State Aims to Increase Business Use of Renewable Energy
Connecticut is moving forward with two new energy programs designed to increase the use of renewable power by businesses and reduce energy use in homes across the state.
This week, the Public Utility Control Authority (PURA) announced its approval of a new program to provide incentives for the installation of renewable energy at small, midsize, and large businesses in Connecticut.
Businesses will be able to work with renewable energy providers (including wind, fuel cells, solar, and biofuel) to develop a renewable proposal for their facility.
The proposal would include a determination of how much of a financial credit (known as a renewable energy credit, or REC) the facility would need to obtain from its utility company to make the project economically viable.
The project, along with other such projects from around the state, would then be submitted as a bid for the limited number of RECs available, and the utilities would award RECs, in the form of 15-year fixed-price contracts, for those qualified projects requiring the fewest amount of RECS–in essentially a reverse-auction type of process.
These reverse auctions would occur at regular intervals through a request-for-proposals (RFP) process coordinated by the utilities. It is estimated that over the next 22 years, up to a $1 billion would be available for the program. The first RFP will likely be used later this spring.
For more information on this opportunity, contact your utility company or call 1-877-947-3873, and ask about the L-REC/Z-REC program.
EnergyStar Home Performance
Residents, including those in multi-unit homes, will benefit from a new opportunity to achieve significant energy savings under a program introduced by the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund this week.
The “Home Performance with Energy Star” (HPwES) program is designed to move beyond capturing the “low hanging fruit” such as replacing light bulbs and the weather-stripping measures typically implemented under the current Home Energy Solutions program.
HPwES involves a comprehensive evaluation of all aspects of a home’s energy efficiency, and a customized plan that includes a prioritized list of steps homeowners may choose to take to achieve significant reductions in energy usage.
The plan would also include all information on federal and state rebates and tax credits available for each energy efficiency step listed in the plan. Homeowners participating in the program would also be eligible for low-interest financing.
The program is also significant for contractors and other energy-service businesses because the qualifications for incorporating HPwES into their services are such that hundreds of energy vendors throughout the state could qualify. That would vastly expand the workforce implementing energy efficiency programs beyond the current limited vendor list under the HES program.
For more information on the HPwES program, visit www.ctenergyinfo.com or call 877.947.3873.
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