PLAINVILLE — U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty on Monday highlighted clean energy investments by Crowley Ford as part of the state’s Green Bank program.

“It’s been very exciting,” said Ken Crowley, of Crowley Auto Group.

In the past six years, the Connecticut Green Bank has financed more than 18,000 projects to help businesses lower energy costs and reduce their carbon footprints.

“There’s a lot of interest,” said Esty, during a visit to Crowley Ford.

Solar panels on the roof of the New Britain Avenue dealership were financed by the Green Bank’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) Program. Crowley said the solar panels are already paying for themselves with reduced energy costs.

The dealership has also added LED lights and charging stations for electric vehicles

“We’re trying to look at how to build out alternative fuel infrastructures,” Esty said.

Last month, Esty and U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy introduced the Green Bank Act to create a national Green Bank to help support regional, state, and municipal green bank programs.

Esty said the bill was especially important given President Trump’s recent withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement.

“We want to keep being a leader,” Esty said of the state’s efforts. “We want to share those benefits more broadly.”

Bryan Garcia, president and CEO of Connecticut Green Bank, said it is common now to see homes with solar panels, but businesses also need to be involved.

“It’s the government and businesses partnering together,” he said.

Esty said federal legislation would make it easier for businesses to invest in sustainable energy options.

“The U.S. needs to reclaim leadership,” she said of the initiative. “We want to spread this across the country.”

If the bill passes, the National Green Bank would potentially provide $50 billion to qualified businesses, who would in turn provide at least 20 percent in matching funds. 203-317-2448 Twitter: @KusReporter

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