The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection has released its long awaited draft 2017 Comprehensive Energy Strategy along with details on how business owners and residents can comment.
The strategy, originally due in 2016, updates the state's goals for energy and climate change for the next three years, including reducing greenhouse gas emissions and using more renewable resources.
It also calls for expanding energy efficiency initiatives, modernizing the electric grid, and cutting transportation emissions by encouraging more electric vehicle use.
Lawmakers were hoping the plan would be finalized before the 2017 General Assembly session to inform their energy policy decisions.
The goal now is to have it ready for the 2018 session.
CBIA's E2: Energy & Environment Council is reviewing and preparing comments, which are due no later than Sept. 25.
The report comes as the owners of the nuclear Millstone Power Station in Waterford are conducting a business evaluation concerning the future options for the facility, including a possible sale or closure.
The draft does not address the Millstone matter directly.
Business owners, manufacturers, and residents across the state have been asking lawmakers to focus on reducing energy costs as we continue to pay the highest energy bills in the country.
One controversial aspect of the plan imposes a tax on home heating oil—the state calls it a "conservation fee"—with the money going to the state's Energy Efficiency Fund.
This could impact many businesses and residents as roughly 80% of Connecticut industrial and commercial buildings and households heat with fossil fuels.
DEEP scheduled six public hearings from Aug. 14 to Sept. 7 at various locations throughout the state, and comments may also be filed electronically or by mail.
Written comments are due by Sept. 25 at 4 pm to Debra Morrell, DEEP Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain CT, 06051, or emailed to DEEP.EnergyBureau@ct.gov.
Public hearings are scheduled for:
- Aug. 14, 6:30 pm, Webb Hall, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic
- Aug. 16, 6:30 pm, Beacon Hall Events Center, Room 214, Housatonic Community College, Bridgeport
- Aug. 21, 6:30 pm, Fort Trumbull State Park Conference Center, New London
- Aug. 29, 6:30 pm, Second Floor Auditorium, Torrington City Hall, Torrington
- Sept. 6, 4 pm, Gina McCarthy Auditorium, 5th Floor DEEP Offices, 79 Elm St., Hartford
- Sept, 7, 6:30 pm, Jones Auditorium, Britton Building, 2nd floor, Connecticut Agricultural Station, 123 Huntington St., New Haven.
DEEP said it may schedule additional dates if needed.
DEEP has also scheduled two technical meetings in Hearing Room 1 at DEEP's New Britain Office, 10 Franklin Square, on Aug, 28 at 9 a. and Sept. 13 at 11 am.
If you plan on attending a technical meeting, please RSVP at least three business days in advance, along with any questions, to DEEP.EnergyBureau@ct.gov.