Sustainable Westport Achievements
2019 Solar installations to date
- Post Road Fire Station – 2007
- Staples High School – demonstration project (2009)
- Saugatuck Train Station – 2012
- Longshore Golf Course – 2013
- Department of Public Works – 2014
- Coleytown Fire House – 2016
- Coleytown Elementary School – 2019
- Staples High School – 2019
- Westport Library – 2019
- Staples High School (in progress)
- Center for Senior Activities (in progress)
- Bedford Middle School (in progress)
2019 Supported the RTM-led initiative to ban single-use plastics and Styrofoam at food-service businesses, transitioning them to compostable and recyclable alternatives.
2019 Awarded an additional 3MWs of off-site solar capacity, with expected construction 2020
2019 Designed and produced the Town’s first reusable Zero Waste Kits which debuted at the Westport Maker Faire event, and resulted in 113 pounds of trash being diverted from the incinerator, and many residents being trained in proper waste disposal techniques.
2019 – The “Green Task Force” becomes Sustainable Westport reflecting its evolution as Westport’s comprehensive sustainability ADVISORY body to support the Town’s goal of Net-Zero by 2050.
2018 – an additional 1MW of off-site solar approved under the state VNM program and currently under construction.
2018 – Launched the Westport Green Building Award program to celebrate and recognize outstanding achievements in sustainable building and design that advance Westport’s future as a Net Zero community.
2018 – Became one of the first Connecticut municipalities to achieve bronze certification as a SustainableCT community. In its application for Sustainable CT certification, the Town of Westport demonstrated significant achievements in actions in nine sustainable impact areas ranging from thriving local economies and vibrant arts and culture to clean transportation and diverse housing.
2018 – Hosted an Environmental Debate at Earthplace for candidates running for office
2018 – Climate Action Plan (CAP) Framework prepared through work with graduate students at Columbia University’s Earth Institute.
2017 – 1st CT Town to include an emissions goal (Net-Zero by 2050) in its Plan of Conservation and Development.
2017 – The Net Zero by 2050 resolution was passed by the Westport RTM: Be it resolved that the Town of Westport shall commit to using its best efforts to continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement and become a Net Zero community by the year 2050, where the community has reduced its impacts across energy, water and waste so that they are sustainably managed, using approaches that are economically viable, of social benefit, and environmentally responsible.
2017 – 1MW of off-site (Virtual Net Metering – VNM) solar becomes operational for the Town’s benefit
2016 – 2 EV chargers were installed at Staples High School, and 2 at the library. The GTF facilitated the DEEP grants that paid for these installations. In addition, seven level 2 chargers were installed at the Lot 1 Railroad parking Lot when it was reconstructed in 2016.
2016-19? – Westport engages in an Energy Performance Contract to improve performance, lower operating costs, and lessen the environmental impact of Town and School facilities. (Pete R: are these dates correct? If not, please update.)
2015 – The First Selectman endorses the Task Force’s goal to be Net-Zero by 2050 and makes it Town policy.
2014 – The Environmental Learning Series began in June, 2014 as a collaboration between the Westport Green Task Force, now Sustainable Westport, and Earthplace. The series objective is to share with the community important issues affecting our environment, and have informed discussions that prepare us to make smart choices that protect natural resources for future generations. The three-part format includes: a feature presentations or shared experience, panel discussions and Q&A, and examples of local actions that can result in more sustainable solutions.
2014 – Energy Efficiency Thermal Imaging Program: utilized town-wide thermal imaging to inform Westporters about their building’s heat loss and engage residents in energy efficiency and a solar group purchase program.
2014 –EV Chargers installed at Town Hall
2013 – The Town was one of 9 to be written up as a model for US Congress for innovative and effective policies and programs that enhanced their community, both economically and environmentally. Click here for more information.
2012 – Partook in Solarize CT pilot program (Solarize Westport), a program that more than doubled, and almost tripled our residential solar install base in town, at a price that was 30% less than average in the state at that time. With 58 homes having signed up for a total of 382 kW of solar PV during the 4 month program, there will be a reduction of over 6.6 million pounds of C02 over 20 years.
2011-2013 – Westport wins Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge/Westport Home Energy Challenge. Over 15% of homes have been weatherized since initiating this project, reducing their annual energy expenditures by on average 8-10% . Westport was first among 14 towns participating in this DOE grant, and had greater participation than the other top 4 towns, combined. Translated to carbon dioxide savings, there will be a reduction of over 44 million pounds of C02 over 20 years.
2010 – Passed a resolution to have sustainability be considered in all municipal capital projects. “The GTF recommends that the Town of Westport and the Westport School System consider sustainability when making capital improvements for the purpose of meeting the objectives of the Town Plan and making Westport an environmentally responsible leader among local municipalities, and specifically recommends investigating implementation of solar PV at Staples High School and cogeneration at Long Lots Elementary School.”
2009 – Adopts new mission that extends beyond energy and changes its name to “Green Task Force” to reflect the change.
2009 – Initiated a public outreach campaign to sign up homes for clean energy and helped fund a small solar installation at Staples High School.
2009 – Helped institute a text amendment to the Town zoning regulations to facilitate the permitting of roof mounted solar PV.
2009 – Aided in Westport’s adoption of a ban on point of sale plastic bags and which has lead to the widespread adoption of reusable bags.
2008 – Installed the first electric vehicle charger at a train station in Connecticut.
2008 – Benchmarking of Town facilities begins
2007 – Completed an ICLEI based assessment of the Town’s carbon footprint. Presented a report with the GETF’s finding and recommends to the First Selectman.
2006 – The “Green Energy Task Force” was appointed by the First Selectman with a charge to measure Westport’s carbon footprint.