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South Central Connecticut’s tap water will soon be “greener” than ever before. To provide high-quality water to its 430,000 customers in South Central Connecticut, the Regional Water Authority (RWA) preserves and protects more than 27,000 acres of watershed land. Today, the company announced that it has signed a contract that will allow it to be completely powered by green, renewable energy starting December 2019, without increasing energy costs over what the RWA pays today.
“The health of our environment is critical to the quality of our water and the health of our customers,” said Larry Bingaman, President and CEO of the RWA. “As the RWA celebrates its 170th year serving the people of South Central Connecticut, we have recommitted ourselves to environmental stewardship. Beginning December 2019, and for the four years following, the RWA will run on green, renewable energy. We are proud to announce this next critical step in our transformation from a traditional water utility into a 21st-century environmental services company.”
The RWA reached an agreement with Constellation Energy to achieve 100 percent renewable energy. The RWA will purchase renewable energy certificates (RECs) from Constellation Energy. The RECs certify that all energy used by the RWA will be matched with energy generation from wind, solar or other renewable sources in order to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.
For every unit of renewable energy produced, an equivalent number of RECs is produced. The RWA will purchase from Constellation Energy the number of RECs equivalent to every unit of its energy consumption, ensuring that the energy the company uses is sourced from renewables. By relying on renewable energy to power the RWA, the company will reduce its overall carbon footprint while also supporting the continued production of green energy in the region.
The announcement that the RWA will be powered by green energy comes in addition to several other “green” initiatives adopted by the company in the past year. In July, the RWA announced that it issued its first “Green Bonds,” which provide investors with the opportunity to invest in bonds that are targeted to support environmentally beneficial projects, including sustainable water management and drinking water infrastructure upgrades. The RWA also hired its first Invasive Species Management Technician, who identifies and eliminates the spread of invasive plants on the RWA’s more than 27,000 acres of watershed land. He and the RWA’s Forester have also worked with other organizations in Connecticut to further research on invasive species management. The RWA also recently helped form the South Central Regional Land Conservation Alliance, an organization made of representatives from local land trust organizations that are working together to better protect natural lands in South Central Connecticut. With these initiatives and more, the RWA has furthered its transformation from a traditional water utility into a 21st-century environmental services company.