Governor Malloy this week released the final version of Connecticut’s first Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) that calls for new approaches to a familiar challenge: how to provide the state with reliable, diverse, clean, and affordable power.
The wide-ranging plan, contained in a 200-plus-page document, aims to “set Connecticut apart by bringing down energy costs for both residents and businesses,” said Governor Malloy.
It’s also the culmination of landmark energy legislation passed by the General Assembly in 2011
First unveiled in draft form last fall at a CBIA energy conference, the strategy integrates energy, environmental, and economic goals to address Connecticut’s needs.
Among other things, it calls for a more diverse portfolio of fuels along with expanded consumer access (particularly for natural gas) and consumer choice.
It also moves away from state- or ratepayer-subsidized energy efficiency and clean energy initiatives to a finance-focused model in which the state’s role is to encourage more private-sector investment.
Release of the CES follows four months of public scrutiny of the draft strategy that included more than 1,000 formal comments submitted to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, the state’s lead agency on drafting the strategy.
Largely reflecting the administration's priorities—to “establish a clear path toward cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable energy for Connecticut consumers”—the final version of the plan emphasizes cybersecurity, natural gas capacity and infrastructure, virtual net metering and sub-metering policies.
It also includes matrixes for measuring the strategy’s effectiveness, relative to the governor’s goals, as it is implemented.
Now the task is to put into action key components of the CES that will help manufacturers and other businesses in the state gain continuous access to a diverse portfolio of affordable energy sources.
Since its release, the CES has been generally well received at the legislature, with the Energy and Technology Committee likely to support a variety of implementation measures.
However, many Connecticut oil dealers remain concerned and skeptical about the plan’s natural gas initiative, including its projections for demand, price, and supply.
Public hearings on bills related to the strategy are expected the first week of March.
For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Brown at 860.244.1926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.