Commentary: Restore funding for energy efficiency, clean energy programs

Commentary: Restore funding for energy efficiency, clean energy programs

Record-Journal

The North Haven Clean Energy Task Force urges North Haven residents and businesses to support legislative and gubernatorial action to restore funding for energy efficiency and clean energy programs.

What does this mean?

When Connecticut residents and businesses pay their electricity and gas bills, a small portion goes to the CT Energy Efficiency Fund. This fund supports many programs that provide financial incentives to help Connecticut consumers reduce the amount of energy used in their homes and businesses. These programs include the Home Energy Solutions energy assessments, substantial rebates on insulation and high efficiency products, solar programs and savings programs for businesses and municipalities.  

In October 2017, the Connecticut legislature diverted $145 million of the energy funds to close the budget gap. These funds were not part of the state budget or collected through taxes but were paid by utility customers for a specific purpose.

Our task force, along with the town, has worked hard to encourage residents to make their homes more energy efficient through the HES program and other programs. Using these ratepayer funds through the EnergizeCT Bright Ideas grants, we were able to offer free assessments to 300 residents in North Haven.

In addition, we were able to sponsor two Solarize North Haven campaigns to help about 50 residents install solar on their homes. These funds are no longer available because they were not used for their intended purpose.  

Why is this important?

1.    There is growing evidence that the effects of climate change are happening now and at a rate faster than previously thought.  Therefore, we must all act now to reduce dependence on fossil fuels by reducing demand (energy efficiency) and using renewable energy sources.

2.    Making our homes and businesses more energy efficient through programs like HES and others reduces the need now for fossil fuel burning power plants – the cleanest and cheapest energy is the energy you don’t consume in the first place.

3.    Residents and businesses can save lots of money by having a HES assessment  – up to 30 percent.  

4.    Energy Efficiency and clean energy is good for the economy – over 34,000 people work in Connecticut’s energy efficiency industry, and another 2,000 work in the solar industry.

Therefore, it is important that citizens contact the Governor’s office and our local state representatives to urge that our ratepayer funds are restored.  

← Submitted by the North Haven Clean Energy Task Force

 


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