Letter: Energy leadership lives in Wilton

To the Editors:

The approximately 200 countries that have recently pledged to Save the Planet and reduce greenhouse gas emissions (aka carbon footprint) have nothing over the town of Wilton.

Did you know that Wilton is a recognized leader in Connecticut as a Green Energy Community? And, as an early adopter, has been walking the walk for years.

That's why the Connecticut General Assembly issued a Citation of Service, and Gov. Dannel Malloy made an official proclamation, acknowledging Bruce Hampson for his leadership and volunteer contribution as chairman of Wilton’s Energy Commission.

Since 2010, Bruce Hampson, supported strongly by (now retired) First Selectman Bill Brennan, were early adopters; leading change in Wilton school and municipal buildings.

After all, energy is sourced and consumed locally. Therefore energy solutions can only be determined one school, one building, one business, and one home, at a time. It must be addressed at the local community level, and that is where Wilton stands out.

Wilton school and municipal buildings have achieved energy reduction goals through 2015, with a stated commitment to achieve a 20% energy reduction and 20% renewable energy sourcing by 2018. Wilton is on track to achieve these goals.

A few highlights enabling these reductions include a major solar installation on Wilton High School, LED lighting and insulation in several buildings, early adoption of electric car charging stations, and most recently the availability of natural gas (lower carbon footprint than oil) and installation of new efficient boilers.

However, the leadership didn't just stop with the implementation of energy strategies for the town municipalities and schools.

As of December 2015, the Wilton Energy Commission and Wilton Go Green (your local nonprofit), have driven community outreach programs that resulted in a 21% participation of Wilton residences and 12% of Wilton local businesses that implemented Home Energy solutions.

There is more to do, particularly on adding more renewable energy to our energy mix. It is with that goal in mind, that these leaders make their last "energy" mark on our town.

In the last few days of their leadership roles, Bruce Hampson and Bill Brennan sponsored a town energy solar program called Solarize TM Wilton, signing a memorandum of understanding with CT Energize and SmartPower.

Thanks to our town leadership, Wilton will have reduced energy requirements and energy costs for years to come. For our children, we can all hold our heads up high and know we are doing our share to save the planet.
Debra Thompson-Van
Peg Koellmer
Jana Bertkau
Gil Bray
Peter Wrampe
Wilton, Jan. 5