CTGBC 2017 Draft CES Comments

On September 25th, CTGBC submitted official comments on the 2017 Draft Comprehensive Energy Strategy for the State of Connecticut. Read the comments below.

September 25, 2017

Debra Morrell
DEEP Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy
Ten Franklin Square
New Britain, CT 06051

RE: CTGBC Comments on Draft 2017 Comprehensive Energy Strategy

The Connecticut Green Building Council (CTGBC) is pleased to provide these comments on the draft 2017 Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). The Draft CES was issued on July 26, 2017 with a public comment period that extends through September 25, 2017.

The CTGBC is a Connecticut 501(c)(3) that is affiliated with the United States Green Building Council, an organization committed to a sustainable and prosperous future. CTGBC’s members represent diverse, small and large businesses working in sustainable design: energy efficiency and clean energy installations and new construction of high performance buildings and sustainable sites, green infrastructure and living shorelines. Our members and their employers create and retain well-paying jobs that benefit Connecticut’s economy and communities.

We are committed to transforming the way our buildings are designed, constructed and operated through LEED™ — the top third-party verification system for sustainable structures, landscapes and neighborhoods around the world. There are over 2,000 LEED Accredited Professionals and Green Associates working in Connecticut and 634 projects in Connecticut (representing nearly 60 million gross square feet) that have been LEED certified or registered. Throughout the year, CTGBC holds a series of workshops on green building topics, networking opportunities, membership meetings, educational forums, seminars on green buildings and periodic Connecticut based LEED training in conjunction with the US Green Building Council.

Since the CTGBC is focused on greening the built environment, we are pleased to see that one of the focus areas in the Draft CES is to “Prioritize energy savings as both a financial and energy resource” as well as to “Improve the performance and productivity of buildings and industrial processes.” We appreciate the focus on this section of the CES on improving energy consumption and production of clean energy in Connecticut’s homes and businesses. There are significant remaining opportunities for increased adoption of energy efficient equipment and practices, and new technologies expand that potential almost daily. We applaud the Connecticut DEEP for making energy-efficient buildings a key component of Connecticut's energy policy.

Having energy efficient buildings is a worthy and important goal, however there is much more sustainability potential in the built environment than just energy efficient buildings. CTGBC envisions a future Connecticut where communities are livable and resilient, comprised of sustainable and attractive buildings that are healthy to live in and tied to each other through resilient and green infrastructure that provides a high quality of life with lower energy and water consumption. Through resources such as LEED, and new emerging standards like WELL and the Living Building Challenge, we can advance these goals. LEED is particularly well placed to become the standard practice in new buildings since 2.2 million square feet of buildings are certified daily as complying with LEED requirements. CTGBC would suggest looking to these existing and emerging standards to enable the State of Connecticut to meet the goals set out in the CES.

CTGBC would welcome becoming a part of Connecticut’s energy future. We stand ready to assist DEEP in implementing a more aggressive sustainable future to provide livable communities for Connecticut’s citizens to live, work and play in. We see this future within our grasp, and look forward to engaging DEEP and other like-minded stakeholders in advancing policies to make this vision a reality.

Ross G. Spiegel
CTGBC Advocacy Committee

Patrick McDonnell
CTGBC Advocacy

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GBCI Introduces TRUE Zero Waste Rating System

Read the article on the USGBC newsroom website.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (September 7, 2017) – Today, Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI), the premier organization independently recognizing excellence in green business industry performance and practice globally, unveiled TRUE (Total Resource Use and Efficiency), the new brand identity for its zero waste rating system. The TRUE Zero Waste rating system helps businesses and facilities define, pursue and achieve their zero waste goals through project certification and professional credentialing.

According to the EPA, the average American generates 4.4 pounds of trash each day. TRUE is a whole systems approach that helps organizations understand how materials flow through their facilities and identify redesign opportunities so that all products are reused. TRUE-certified projects meet a minimum of 90 percent waste diversion for 12 months from landfills, incinerators (waste-to-energy) or the environment. TRUE is administered by GBCI and serves as a complement to the LEED green building rating system created by the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC).

"By driving the adoption of green practices at all levels of business, we significantly impact greenhouse gases, manage risk and improve the health and wellbeing of employees and the community,” said Mahesh Ramanujam, president and CEO, USGBC and GBCI. "By closing the loop on waste, organizations can become more resource efficient, discover potential new revenue streams and save money. TRUE delivers the business case for addressing waste.”

Currently, there are 88 TRUE-certified facilities around the world. TRUE focuses on helping businesses, industrial sectors and schools quantify their performance and find additional ways to move toward zero waste. Microsoft, Tesla, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co., Nature’s Path, Earth Friendly Products, Raytheon, Cintas and Northrop Grumman, among others, have facilities certified under the program. The TRUE Zero Waste certification, previously administered by the U.S. Zero Waste Business Council, was acquired by GBCI in 2016.

“Our goal is to help develop a zero waste economy for all that delivers financial, environmental and social benefits,” said Stephanie Barger, director, TRUE Zero Waste program. “The TRUE team is working with organizations across industries to help set benchmarks, track performance, educate employees and deliver innovative solutions that move them closer to zero waste.”

GBCI rating systems, like TRUE and LEED, are committed to driving the adoption of green business practices that foster global competitiveness and enhance environmental performance and human health benefits. From waste to responsible land development to sustainable power systems, GBCI rating systems work across all sectors, applying rigorous standards that verify performance and encourage sustainable practices that are economically, environmentally and socially responsible.

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3rd Annual Change Makers Awards with Stamford 2030

Join local building owners and community leaders on September 13th at one of Stamford’s newest buildings for this year’s Change Makers Awards with The Stamford 2030 District of The Business Council of Fairfield County. This annual reception recognizes outstanding local projects and celebrates members of Stamford 2030, one of 17 districts across the nation advancing resource efficiency and strengthening the local economy.

Register for the event here.

Founded on the premise of creating more environmentally, socially and economically resilient cities, keynote speaker Jonathan R.F. Rose, launched Jonathan Rose Companies LLC in 1989 as a multi-disciplinary real estate development, planning, and investment firm, which creates real estate and planning models to address the challenges of the 21st century. Since 2009 JRCos has developed nearly 350,000sf in Stamford, comprised of 231 green mixed-income units, forwarding their mission to develop communities that enhance opportunity for all.

This past year Jonathan Rose published The Well-Tempered City: What Modern Science, Ancient Civilizations and Human Behavior Teach Us About the Future of Urban Life, which won the 2017 PROSE Award for Outstanding Scholarly Work by a Trade Publisher. This new book focuses on how cities can prepare for the future by aspiring to principles around resilience, equity and developing stronger connections between the natural and built environment.

The 2017 Change Makers Awards will be held at the never before seen Metro Green Terrace, the third stage and largest project (235,561sf) of the Jonathan Rose Companies award-winning Metro Green Residential development. Just completed this summer, Metro Green Terrace consists of 131 mixed-use apartment units and is built to LEED New Construction “Gold” standard.

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Connecticut to Issue Grants for Microgrid Energy Projects

The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is making funds available for a new round of microgrid projects that generate power for facilities such as hospitals and wastewater treatment facilities.

DEEP will accept applications for the program, which provides matching funds and/or low-interest loans, beginning Sept. 1 until Jan. 1.

The microgrid initiative was developed in 2012. It stems from a recommendation from the Governor's Two Storm Panel, a group formed after two major storms that caused widespread electricity outages for long periods of time. DEEP has so far issued $20.5 million in grants for 10 projects. To date, six microgrids are operational and four are under construction.

DEEP Commissioner Robert Klee says microgrids are crucial to making the state's electrical supply more resilient and reliable.

Read the story from NBC Connecticut.

Click here for more information on CT DEEP's microgrid grants.

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