Energy Agenda Takes Shape at the Capitol
The legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee is moving forward with a variety of initiatives related to the Governor’s newly released final Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES).
The draft CES was issued in October and over the past several months, the agency has received about 1,000 comments
Even before receiving the final CES, the committee raised a number of “concept” bills–some of which will be used to implement elements of the CES, including adjusting the authorities of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Public Utility Regulatory Authority and the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority.
Public hearings will be held soon on these and other related bills, including the need to adjust Connecticut’s Renewable Portfolio Standards (which specify the requirements for renewable energy use in the state), and expand Connecticut’s natural gas infrastructure.
Also, the committee will consider measures to:
- Provide tax exemptions for renewable power projects
- Allow on-bill financing for energy-related technologies
- Further regulate certain telecommunications companies
- Address concerns about the byproducts of fracking (the process of extracting natural gas from shale).
Costs and Competitiveness
In his budget address to the legislature on Wednesday, the Governor again emphasized the link between energy costs and economic competitiveness.
He specifically noted the need to continue to take advantage of energy efficiency opportunities, promote distributed generation and micro-grids, improve consumer choice by expanding natural gas to appropriate areas, and remove “regulatory and institutional barriers that keep our state from being an energy leader.”
Unfortunately, the governor’s budget does include a tax on electricity generation for the next biennium that will likely add over $70 million dollars to consumers’ energy bills.
It was first implemented two years ago and set to expire this June.
The impact of the tax has not been fully felt by consumers because some electric generators agreed to absorb the tax—on the assurance that it would end this June. If the tax is continued, all affected generators could build those costs into rate increases on the consumers.
CBIA and its members have actively participated in the process of finalizing the CES and we will continue to support measures that make Connecticut more competitive with respect to energy policy.
For more information on energy policy and activity at the Capitol and regulatory agencies, contact Eric Brown at 860.244.1926 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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