Prepared by Erin McKenna, Associate Planner, City of Stamford Land Use Bureau

The City of Stamford began working on energy efficiency measures in 1998 through a Rebuild America grant for an Energy Engineer.

In 2003, the City of Stamford prepared the "Local Action Plan: Greenhouse Gas Emission Reductions" with the assistance of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability.  A greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions inventory and forecast for the City of Stamford was conducted in 2003, establishing a baseline year of 1998 and a target year of 2018.  This inventory addresses both the community and municipal sectors.

The buildings sector represented the most significant contribution to GHG emissions, accounting for 61% of the 52,089 tons of carbon dioxide equivalents calculated to represent total municipal emissions.  To date, the city has implemented more than 70 energy efficiency projects within existing buildings and new construction for an annual savings of 13,267,800 kilowatt-hours, or approximately 19% of municipal consumption.

For innovative efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Governor Rell awarded Stamford the Connecticut Climate Change Leadership Award in May 2008.  Projects have included a Performance Contract for 20 schools, lighting, energy management systems, motors, variable frequency drives, high efficiency HVAC equipment, ice storage, daylight harvesting, computer controlling software, a 7.5 kW solar system, solar path lights, LED traffic signals, induction street lights, and more.

In addition, the City has received approximately $2,760,000 in incentives and grants through Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) since 1999 (see table for details). The community measures chosen for emissions reduction include:  Stamford Urban Transitway, construction of multi-use trails, and promotion of transit-oriented development.

Municipal Project Details

  • The City of Stamford is slated to receive $1,186,000 in Energy Block Grant money this in fall 2009, a significant portion of which will go to completing the installation of energy efficient street light fixtures, installing energy management systems in municipal buildings, and efficient lighting in schools. Four projects were chosen by committee for the funding:
    • $500,000 for conversion of the street light system to high efficiency induction or LED lighting;
    • $223,523 for a fuel cell and engine hybrid power plant at the Government Center;
    • $220,537 for school lighting retrofits at 13 schools, group relamping at 5 schools and energy management system installations at Vehicle Maintenance and Central Firehouse;
    • $123,340 for two solar powered electric vehicle charging stations downtown; and
    • $118,600 for administrative expenses for staffing
  • Two grants were received from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund for solar projects.  The design for a 171.99 kW DC solar photovoltaic (PV) system at Rippowam School received a grant for $606,822, and a 65.52 kW DC solar PV system at the Highway Department at 90 Magee Ave. received a grant for $330,440.  Both projects are also being funded by $2 million in Clean Renewable Energy Bonds.  Construction was started by Sun Edison on August 7, 2009.
  • A new 105,850 sq. ft. environmental inter-district magnet school, which will serve 660 students from pre-K through 8th grade, opens fall 2009.  The school has been designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver certification.  The design includes a green roof, solar photovoltaic panels, a wind turbine and weather conditioning with ice storage, and interior day-lighting controls.
  • For the City’s residents, in April 2009, for a fourth year in a row, Stamford held its “Earth Day” event at the Government Center.  At the event residents can purchase at a greatly reduced rates energy-efficient lighting and receive energy efficiency information through the City’s continuing partnership with the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF).  Since 1998, over 2,000 of Stamford’s residential low-income customers have received Weatherization Residential Assistance Partnership (WRAP) services through CL&P.
  • In March 2005 the City Board of Representatives approved a resolution to join the 20% by 2010 campaign.  This resolution commits the City to have 20% of its energy supply come from clean, renewable energy sources by 2010 and to create a Clean Energy Task Force to define a strategy to meet the goal (see next bullet point).
  • "Sustainable Stamford," Mayor Malloy’s task force on sustainability, was established in 2007.  In October of that year, he announced the goals of the group, including the new Energy Improvement District ordinance, clean energy campaign, solid waste and recycling goals, vehicle fleet efficiency, and green procurement.  The group proposed an ordinance requiring that all municipal buildings over 5,000 square feet achieve LEED Silver level certification, and it was adopted in June 2007.  Sustainable Stamford managed the Stamford Energy Future Expo in 2008 and a Sustainable Gardening Expo in 2009.  The group is currently working on large scale recycling projects throughout the City, including a construction waste recycling ordinance.  They are also preparing a sustainability amendment to the Master Plan.
  • The Water Pollution Control Authority (WPCA) is ready to begin design of a first-in-the-nation system to gasify processed sewage sludge to produce enough clean, renewable, carbon-free electricity to power the waste treatment facility.  The City will be able to sell any remaining energy back to the utility company.

Click here for a list of energy-efficiency projects undertaken by the City of Stamford, and the rebate from Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) and kilowatt hours saved on each project.

Community Project Details

  • Mayor Malloy’s ardent pursuit of transit-oriented development creates an active and pedestrian-friendly environment in the City’s core business center; expands the City’s walkable and lively historic center; builds new residential neighborhoods around Stamford’s branch line train stations, Glenbrook and Springdale; increases density on East Main Street; and promotes the rehabilitation and redevelopment of Stamford’s South End neighborhood, an underused industrial area with brown fields, including a proposal for a light rail line connecting the South End to the north side of downtown.
  • The Board of Representatives passed legislation creating an Energy Improvement District (EID) for the core of the City, which allows large power users, such as office and apartment buildings, to generate their own economical and energy efficient electricity.  Users in the district would remain connected to the main power grid as a backup.  The first component of the EID will be the installation of a fuel cell microgrid at the Stamford Government Center, which will increase the City’s power reliability and reduce emissions (this is the 2nd item listed above under 2009 Energy Block Grant projects).
  • The Solid Waste Department worked hard to increase recycling rates by switching to single stream recycling in July 2009, accepting a wider variety of items (including fluorescent bulbs), and conducting school tours of their facilities as part of an enhanced education program.  Each percent of total refuse diverted from our solid waste stream and recycled means approximately $73,000 in savings – 10%, a very obtainable goal, would therefore equate to $730,000 savings in taxpayer dollars.