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Old Saybrook-based Stencil Ease, the largest specialty stencil manufacturing company in the U.S., will soon generate more than 90 percent of its electricity needs from a solar photovoltaic (PV) rooftop system.
Old Saybrook participates in Connecticut’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program, which gives property owners like Stencil Ease access to financing from the Connecticut Green Bank to install energy efficiency upgrades or renewables on their buildings without upfront costs. The borrower then repays the loan through the town’s property tax billing system. Through C-PACE financing, building owners are able to feel confident that expected energy savings should exceed their energy efficiency investment and result in positive cash flow.
The Town of Old Saybrook adopted the C-PACE program in February 2013. Stencil Ease’s 15,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art laser cutting facility is the first commercial/industrial business in town to use the program. As a partner in the C-PACE program, Old Saybrook agrees to apply a voluntary assessment to the tax bills of participating property owners. The town then collects and processes the C-PACE payments to repay the financing from the Connecticut Green Bank.
“We put the C-PACE program in place to make it easier for our commercial, industrial, and multi-family property owners to install green energy technology and lower their energy costs. We hope many others follow Stencil Ease’s lead and take advantage of this opportunity,” said First Selectman Carl P. Fortuna, Jr.
“When I moved Stencil Ease to Old Saybrook in 1997, we bought our first piece of manufacturing equipment and have been vertically integrated ever since,” said Brian Greenho. “I sold the business to private equity in 2015 and the new owner group has built on the legacy of stencil manufacturing and being able to ship any of 55,000 items anywhere in the world in 24 to 48 hours. Through my commercial real estate and solar development company, Greenho Enterprises, LLC, I wanted to make an environmentally conscious decision to globally reduce overall consumption of fossil fuels.”
Stencil Ease’s cost for the project is $215,000, with an expected average annual energy cost savings of $20,000 a year. Stencil Ease is also a beneficiary of an Energy on the Line grant of $14,081, a program developed in partnership with the state’s Department of Economic and Community Development’s (DECD) Manufacturing Innovation Fund to provide Connecticut manufacturers with even greater net energy savings from a C-PACE project.
“Connecticut is home to many great manufacturers, from submarines to stencils and everything in between, and our C-PACE program is helping them reduce their energy costs,” said Mackey Dykes, vice president of Commercial and Institutional Programs at the Connecticut Green Bank. “With a lower energy burden, these businesses can focus on their products and services, while increasing their bottom line.”
Connecticut’s C-PACE program offers financing to commercial, industrial, and multifamily property owners. For more information, visit www.cpace.com.