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Energy Efficiency Proposal Will Increase Rates

by | Aug 27, 2013 5:30am
() Comments | Commenting has expired
Posted to: Energy, Environment, Housing, Jobs, Labor

Electricity rates may have gone down slightly over the past few months, but the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is proposing a rate increase of about $4 to $7 per month for electricity and natural gas customers to help fund energy-efficiency programs.

The proposal is based on a “broader strategy that does not rely simply on ratepayer money, but increasingly looks to leverage private capital through our Green Bank,” DEEP Commissioner Daniel C. Esty said Monday in a conference call with reporters.

It calls for nearly doubling annual spending on energy efficiency from $122 million to $231 million for each of the next three years.

Jessie Stratton, policy director for the DEEP, said energy-efficiency always has been measured in ratepayer dollar investment and under this proposal the agency is “proposing a significant increase in ratepayer investment for efficiency we are . . . trying to marry that with much greater private investment.”

She said that based on how electricity is structured and how rates are calculated “everyone benefits when we reduce energy consumption.”

The legislation that allowed for the hike to occur was passed during the 2013 legislative session. But lawmakers won’t necessarily get the last word. The public still will get a chance to weigh in on the proposal at a public hearing Sept. 10.

After hearing public comment, DEEP’s Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy will finalize its proposal and forward it to the Public Utility Regulatory Authority. PURA regulators will then implement the Conservation Adjustment Mechanism to fund the expanded efficiency programs. A finalized plan is expected to be approved in the fall.

During the conference call Monday, Esty and DEEP officials stressed that fully-funded efficiency programs will:
—create 5,500 new jobs in our state
—improve air quality by reducing pollution emissions 5 to 10 percent, and;
—help make the state a national leader in innovative approaches to achieving cost-effective energy efficiency.

Environmental groups, whose members found themselves at odds with the Malloy administration during the legislative session, praised the proposal.

“Increased funding for energy efficiency is a great way to invest in Connecticut’s economy while improving our air quality,” Roger Reynolds, director of climate programs for the Connecticut Fund for the Environment, said in a statement.

William Dornbos, Connecticut director for Environment Northeast, said the draft decision “is a strong and sensible move toward eliminating costly energy waste in Connecticut.”

That waste acts as a major drag on Connecticut’s economy — currently, the state’s consumers and businesses spend $400 million annually buying power they do not need, Dornbos said.

Esty said the $122 million annual investment the state makes in energy efficiency has leveraged $40 million in private capital. The energy savings are even greater.

“Last year alone, for example, Connecticut’s energy efficiency programs captured lifetime savings of approximately $590 million on behalf of in-state consumers and businesses,” Dornbos said.

Residents and businesses who take advantage of the efficiency programs see “immediate and dramatic savings on their bill — with $3 to $4 in savings typically achieved for every $1 invested in energy efficiency,” Esty said.

The list of programs Esty is talking about are at EnergizeCT.com.

The public hearing on the proposal will be held at 9 a.m. on Sept. 10 at the DEEP’s New Britain offices.

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Comments

(9) Archived Comments

posted by: ad_ebay | August 27, 2013  7:42am

“It calls for nearly doubling annual spending on energy efficiency from $122 million to $231 million for each of the next three years”...If your more efficient, why will it cost more?  Shouldn’t it cost less?

“Environmental groups, who found themselves at odds with the administration during the legislative session, praised the proposal.”...Don’t help us any more!

posted by: DirtyJobsGUy | August 27, 2013  8:45am

These are graft programs,  selected contractors get subsidies and contracts to do essentially worthless energy audits and programs.  Often these take credit for actions the user would easily discover themselves.  Business are usually pretty sharp on costs so little if anything is accomplished.  We still promote simple insulation for homes, yet new codes require upgraded insulation on new construction and existing houses have been bombarded with insulation upgrades since the 1970’s. 

I figure I’m owed a couple of cups of coffee each month to pay for this nonsense.

Boss Tweed would be smiling

posted by: GoatBoyPHD | August 27, 2013  11:39am

GoatBoyPHD

Ridiculous. If the tech is truly a money saver people buy it. We knew this coming: money transferred from my pocket to GE because they want their I’ll prepared nascent Green tech funded by the state. Green credits and no taxes weren’t enough corporate stimulus?

How about this? Estu uses his consulting clients to form a CT Green Hedge Fund and gets it funded to the tune of $100 a household per year taken out of earnings and corp assets?

These hearings will be fun.

posted by: DrHunterSThompson | August 27, 2013  11:39am

—create 5,500 new jobs in our state
—improve air quality by reducing pollution emissions 5 to 10 percent, and;
—help make the state a national leader in innovative approaches to achieving cost-effective energy efficiency.

If I had a nickel for every time I have heard that in the past 25 years or so I could fund these program myself.

HST

posted by: justsayin | August 27, 2013  12:29pm

$1 in = $4 out? Now we know why public education is failing us…
Hit it on the head HST

posted by: RAN | August 27, 2013  1:26pm

Oops!  The title of this bogus article says it all.  Energy efficiency = increased rates.  If that’s the case, I’ll take inefficiency, thanks.

posted by: ASTANVET | August 27, 2013  1:41pm

A lot of us here see through this charade, yet the charade continues.  When will the public start to catch on to the schemes that do nothing but drive up our cost of living, and beat off businesses with a stick?  Haven’t we had enough of this yet?

posted by: dano860 | August 27, 2013  7:43pm

If this is an investment that all users are paying in on….when do we get tangible results? Like a check in the mail as we do from our stock investments.
5000 bureaucratic jobs that are funded by us, take away the money when they do their job and really save energy, ya right, they will be out of work, right. That will never happen.
Business owners have high energy costs at the top of their list for reasons to leave this forsaken State. Now they have to pay more!? How can they be competitive in their bidding?

posted by: ASTANVET | August 28, 2013  10:44am

Dano - don’t you see - we have to pay higher rates to get lower rates but not lower than the higher rates we pay… it’s perfectly simple…