Himes wants to create Federal Green Bank for clean energy projects

Congressman Jim Himes, who represents most of Shelton, is a co-sponsor of legislation to establish a Federal Green Bank, modeled after Connecticut’s Green Bank, to help finance the development of clean energy and energy efficiency projects.

Introduced by a number of U.S. House Democrats, the Green Bank Act of 2014 is designed to increase the use of clean energy and energy efficiency technologies by partnering with private investors to finance small-scale projects.

“The cheapest and cleanest energy is the energy we don’t use at all,” said Himes, a third-term Democrat.

“We have seen remarkable gains in the renewable and energy efficiency marketplace over the last several years, and it is important that the federal government provides incentives to allow the marketplace to continue to develop and thrive," he said.

Improving access to private capital

The Federal Green Bank would provide loans, loan guarantees, debt securitization, insurance, and other forms of financing support or risk management for qualified clean energy and energy efficiency projects.

The entity would use public dollars to draw in private investors, making it easier for new projects to acquire private capital by eliminating the upfront cost of investment, according to a release from Himes’ office.

“And by lowering the price of clean energy for consumers, the Green Bank will help the United States achieve the level of clean energy investment needed to make the United States more energy independent and abate climate change,” stated the release.

CT Green Bank was first in nation

Connecticut’s Green Bank, officially called the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), was established in 2011 to leverage public and private funds to drive investment and increase clean energy deployment in Connecticut.

The first state “Green Bank” in the nation, the CEFIA has leveraged enough funds to produce 1.8 million megawatt hours of clean energy and reduce Connecticut’s carbon footprint by 250,000 tons, according to the release from Himes.

“Last year alone, investments made by CEFIA resulted in 1,200 jobs created and energy savings equivalent to taking 2,500 cars off the road,” the release claimed.

Shelton is in two congressional districts

The city of Shelton is divided between two congressional districts.

U.S. Rep. Jim Himes lives in Greenwich and was first elected to Congress in 2008. He represents the Fourth District, which includes most of Fairfield County.

U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro lives in New Haven and was first elected to Congress in 1990. Also a Democrat, DeLauro represents the Third District, which is centered in New Haven County.