By: Luther Turmelle

ROCKY HILL >> State officials are preparing to celebrate the first anniversary of the program designed to help manufacturers and other businesses make energy efficiency improvements or add renewable energy improvements to their buildings.

Sixteen properties owned by about a dozen people have benefited from the launch of the Commercial and Industrial Property Assessed Clean Energy or C-PACE program launched by the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) in January 2013, David Goldberg, a spokesman for the state agency, said Friday.

CEFIA, the state agency responsible for promoting clean energy in Connecticut, will celebrate C-PACE’s first birthday belatedly with an event at the Bushnell Theater in Hartford Tuesday night.

C-PACE allows building owners to finance qualifying energy-saving and clean energy improvements through placing a voluntary assessment on their property tax bill. Property owners pay for these improvements over time through the additional charge on their property tax bill; the repayment obligation transfers automatically to the next owner if the property is sold.

“CEFIA and the State of Connecticut are excited to celebrate the first year success of C-PACE, and furthermore acknowledge the incredible partners that have contributed to this nationally recognized program,” Goldberg said Friday. “C-PACE supports Connecticut’s clean energy goals and advances economic development opportunities by providing access to affordable capital. We look forward to engaging with more and more municipalities, property owners and energy contractors throughout Connecticut.”

An additional 120 project applications have been made to join the 16 properties that are already part of the program, according to CEFIA officials.

Holding the event at the Bushnell is appropriate since the theater is one of the 16 properties that benefitted from the program. A boiler was replaced at theater using funding from C-PACE, according CEFIA officials.

The money raised by property owners through the C-PACE program can be used for things such as the installation of high-efficiency lighting, upgrades of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, boilers, furnaces and water heating systems. It can be also used to pay for energy measurement systems and renewable energy systems, such as solar and fuel cells.

Properties from more than a dozen communities will be honored at Tuesday’s event, which starts at 4 p.m. Among the projects being honored are:

• The Tru-Value Hardware store in Killingworth, where C-PACE money is being used to install a solar photovoltaic system.

• A Middletown real estate firm that is getting energy efficiency improvements and is adding a solar energy system.

• Flatiron Real Estate Advisors in Meriden, a property management company that is getting energy efficiency improvements.

The 16 properties being honored have completed or will be completing energy-saving and renewable energy projects worth more than $60 million, Goldberg said. The work done among the properties being honored also includes the installation of 1,033 kilowatts of clean energy.