Project Category: Municipal
Project Title: CEO Campaign
Contact: Katherine Freygang
Town: Cornwall CT
Group: Cornwall Energy Task Force (www.CornwallCTenergy.org)
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Phone: 860 672 6010

Connecticut’s Clean Energy Option is a voluntary program that allows electric utility customers to specify that the utility must buy a portion of their use (half or all) from clean sources through “Renewable Energy Credits.” Designed for simplicity, the option is available to everyone in Connecticut Light & Power or United Illuminating service territories – that is, everyone in Connecticut except municipal utility customers. The option can be purchased from either of two companies – Community Energy and 3 Degrees (doing business in CT as Northeast Clean Power), and their staffs are available to work alongside local groups to explain the program and enroll households. Town committees or partner nonprofits earn a point per signup toward CEFIA incentives such as solar panels – 100 points yields one kilowatt of photovoltaics for any public building in the community. Because it costs a little more (around 4%) the enrollment process takes some effort and skill, but it is a fabulous training process for volunteers and a good simple project for a Clean Energy Task Force. Cornwall’s early success illustrates the possibility.

Project Description: Clean Energy Options Campaign ran about 18 months to great advantages. A Clean Energy Options Campaign:

  • Represents a vote to our legislators in favor of clean energy alternatives
  • Helps earn solar panels for a public building in town
  • Establishes a commitment through the town and schools for behavioral modification towards a sustainable choices
  • Adds a surcharge to your electric bill, but by also choosing a generation company one can both cover this charge and save more by not using standard generation.

Project Volunteers: This took about six to hold information sessions, and especially show up and attend a booth at all farmers’ markets and all public events.

Project Planning: We started our town buzz and education by promoting CFL light bulbs and let that lead into the more complicated discussion of CEO. The concept is difficult to explain in open dialog without a map of where charges on your electric bill go and how electricity is purchased. People sometimes understood the benefits via altering your electric bill in two places. Mostly they understood that signing on allowed the school to have extra programming, to eventually reduce electricity use, and to exemplify better choices for living.

Project Resources: CEFIA (then the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund) supplied us with a grant for promotional materials and celebrations of our achievements. The school was very generous as a testing ground. See http://www.ctcleanenergyoptions.com/options.htm

Project Results:

  • Reduced electricity costs by 7% annually ($2100).
  • Enrolled more than 30% of our households into a clean energy model
  • Received an 8 solar panel array for the school plus an extra awarded by the EPA
  • Extra programs on Solar Energy and renewables were provided
  • A field trip to Talcott Mt. Sustainability Center was provided
  • The town is primed for future campaigns

Lessons Learned:

  • Create your own data system (excel sheet) and do verify the state’s records against yours. Keeping an independent record also assures that rebates are received.
  • Staying with one provider and establishing a contact with one registrar is essential to maintain sanity.
  • Working through the schools adds an invaluable tone and context to your work. People see it as educational, beneficial, incremental and ultimately a reliable course of action. Respect this with extra care in your programming.



Community Updates


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Calendar Highlights


HIGHLIGHTS OF CT’s FALL GATHERING of clean energy task forces can be found here in our Knowledge Center’s Program Archives pages. Diane Duva (the Director of Energy Demand at DEEP’s Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy is pictured here) facilitating the shaping of our state’s energy future.

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Clean Energy Communities Listening Session Letter of Thanks and Follow-up

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