In a state with some of the highest energy costs in the nation, lawmakers passed a bill that will, incredibly, make matters worse.

At the eleventh hour, legislators adopted a massive bill that will lead to higher costs for business and residential customers of all kinds and increase the role of state government in the energy marketplace.

Under SB-493, electric consumers will be made to pay for a new energy authority and its programs within a renamed and restructured Department of Public Utility Control.

Ratepayers also will be put on the hook for state investments in solar power—the most expensive type of alternate energy source available.

Low-end estimates for solar energy investments are about $62 million per year; but on the high end, it could rise to as much as $268 million per year.

Also incredible is that the legislation will make new energy companies in the state—that are helping thousands of customers save on their electricity bills—undergo stricter administrative standards.

It’s the kind of needless government intervention that could drive away competitive businesses from Connecticut. Somehow, proponents insisted that this costly new energy law would save ratepayers’ dollars.

All told, this year’s energy “scorecard” for Connecticut consumers is discouraging:

  • Extra charges on monthly CL&P-customer bills that were to stop at the end of this year now won’t because the state will borrow against those dollars for the next 8 years to patch the budget deficit.
  • Energy efficiency funds that help consumers save on their electricity bills are being raided to help close the budget gap.
  • The misguided energy bill will pile on new charges to electricity consumers and discourage competitive energy suppliers

Connecticut businesses need to be able to rely upon a stable and competitive and affordable energy marketplace. This year, however, lawmakers took some costly steps backward.

CBIA urges Gov. Rell to veto SB-493 in order to help get businesses and jobs back on track.

For more information, contact Kevin Hennessy at 860.244.1979 or kevin.hennessy@cbia.com.