The innkeepers of The West Lane Inn in Ridgefield, CT, with the Connecticut Green Bank, have announced the completion of a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) financed energy efficiency project at their 1840s inn. This energy improvement project replaced an old oil-burning heat system with a new heat pump system designed to handle the heating and cooling needs of the 17-room historic property.
The innkeepers, Christine Carnicelli and Danille Petrie, purchased the inn in the Fall of 2019 and are working hard to balance the colonial charm of the 1840s building with the need for modern amenities. As they are making cosmetic changes to the inn, they realized an upgrade was needed on their boiler.
Said Carnicelli, “When guests come to stay at our inn, we want them to have the most relaxing, cozy experience possible. By adding a new heat pump system, we are able to keep rooms comfortable all year long. The new system is also more energy efficient, and better for the environment, which fits with Ridgefield’s country surroundings.”
Eastern Mechanical Services, Inc. of Danbury, CT, an HVAC contractor serving Fairfield County since 1985, installed the new equipment. The balance of the project cost, after utility incentives and owner equity, will be paid off over 10 years through the C-PACE assessment. This allows the owners to reap the energy saving benefits immediately while paying for the energy improvement over time. While the heat pumps will increase electricity usage, the system is replacing a more expensive oil system, which creates an overall energy cost savings that could exceed the project cost over the estimated useful life of the new equipment.
“We are always excited when a new type of property, in this case a boutique inn, takes advantage of C-PACE to improve their energy efficiency. This is also a great example of progress toward the State’s goal of electrifying buildings,” said Mackey Dykes, vice president of financing programs at the Connecticut Green Bank. “Commercial properties of all sizes should look at their HVAC systems for opportunities to unlock savings.”
The Connecticut Green Bank was established by the Connecticut General Assembly in 2011 as the nation’s first green bank. The Green Bank’s mission is to confront climate change and provide society a healthier, more prosperous future by increasing and accelerating the flow of private capital into markets that energize the green economy. This is accomplished by leveraging limited public resources to scale-up and mobilize private capital investment into Connecticut.
While COVID-19 created new challenges for the innkeepers in 2020, they are hopeful about the future. “We know that people are anxious to start travelling again and enjoying communities like Ridgefield. Our inn is ready to accommodate their stays and their events, especially in warmer months,” said Petrie. “Our new heat pumps also provide air conditioning!”
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