Defying common sense, Connecticut’s high energy costs and the state’s dismal budget shape, a massive new 11th-hour legislative proposal will dramatically increase the already high cost of electricity in Connecticut and expand the size and cost of state government.

Development of this mammoth proposal is taking place behind closed doors with just days left in the 2010 session—a session lawmakers openly pledged would focus on saving and creating Connecticut jobs.

The only jobs to be created will be in state government, while the extremely costly measure is very likely to take away even more private-sector jobs from a state that has lost more than 100,000 so far. Among other things, the measure is expected to:

  • Raise costs by requiring electric consumers to foot the bill for an expanded state government: The measure will create a new state Energy & Technology Authority, with its costs to be paid by electric ratepayers through higher System Benefits Charges on their electric bills.
  • Increase costs by jettisoning Connecticut from the rest of the New England energy region: Billions of dollars of electricity-transmission upgrades have been approved and are on the way in Connecticut. Right now, Connecticut pays only about 25% of the costs of these projects with the rest of the region paying the balance. But if Connecticut goes it alone, taxpayers will be stuck with the entire costs for these projects and the costs associated with maintaining a reliable and secure energy grid.
  • Raise ratepayers’ costs for expensive incentive programs and projects: Because of the new state energy system, financially strapped ratepayers will be asked to pay higher costs for certain energy projects and programs.
  • Increase costs by promoting the purchase of expensive renewable energy: Renewable resources are socially desirable but very expensive and this proposal authorizes Long Term Power Purchase Agreements for Certain Renewable Sources at rates significantly higher than market price for electricity. Ratepayers will pay a premium for renewable sources and Connecticut’s already high electricity rates will increase.

CBIA urges lawmakers to reject this proposal and return to their pledge of focusing on jobs.</p>

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