2016 turned out to be a “light” year for energy policy at the General Assembly.
The major policy bill, SB 344, would have ensured Connecticut benefited from lower electricity costs thanks to home-grown energy, including zero-emission nuclear power.
The measure ensured lower energy emissions, future stability in municipal trash disposal fees, and the future economic viability of the state’s trash-to-energy and nuclear plants, which provide nearly 2,000 well-paying jobs in Connecticut.
A coalition of gas generation units and environmental lobbyists kept the bill from being called in the House after it was unanimously approved in the Senate.
CBIA strongly supports natural gas energy generation in Connecticut and New England.
We look forward to the environmental lobbying community joining us in our continuing efforts to ensure the region has the natural gas pipeline infrastructure necessary to provide gas-fired generators with the necessary quantities to produce electricity at a lower cost, year round.
As for other energy-related bills, here are some of the bills that passed:
HB 5311 streamlines filing requirements for telecommunications companies on services they provide to retail businesses.
HB 5427 clarifies a variety of procedural and other aspects needed to implement the pilot shared community solar energy facilities program adopted by the legislature in 2015, including clarification that the cost of such facilities will be collected from all electric customers--regardless of whether they receive a direct benefit from the facility.
HB 5496 allocates an additional $5 million per year from electricity customers to pay for renewable energy generation that serves municipal, state agency, and agricultural facilities.
HB 5510 makes a variety of technical changes with respect to charging stations for electric and fuel cell powered vehicles.
These include clarifying that these stations are not to be considered regulated utilities, requiring electric distribution companies to factor these stations into their distribution plans, and a process for considering authorizing time-of-use pricing at these stations.