The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection released its long awaited 2018 Comprehensive Energy Strategy February 8.
This is the first revision of the document since its initial release in 2013.
The driving force behind the CES continues to be integrating energy and environmental policies to achieve greenhouse gas reduction goals adopted in 2008.
While the Malloy administration continues to convey its interest in advancing "cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy" for Connecticut, cheaper seems to be a relative term.
That is because Connecticut has ranked for years as the least competitive state in the country with respect to overall energy costs.
Cheaper, therefore, seems to mean Connecticut home and business owners will face less expensive renewable technologies and energy efficiency opportunities.
For this reason, CBIA requested and successfully supported a law passed last year requiring a ratepayer impact statement for legislative proposals that would have a direct financial impact on electric ratepayers.
That requirement is not scheduled to go into effect until next year. Some see it as an impediment to Connecticut achieving its aggressive climate change goals and are calling for the new statute's repeal.
CBIA is requesting legislation this year to ensure that future strategy decisions directly confront Connecticut's energy competitiveness by requiring an analysis of our position relative to other northeastern states, and making recommendations to improve it.
Additionally, two major bills are currently under consideration by the legislature as part of efforts to implement the recently released energy strategy along with preliminary recommendations from the Governor's Council on Climate Change.
SB 9 creates a new requirement for the amount of Class 1 renewable power supplied to customers by suppliers and distribution companies. It reduces penalties for noncompliance—in recognition of the aggressive nature of the standard and the impact on costs to ratepayers.
The bill features new ratepayer charges to fund clean energy and efficiency programs, but also calls for measures to better protect these funds from sweeps.
The bill also features new ratepayer charges to fund clean energy and energy efficiency programs, but also calls for measures designed to better protect these funds from sweeps by the legislature.
SB 7 further incorporates climate change concerns into local regional and state planning documents. It also changes the current requirement for a Comprehensive Energy Strategy every three years to a Comprehensive Climate and Energy Strategy every four years.
Eight Major Strategies
The 2018 CES outlines eight major strategies for the state:
- Ensuring sustainable and equitable funding for efficiency
- Advancing market transformation of the energy efficiency industry
- Growing and sustaining renewable and zero-carbon generation in the state and region
- Expanding deployment of all cost-effective distributed generation in a sustainable manner
- Continuing to improve grid reliability and resiliency through state and regional efforts
- Reducing transportation greenhouse gas emissions by accelerating the adoption of low and zero emission vehicles and strengthening alternative-fueling infrastructure
- Increasing mobility, connectivity and accessibility by advancing smart-growth, mixed-use transit-oriented development, and innovative transportation partnerships
CBIA is working with its members to assess these strategies with a particular focus on their impacts to energy costs.
We're asking lawmakers, DEEP, the state's Public Utilities Regulatory Authority, and other state agencies, to do the same as they decide whether and to what extent, the recommended strategies should be implemented.