With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, the most important opportunity to secure significantly lower electricity costs for Connecticut residents and business in decades is sitting on the calendar and awaiting action in the state Senate.
SB 1078 would enable the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to enter into agreements with other states to expand critically needed energy infrastructure throughout New England.
Over the past several years, Connecticut ratepayers have been penalized anywhere from a half-billion to over $1 billion dollars each year in excess energy costs due to regional gas fired power plants’ inability to access cheap and plentiful supplies of shale gas from Pennsylvania and other nearby regions.
No wonder Connecticut continues to suffer the most expensive residential energy costs in the country outside of Hawaii.
Contrary to some accounts, the gas pipeline infrastructure contemplated in this bill will not infringe on home heating oil businesses, because they are large-scale fuel transmission projects designed to bring natural gas to those regional natural gas power plants for electricity generation--not to service individual homes and businesses with natural gas.
The estimated cost of pipeline expansion is $3 billion spread over 20 years. That means, because of the high penalties we are paying, that Connecticut ratepayers will recover the entire cost of their 20-year infrastructure investment (roughly $750 million) in less than two years
It’s no overstatement to say that Connecticut’s and New England's economic competitiveness is at stake.
SB 1078 will also help ensure additional critical infrastructure needed to transport energy from power generation units fueled by wind, hydrogen, running water and the sun scattered throughout the region, to every corner of Connecticut and New England.
Ratepayers--residential and businesses alike--in every legislative district throughout Connecticut want lower energy costs. Legislators have an unprecedented opportunity to make that happen.
CBIA and the ratepayers of Connecticut urgently call on legislators to step up and approve SB 1078 now.