Cleaner energy, more efficient power generation and wider consumer choice are among the benefits Connecticut has enjoyed since the state restructured its electricity industry over a decade ago. That’s according to a new report by the New England Energy Alliance (NEEA).

“It is clear that the competitive marketplace is working to the benefit of both customers and the environment,” said Paul Alfonso, executive director of the NEEA. To back that up, the group’s report cited several achievements since restructuring began including:

More power: There are currently more than 4,000 megawatts of new electricity generation in various stages of development in Connecticut. Bringing all of that online will increase the state’s generation capacity by 50%. And that will help boost competition, reduce prices and create jobs.

Cleaner air: Construction of highly efficient, natural-gas-fired plants and a switch to cleaner fuels in plants already operating have helped significantly reduce emissions. Since 2005, carbon dioxide emissions from electricity plants have decreased 20%, nitrogen oxides by 61% and sulfur dioxide 77%.

More choice: Since 2005 there has been triple-digit growth in the number of Connecticut consumers served by competitive suppliers. Alternative suppliers now serve 20% of all state customers and supply half of all electricity sold in the state. There are now 35 energy companies investing substantial capital and employing hundreds of residents in the state.

Higher efficiency: More than 400 million kilowatt-hours of electricity--enough to supply over 47,000 homes--are conserved each year because of consumer-funded efficiency programs available through power utilities in the state. These programs are preventing the potential emission of greenhouse gases.

New resources: Many new types of ‘greener’ electricity generation—such as hydro, wind generation and biomass—are being developed in order to meet state standards of generating 27% of Connecticut’s entire energy load by the year 2020.

Although there are quantifiable benefits of electric restructuring, some legislators claim restructuring is responsible for Connecticut’s high electric rates.

What they are overlooking is that Connecticut had some of the highest electric rates in the country before restructuring. 

While our rates are still among the highest in the United States, it’s important for state lawmakers to continue to give businesses and residential consumers the tools they need to help manage their energy use and costs.

It’s clear that electric restructuring has benefits and has put Connecticut on the path to lower costs, cleaner air and more efficient energy.

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