Connecticut decision rejects energy efficiency plan

Aug 27th, 2010 | By | Category: Energy Efficiency

A dispatch from Jessie Stratton, Director of Government Relations, Environment Northeast:

Connecticut’s Department of Public Utility Control (DPUC) issued a draft decision Aug. 26, 2010, that rejects the plan that would allow ratepayers to save millions of dollars.

This measure, supported by environmental groups including ENE (Environment Northeast), would have enabled ratepayers to take the least costly path to fulfilling their energy needs through increased efficiency.

Because efficiency programs reduce the need for generation from plants burning fossil fuels, they are the most cost effective and easily available option for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases, NOx, SOx, and other pollutants.

In 2020 alone, the DPUC’s draft decision rejecting additional efficiency would:

  • Send an additional $423 million to generators,
  • Release 633,079 additional tons of CO2 into the atmosphere – the lifetime
    savings that would be generated by installing solar PV systems on 15,000
    homes
  • Increase NOx emissions by 144 tons and SOx emissions by 552 tons, and
  • Prevent a $509.6 million boost in our gross state product.

These are the benefits from just one year of a plan that would lower electricity costs between now and 2020 and beyond.

Exacerbating the recent raid on the efficiency fund imposed by P.A. 10-197, which diverts 35% of our efficiency funds to the general fund starting in 2012, this DPUC decision would further diminish Connecticut residents’ ability to control energy costs and emissions in a cost effective manner.

The plan was developed pursuant to the 2007 energy act, which requires the development of a comprehensive plan to meet the electric energy and capacity requirements of customers “in a manner which minimizes the cost of such resources to customers over time and maximizes consumer benefits consistent with the state’s environmental goals and standards.”

The proposal before the DPUC met these legislative requirements and would have resulted in the lowest total costs for electric customers. The draft decision rejecting this proposal is contrary to this legislation, which specifically states that “resource needs shall first be met through all available efficiency and demand reduction measures that are cost-effective, reliable and feasible.”

The DPUC will hold oral arguments on Friday, Sept. 3, 2010, at 11 a.m. at 10 Franklin Square in New Britain. It plans to issue a final decision on Sept. 8.

For more information on how to speak out against this decision, please contact Jessie Stratton at jstratton@env-ne.org.

For more information or to voice your opinion on this issue to make a difference, contact the DPUC directly:

Department of Public Utility Control
Ten Franklin Square
New Britain, CT 06051
Phone:  860-827-1553 (Main Number)
Fax:  860-827-2822 (Main Fax)  
Email: dpuc.information@po.state.ct.us or dpuc.executivesecretary@po.state.ct.us

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