In an April 21 presentation to CBIA's E2: Energy & Environment Council, a Department of Energy and Environmental Protection official said the state expects to release a draft revision of the Comprehensive Energy Strategy in May.
With a 60-day mandatory public comment period and time needed for DEEP to make further revisions based on those comments, CBIA expects the final version will likely be released in September.
Tracy Babbidge, DEEP's Bureau Chief for Energy Policy, said the agency identified five planning priorities for the revised three-year strategy:
- Tailoring energy efficiency solutions to achieve cost savings for all consumers
- Driving down energy program costs
- Supporting grid modernization initiatives
- Continuing focus on resiliency initiatives including microgrids and energy security
- Continuing progress towards reaching the 2020 greenhouse gas reduction goals and providing a foundation for achieving the 2050 goal
The list includes reducing “energy program costs,” which are primarily ratepayer-funded subsidy programs, and getting energy efficiency deployed to 100% of Connecticut's energy consumers.
This occurs largely through ratepayer funded programs.
But there is no specific goal for lowering the overall cost of energy in Connecticut, where we rank No. 1 in the country and have the highest residential electricity costs in the continental United States.
That is why the public and policymakers need to keep pressure on DEEP to ensure its top priority is making Connecticut more economically competitive in energy costs.
But DEEP officials may have a different view.
Newly appointed deputy commissioner for energy policy, Mary Sotos, attended the meeting and indicated that many countries are concerned about the Trump administration's positions on climate change.
Therefore, she said, it's important for Connecticut to maintain its position as an aggressive leader in advancing policies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.