public Library.
January 2013 – At the conclusion of the program, forty five residents elect to go solar with SolarizeCT Portland. Price per watt of installed solar: $3.61.
Of note: as the price for solar has dropped, so have state subsidies for solar steadily decreased. Financial institutions, seeing the remarkably solid rate of return for solar, make funding available for lease and power purchase agreement options. This enables homeowners to go solar with no money down.
April 2013 – All installations completed. In total, approximately $1,250,000 is spent by Portland residents on domestic solar energy (eg, not spent on foreign fuels) to a regional business supporting local jobs. Through SolarizeCT Portland, Portland residents who went solar collectively save over $500,000 off the installation costs by participating in this program. Each home not only drastically slashes harmful emissions like carbon dioxide but also saves money off their monthly electric bill (in some cases resulting in an annual net electric bill of close to zero).
April 2013 – The Task Force is proud to announce that to date, Portland neighbors who have had an HES and then implemented their customized recommendations (new appliances, insulation, heat pumps, etc.) have averaged individual annual savings of $1,100 and have cumulatively saved a quarter of a million dollars each year.
May 2013 – Portland Clean Energy hosts Next Step Living at the Portland Library. NSL presents on a variety of residential home energy upgrades including HES, Ductless Heat Pumps (aka TCC or Total Climate Control), and solar. Over 60 residents attend.
September 2013 – The Portland Board of Selectmen approve participation in CPACE (Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy). When a town participates in CPACE, local business are able to access funds for clean energy and energy efficiency to improve their facilities (this is for projects with a cost in excess of $100,000), reducing emissions and saving money at the same time. CPACE allows for no-money-down projects that the business then pays off in monthly installments added on to their local tax payments. Since the upgrades save money, the payments are no more than what they were paying anyway. Once fully paid for, the business enjoys the savings.
December 2013 - Portland bids for and is selected to be one of four CT towns to pilot a CEFIA Thermal Imaging program, where residents home are thermal imaged for free.
February 2014 - PortlandHasEnergy.com is launched. Through this website, residents can request the Thermal Image of their home, sign up for a HES visit, and get quotes for insulation and solar power.
March 2014 - Portland Clean Energy recognizes the Girl Scouts of Portland for their energy assessment of and advocacy for improvements to the Portland Senior Center.
March 2014 - March 2014 - Portland Clean Energy Chair Andy Bauer receives a Ralph 'Mickey' Paley Spirit of Portland for volunteerism.
April 2014 - Portland receives a $5000 Bright Ideas grant from EnergizeCT for its efforts to promote clean energy and energy efficiency. The money is for the Town to do similar projects.
June 2014 - Next Step Living canvasses Portland neighborhoods, explaining Home Energy Solutions, Solar, and Ductless Heat Pumps.
October 2014 - The Portland BOS accepts the Task Force's recommendation to have Devin Schleidt conduct energy assessments of town facilities to investigate potential savings.
November 2014 - Jen Siskind of Food & Water Watch details the negative impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for natural gas an oil. The waste from fracking is laced with carcinogens and radioactive material. The Task Force discusses how to keep those pollutants out of Portland.
March 2015 - The CT Green Bank restructures how towns can use award monies accrued through clean energy/energy efficiency progress (Portland has earned ($13,500 to date). The Task Force begins outreach to community for ideas.
June 2015 - $5000 Bright Ideas Grant used to engage Celtic Energy, an energy services companies to help analyze energy performance of some town buildings and make recommendations.
December 2015 - Task Force approves $4,500 to the Brownstone Quorum for energy efficient lighting at the Brownstone Park.
December 2015 - Task Force speaks to the Portland BOS of their findings on the threat of fracking waste coming to CT and presents a draft for a ban on this waste on Portland roads and property.
January 2016 - Portland receives a second $5000 Bright Ideas Grant.