HARTFORD — The chairman of the Democratic Governors Association visited an Earle Street construction site on Monday with gubernatorial candidate and fellow Democrat Dan Malloy, who the chairman hopes will be Connecticut’s first Democratic governor in 24 years.
The chairman — Delaware Gov. Jack Markell — was on hand to tour the site of an energy-efficient housing project. He said the Democratic Governors Association not only sees the Connecticut Governor’s office as winnable, but they also anticipate a Malloy victory on Nov. 2.
“My sense is the people of Connecticut are ready for a change. We like the way this campaign is shaping up for us,” Markell said of Malloy’s race against his Republican opponent, Tom Foley. “The chances look good but our message to Dan’s supporters is: take nothing for granted.”
Malloy and Markell drew similarities between Connecticut’s troubled economy and the situation in Delaware when Markell took office in 2009.
He pointed to some of Delaware’s recent success stories, including a large refinery and two automobile plants that had closed but have since been given “a new lease on life.”
“I know the real deal when I see it when it comes to jobs and Dan Malloy is the real deal,” Markell said.
The construction site they toured employs between 60 and 70 people, according building contractor Bill Lennon. When it’s completed, the site will have three net-zero energy homes that are expected to have no energy costs for their occupants on a year round basis.
The energy savings are accomplished by a combination of energy-efficient modifications to essential home systems, according to William Crosskey, the project’s architect. The hot water will be heated by solar energy and the walls will be 13 inches thick to retain heat, Crosskey said.
While the homes are about 30 percent more expensive than a typical home of comparable size, Crosskey said they are expected to quickly pay for the additional up front costs in energy savings. He also said that the price of green technology is likely to come down as it becomes more common.
Crosskey said the new green buildings were designed by his Hartford business, Crosskey Architects, and he added that many of their components are the products of Connecticut manufacturers.
Hartford Mayor Pedro E. Segarra said the project fits the neighborhood.
“This development is in the midst of a neighborhood where much of the disposable income of the families is diverted to energy costs,” he said adding that the buildings will help the families who someday occupy them have a better quality of life.