Energy Agenda Emerges as Deadline Nears

03.09.2012
Issues & Policies

As committee deadlines for new proposals draw near, it appears lawmakers’ energy agenda relating to Connecticut businesses is coming into focus. 

While there are many business-related energy proposals in the Energy and Technology Committee (See our Legislative Status Report), topping the agenda, not surprisingly, are concerns over the impact of last year’s major storms.

SB 23contains Governor Malloy’s recommendations for improving the state’s ability to cope with severe weather events. 

Two of the most significant features of SB 23 are the standards of performance and penalties for utilities (including municipal electric utilities, gas and water companies), and a micro-grid grant and loan program.

Energy efficiency data

Energy efficiency is another energy priority for the session. In addition to several bills directed at residential initiatives, the Energy and Technology Committee is considering HB 5385, which concerns energy retrofits and the disclosure of the energy efficiency of certain buildings. 

Similar to other measures for residential buildings, HB 5385 requires utility companies to compile energy consumption data of “nonresidential buildings” – presumably commercial buildings, but not those used for manufacturing.   

Beginning in January, 2014, the law phases in requirements for owners or operators to benchmark their building’s energy use and report the data to prospective buyers, lessees or lenders that would finance the purchase of all or some portion of the building. The information must also be reported to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, which publishes it on the Internet.

Reducing costs

Also expected is a proposal to lower or eliminate up-front capital costs for energy efficiency equipment. Facilities would be able to pay for those investments over time through a property tax assessment of an amount less than the energy savings realized by the facility.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Brown at 860.1926 or eric.brown@cbia.com.

 

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