For the very first time, Connecticut has a comprehensive strategy designed to transform energy from a competitive disadvantage to an economic plus for the state. And over the next two months, the public will have several chances to learn more about the 180-page plan’s many components.

Unveiled by Gov. Malloy at a CBIA conference earlier this fall, the broad-based draft plan is designed as a roadmap to cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable power for Connecticut. 

Centerpieces of the plan include:

  • Leveraging limited public dollars to attract private-sector capital for clean energy and energy efficiency investment
  • Expanding residential, business, and industrial consumers’ access to lower-cost natural gas
  • Redesigning the state’s energy efficiency programs to increase the number of  vendors and incentives for substantial efficiency investments
  • Aligning Connecticut’s renewable portfolio standards (RPS) with abundant regional supplies of clean, affordable, reliable energy, such as large-scale hydropower

Public meetings

To further introduce the plan,meetings open to the public are set for:

  • Wednesday, Nov. 14, at 6 pm, City Common Council Chambers in Bridgeport City Hall, 45 Lyon Terrace, Bridgeport
  • Monday, Nov. 19, at 6 pm, Room G-2, Kennedy Mitchell Hall of Records, 200 Orange Street, New Haven
  • Tuesday, Nov. 20, at 9 am, Phoenix Auditorium, DEEP offices, 79 Elm Street, Hartford
  • Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 6 pm, Room 106, UConn Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering, 3107 Horsebarn Hill Road, Building 4 Annex, U-4210, Storrs
  • Monday, Nov. 26, at 6 pm, City Hall Auditorium, 140 Main Street, Torrington

In addition, several “technical meetings,” also open to the public, are scheduled for the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority in New Britain:

  • Nov. 14 at 10:30 am: Transportation
  • Nov. 15 at 9 am: Electricity
  • Nov. 16 at 9 am: Natural Gas
  • Nov. 19 at 9 am: If necessary
  • Nov. 27 at 9 am: Efficiency (Buildings)
  • Nov. 28 at 10:30 am: Efficiency (Industry)

Business and Labor agree

Business and labor communities in Connecticut both welcomed the plan. CBIA president and CEO John Rathgeber and Connecticut AFL-CIO president John Olsen issued a joint statement in which they said the governor’s plan “represents a solid foundation for developing the energy policies the state sorely needs.

“Making real progress on energy policy, critical to developing a modern, competitive economy, is one of the most important issues the administration and the state legislature face in the coming years,”said Rathgeber and Olsen.

Converting more of the state’s power to natural gas is one of the plan’s biggest pillars, a move that Gov. Malloy said will both help reduce costs and migrate Connecticut to a cleaner and more efficient fuel source. 

Conservation is another key component of the strategy. It calls for a widespread commitment to achieving “deeper efficiency gains” in heating, air conditioning, insulation, industrial process equipment, and other energy applications. This includes modifying existing state efficiency programs for business and residential customers.

Another significant change from longstanding energy policy is the idea of including low-cost and clean hydropower in the state’s renewable energy portfolio. Currently, the state has stringent RPS goals that will be costly and difficult to meet without additional ideas.

Governor Malloy also proposed eliminating non-energy-related fees from energy bills, including the Competitive Transition Assessment, an add-on charge to most electricity bills that has been used to offset state budget deficits.

For more information, contact CBIA’s Eric Brown at 860.244.1926 or eric.brown@cbia.com.