Energy-efficiency upgrades \u2014 solar panels, insulated windows, better boilers, reflective roofs \u2014 should be easier to finance for commercial and multifamily buildings in Ridgefield, with the town now in the Connecticut Property Assessed Clean Energy Program. Town participation in \u201cC-PACE,\u201d as the program is usually called, was unanimously approved by special Town Meeting of about 20 Ridgefielders Feb. 21. The program allows owners of commercial property \u2014 including multifamily buildings with five or more units \u2014 to access financing through a program administered by the state-backed Connecticut Green Bank. The loans are available from the Green Bank and also a number of private lenders that participate in the program. The town tax collector\u2019s office handles the loan repayments. The Green Bank reviews planned projects to see that the projected energy savings are realistic, and the money saved can be expected to equal or exceed loan repayment costs. A few people spoke in support of the program at a public hearing that immediately preceded the Town Meeting. \u201cThere is legitimate interest from town of Ridgefield businesses,\u201d said Rob Freeman, a co-chairman of the Ridgefield Action Committee for the Environment (RACE), which had lobbied the selectmen to join C-PACE. \u201cWe are one of the businesses interested in the program,\u201d said Briggs Tobin, chief financial officer of Ridgefield Academy. \u201cWe think it\u2019s a way to reduce our carbon footprint,\u201d he said. \u201cGood for the environment, and good for business.\u201d In January, Tobin told the selectmen Ridgefield Academy was considering an energy-efficiency project in the $500,000 range, with C-PACE financing. Dwayne Escola also supported the program, which can benefit not only consumers but also providers of energy-efficiency projects. \u201cI have a solar company here in town,\u201d he said. Some concerns about C-PACE had been explored at a couple of Board of Selectmen meetings leading up to the Town Meeting. One worry was the town\u2019s role in collecting payments. But Tax Collector Jane Berendsen Hill had sent a letter to the board saying she didn\u2019t object to town participation. The night of the Town Meeting, Selectman Bob Hebert still seemed a little uneasy. \u201cSo long as we\u2019ve done our due diligence,\u201d he said. \u201cJust not 100% comfortable with the financing structure.\u201d A slight amendment to the agreement was made at the Town Meeting, to address another concern Hebert had previously raised. The wording no longer says the town \u201cshall\u201d make a good faith effort to assist the Green Bank in marketing the program, but says it may \u201cchoose\u201d to assist with marketing efforts. \u201cThe municipality didn\u2019t want to be obligated,\u201d First Selectman Rudy Marconi explained. Selectman Steve Zemo said he, like Hebert, had been skeptical at first \u2014 but he\u2019s become more comfortable with the program. \u201cOverall, when we went through all the variables, it\u2019s good for the town,\u201d Zemo said. Connecticut has had C-PACE since 2012 and 129 of Connecticut\u2019s 169 towns participate. Twenty states have similar programs \u2014 and another 13 are considering legislation.