Renewable Energy Bills Pass, Lower Electricity Costs Measure Dies
The 2016 General Assembly passed several bills related to renewable energy.
Bills that received final approval include:
HB 5311 streamlines filing requirements for telecommunications companies on services provided to retail businesses and eliminates PURA’s annual report on the status of service and regulation in the state.
HB 5427 clarifies a variety of procedural and other aspects for implementing the pilot shared community solar energy facilities program adopted by the legislature in 2015, including clarification that facility costs will be collected from all electric customers—regardless of whether they receive direct benefit from the facility.
HB 5496 allocates an additional $5 million per year from electricity customers to pay for renewable energy generation serving municipal, state, 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 stations are not to be considered regulated utilities, requiring electric distribution companies to factor these stations into distribution plans, and a process for considering authorizing time-of-use pricing.
SB 272 expands the types of projects electric distribution companies must purchase renewable energy credits from in 2017 to include larger, low-emission generation and modifies the Renewable Energy Credit procurement schedule.
The bill also expands the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s micro grid grant and loan program to include matching funds or low interest loans for energy storage systems or distributed energy generation projects derived from Class I (e.g., solar or wind) or Class III energy sources.
SB 334 makes several changes to the energy statutes relating to state and municipal facilities.
SB 366 transitions the Connecticut Green Bank to an independent quasi-governmental agency, removing it from within Connecticut Innovations, Inc.
The bill also makes several changes to the Green Bank’s residential solar investment program, and makes minor changes to the Property Assessed Clean Energy Program.
SB 344, the session’s major policy bill, would have ensured Connecticut benefited from lower electricity costs thanks to home-grown energy.
SB 445 creates a task force to study broadband in Connecticut.
HB 5435 makes a variety of changes to contracts between propane customers and their dealers.
For example, it allows customers to purchase a new propane tank at any point during the contract, requires certain contract term disclosures, and specifies the format, limits the sales price for underground tanks, and excludes guaranteed price plans from certain contract requirements.
HB 5640 makes various changes to the disclosure provisions, such as allowing, rather than requiring, carriers and service providers to disclose up to 48 hours of geo-location data without a court order in exigent circumstances; defining "exigent circumstances;" eliminating exigent circumstances as a basis for compelled disclosure of geo-location data or a communication's contents; and making clarifying and conforming changes.
SB 344, the session's major policy bill, would have ensured Connecticut benefited from lower electricity costs thanks to home-grown energy, including zero-emission nuclear power.
The measure ensured lower 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 were able to keep the bill from being called in the House after it was unanimously approved in the Senate.
CBIA strongly supports natural gas 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.
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