Gov. Dannel P. Malloy today announced an innovative new pilot program designed to reduce the energy costs of women- and minority-owned business while improving energy efficiency.

Funded through major donations from CBIA members Dominion and PSEG, the program wil be administered by Operation Fuel, a non-profit founded in the mid-1970s under then Governor Ella Grasso.

“It’s been a long, cold winter in Connecticut, and I know this is welcome news to the minority and women small business owners across the state,” said Governor Malloy.

“I’d like to thank both Dominion and PSEG for their generous contributions, and I’d like to thank Operation Fuel for implementing this important and innovative program."

The pilot program will offer 1,200 small business grants of up to $1,000 each in Hartford, Bridgeport, New London, New Haven, and Waterbury.

Dominion donated $1 million to the project and PSEG donated $150,000.