Passion Fueled by Clean Energy
Winner Green Award 2017 for An Individual Effort: Scott Thompson
Scott Thompson has been driving an increase in energy audits, solar installations, and electric vehicles.
Photos by Nate Thompson
Scott Thompson wants you to go green as soon as possible—and start with your home: “Get a home-energy audit and look into going solar. Also, next time you are car shopping, look at electric vehicles. Going green will almost always save money, too.” Thompson’s enthusiasm for all things “clean energy” is fueled by his devotion to the Clean Energy Task Force (CETF), a group under the auspices of the Town of Fairfield that he has chaired for the past four years.
The CETF supports and encourages the Fairfield town government to “go green,” and in 2014, Thompson led the development of Fairfield’s Clean Energy Action Plan.
A native of Connecticut, Thompson was born in Stamford but moved to Fairfield with his wife and two young children in 2005. “My love of nature was fostered by my parents. We spent a lot of time camping and being outdoors,” says Thompson. “My environmentalism started to move to the next level in college through a simple act of joining the Sierra Club, which is one of the nation’s most prominent environmental organizations.”
With a civil-engineering degree from UConn and a master’s in environmental engineering from Stanford, Thompson’s expertise is vital in his day job as a registered professional engineer and vice president of Louis Berger—a $1-billion global professional-services corporation that helps clients solve complex infrastructure and development challenges. In his spare time Thompson is leading the CETF and teaching. “I am especially proud of speaking to our students in the Fairfield Public Schools,” he explains. “Last year, I gave clean-energy presentations in the elementary and high schools.” He also teaches two classes through the Fairfield Continuing Ed program: Introduction to Electric Vehicles and Going Green: Beyond Recycling.
Lately, Thompson says he is asked about what he thinks of our new presidential administration and if he is concerned about the potential policies with respect to clean energy. He says, “Although there is cause for concern with the changing political landscape, I have witnessed that the political rhetoric has mobilized people to take positive environmental actions, and I am really optimistic about the good things that can happen from this motivation level.”
Whenever you meet anyone working in the green space in Fairfield County, Thompson’s name invariably comes up. This isn’t surprising since he and his team have much success to brag about. Under Thompson’s watch, more than 2,000 Fairfield residents have gotten home-energy audits, about 350 Fairfield residents have gone solar, and Fairfield now has over 50 electric vehicles registered and over a dozen public EV charging stations. That’s just a snapshot of the work he and the CETF are doing—and these successes can inspire other towns to follow his lead.
What can we expect from Thompson and the Clean Energy Task Force going forward? “We are developing a sustainability plan, which will address all aspects of going green, above and beyond clean energy,” says Thompson. Also on the agenda are solar carport proposals for the two town high schools, a clean-energy tour, and a plan for a new residential solar program.
What keeps Thompson motivated? “My passion for environmental causes is driven by a deep belief that I am here on this earth to serve and to be a steward of the earth for future generations.”
Note: 2,000 town residents have gotten home-energy audits and 350 have gone solar