Clean energy and conservation are paramount issues to the Town of Fairfield which has championed and supported dozens of initiatives to promote environmental health in a fiscally-responsible manner. Fairfield is committed to becoming a "Clean Energy Community" and to use 20 percent clean, renewable energy by 2018. The First Selectman has signed the Clean Energy Communities pledge.
The Clean Energy Communities program is administered by the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) and the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF). By participating in this program, Fairfield has earned three solar systems from CEFIA and used one at each of the town's middle schools. The Town has also earned a $15,000 Bright Idea Grant from CEEF for an energy monitoring system for Sullivan Independence Hall. Fairfield is working to earn additional rewards for participation in clean energy programs.
Fairfield's Sustainable Fairfield Task Force (SFTF) was created to put the town on the path to using more alternative, clean, renewable energy sources and lists the following accomplishments:
- Supported energy benchmarking of Fairfield’s electricity use in town buildings as part of the goal to reduce energy use by 20% by 2018
- More than $2.4 million in avoided energy costs in Town buildings annually
- More than 2,000 Home Energy Audits completed Town-wide
- More than 340 solar photovoltaic (PV) systems installed on Fairfield homes, via Town-sponsored programs including Solarize Fairfield in 2016
- Over 30 solar PV systems installed or pending at Town facilities, including a large-scale 1 MW solar array at a former Town landfill
- The annual, educational EV Showcase in conjunction with National Drive Electric Week
- Educational outreach to Fairfield Public Schools, and energy-related educational workshops and events at community centers.
- Support for C-PACE (Connecticut Property Assessed Clean Energy), a program for commercial, industrial and multi-family property owners to access long-term financing for energy upgrades to their buildings.
- More than 900 sign-ups for the CTCleanEnergyOptions program.
- Conducted energy-related educational workshops and events at community centers.
- Supported energy benchmarking of Fairfield’s electricity use in town buildings as part of the goal to reduce energy use by 20% by 2018.
- Holding the Fairfield Energy Challenge to reach a goal of 375 home energy audits in 2014 in celebration of Fairfield’s 375th AnniversaryTown Conservation Efforts
The town also sponsors the popular Earth Day Celebration, planned by the Earth Day Committee, that features exhibitors from local residents, organizations, and businesses that are leading and supporting green initiatives laying the groundwork to create a green infrastructure in Fairfield.
In addition, The Forestry Committee promotes awareness and appreciation for the environmental, economic, and cultural value of trees in Fairfield through programs like Roots to Branches: Past, Present & Future of Fairfield's Urban Forest.
A Historical Look at Green Initiatives
- (2013) The Town of Fairfield received a $15,000 Bright Idea Grant for its participation in the statewide Clean Energy Communities (CEC) program, an Energize Connecticut initiative that incentivizes cities and towns to support energy efficiency and renewable energy.
- (2009) Fairfield is awarded an energy grant in the amount of $545,100 from the Department of Energy as part of a Federal Stimulus package. The following energy efficient projects are to be funded by this grant: 1) Purchase and installation of combined heat and power generators for Police Headquarters and the Main Library; 2) Purchase of one hybrid vehicle for town employees use; 3) a geo-thermal study to determine the feasibility of using that type of heating/cooling system at the Stratfield Elementary renovation site; and 4) a Citizen incentive program for energy efficiency and conservation.
- (2008) Fairfield has thus far earned seven free solar energy systems offered by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. Tomlinson and Ludlowe middle schools will each receive a system, Fairfield Woods already has a system in place and the remaining systems will be situated at the Eunice Postal Recreation Center. Fairfield schools and municipal buildings will be selected as sites for future solar energy systems.
- Fairfield has acquired clean energy systems, funded by state clean energy grants, that utilize fuel cell and solar photovoltaic technologies for use at its wastewater treatment facility and Fairfield Woods Middle School.
- (2006) United Illuminating and Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund give Fairfield $135,462 in recognition of energy-saving efforts in municipal buildings. Energy conservation in Fairfield schools has resulted in an additional $329,880.
- (2006) Fairfield receives a $369,999 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency for new controls in schools buses, designed to cut 90% of emissions linked to cancer and respiratory problems. Read more...
- (2005) Fairfield is the first municipality in Fairfield County to commit to the “20% by 2010 Clean Energy Campaign, which seeks to have 20% of Connecticut’s electricity come from clean energy sources (like solar and wind) by the year 2010 (the program was later expanded to include additional goals for 2018). Read more...
- (2005) Fairfield becomes one of the earliest members of “Cities for Climate Protection Campaign”, a national program to address global warming on a local level.
- (2004) Fairfield RTM passes a “Sooty Six” resolution, seeking stricter emission standards on power plant pollution.
- (2003) Fairfield begins using 15 natural gas vehicles and procures a natural gas fueling station with state grants.
- (1999) “Clean and Green” volunteer program in conjunction with Earth Week was initiated to orchestrate churches, synagogues, schools and other civic organizations in town-wide clean up and beautification.
- (1998) the Land Acquisition Commission was initiated and the town has since helped save over 600 acres of open space.
What You Can Do
Volunteer...or get more information about town programs. Please call the First Selectman’s Office at 203-256-3030 if you would like more information or are interested in joining one of our environmental committees: