Dear Honorable Leaders of Connecticut,
We demand the state of Connecticut's leaders keep their promise to ALL Connecticut electric ratepayers by taking the following two actions this legislative session. These simple legislative actions will allow energy efficiency programs, and the 34K jobs which support the programs, to continue to “serve all electric ratepayers”. These two actions will avoid industry collapse, and lessen economic harm to Connecticut ratepayers, businesses, and will support our energy and climate goals.
1. Implement state policy to ensure EQUAL ACCESS to all Cost Effective Energy Efficiency (EE) services and upgrades for ALL ELECTRIC RATEPAYERS regardless of heating fuel source type (FUEL BLIND DIRECT EE SERVICES). We must NOT excluded the Oil and Propane households from accessing proven energy saving services and efficiency incentives.
2. "Repeal of the diversions of the electric ratepayer funds”. The C&LM ratepayer funds must be returned this session to support cost effective direct energy efficiency services in Connecticut or we can not meet our state’s Clean Energy Strategy (CES) or Our Climate Goals. Efficiency is our states DEMAND reduction plan. It keeps "carbon heavy fuels" from being wasted. These programs are award winning highly effective DEMAND REDUCTION programs that directly serve the ratepayers.
*Last October the electric ratepayer Energy Efficiency funds (C&LM and RGGI) were unlawfully diverted by our state leaders as part of the bipartisan state budget. This resulted in a lack of Equal Access to Direct Energy Efficiency services for Connecticut electric ratepayers and created an inequitable tax on all electric ratepayers, including a tax on nonprofits.
**Currently Connecticut has lost the ability to provide energy efficiency to oil and propane properties. These households represent 51% of all households in CT. Our state’s highly awarded Direct Service Energy Efficiency (EE) programs can no longer equally serve Oil and Propane households.
Direct Service Energy Efficiency (EE) programs: These award winning EE programs are coordinated by the State of CT Energy Efficiency Board (EEB), and have helped countless working families, low income families, and businesses to lower their energy bills statewide. The Direct Service EE programs lower energy demand by providing on the spot energy savings and long term energy savings, which result in lowered air and water pollution, lower asthma rates, climate change mitigation, and related health problems.
ABOUT EE: Energy Efficiency
Energy Efficiency Services help households directly lower energy bills. This results in on the spot energy savings for the homeowner, renter, landlord, or business, and saves money across our state.
EE programs support 34,000 Connecticut jobs and generate $1.4 Billion a year in Gross State Product. These programs directly lower our state’s energy costs by hundreds of millions of dollars annually. EE programs generate $140 million dollars in state tax revenue in a single year. Direct Service residential Energy Efficiency programs have avoided $814 million dollars in state healthcare costs. Direct service EE has a 1 to 7 return on investment for the state of Connecticut ratepayers.
Energy Efficiency is the number one way to meet our state energy goals, slow climate change, and lower air pollution in our state. Air pollution caused by the burning of fossil fuel to generate electricity harms human health and causes damage to children's developing lungs resulting in higher rates of asthma, heart disease and stroke.
Energy Efficiency is an economic driver and results in savings to the state of Connecticut. EE is the cheapest way to meet our energy goals and should be fully funded by the ratepayer money which was diverted to state’s general fund. Ratepayer money which is legislated to help the ratepayer lower energy bills through direct service EE and residential solar programs must be supported and not diverted in June 2018.
**The C&LM and RGGI are obtained through collections and ARE NOT a physical fund. The lack of an actual “fund” and the misunderstanding of how collections are “forecasted” and “collections reconciled”, has worsened the impacts on 2018 Direct Service EE programs, inclusive of low income programs and services to working families.
Our state must ensure that enough ratepayer C&LM and RGGI funds are available in years 2018 and 2019 to meet our state’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) goals or we will incur statewide economic penalties.
These simple legislative actions will allow energy efficiency programs, and the 34K jobs which support the programs, to continue to “serve all electric ratepayers”. These actions will avoid industry collapse, and lessen economic harm to Connecticut and support our energy and climate goals.
1. Enact nondiscrimination based legislation to equally serve all ratepayers and provide cost-effective DIRECT SERVICE energy efficiency regardless of heating fuel type.
If this action by the legislature our award winning programs will NOT be able to serve any Oil or propane customers. The customers will continue to pay into the fund and have no access to EE services.
2. Repeal the Diversions of RGGI and C&LM diversions in 2018 and 2019.
Restore the C&LM 2018 and C&LM 2019 ratepayer funds. This funding should be specifically utilized only for DIRECT SERVICE EE to ratepayers, such as home energy retrofits, multifamily retrofits, or other DIRECT SERVICE EE programs which directly support the installation of cost effective energy efficiency for ALL ratepayers. * A SUMMARY OF THE 2018 & 2019 DIVERSION OF RATEPAYER FUNDS
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) - This diversion of RGGI funds has resulted in almost no access to direct install energy saving services for 75% to 80% of oil and propane heated homes. These oil and propane households will not be able to receive the HES service even though they still pay into the C&LM funds on their electric bills. The 2017 budget diverted $10,000,000 per year for FY18 and FY19 (74% of 2017 auction proceeds). RGGI is a multi-state, market-based, mandatory emission allowance auction program for fossil-fuel power plants. Proceeds in Connecticut are distributed as such: 70% to the C&LM budget, 23% to the CT Green Bank, and 7% to CT DEEP. Within the C&LM budget, RGGI proceeds are primarily used to service oil/propane heated buildings.
Conservation and Load Management Plan (C&LM) - The C&LM Plan provides the guidelines to administer Direct Residential and Commercial Energy Efficiency services along with outreach and education in an effort to meet CT’s demand reduction and efficiency goals. The 2017 budget diverted $63,500,000 per year for FY18 and FY19 (33% of 2017 budget). The statutory framework for CT’s energy efficiency programs, funded primarily by a charge on ratepayer electric and natural gas bills into the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF).
Direct energy efficiency (EE) is NOT a subsidy. The ratepayer has paid for the EE incentives and services. C&LM and RGGI are an insurance policy which ALL ratepayers pay for and can NOT opt of the payments. The funds are meant to be utilized by the ratepayer when it is needed and costs effective to upgrade the property. EE is a set incentive which is meant to reduce the upfront cost of the EE service for the electric ratepayers who pay into the funds on every electric bill.
Ratepayers should be allowed to equally utilize the programs to lower the direct cost of energy for upgrades which directly save energy, reducing energy bills on the spot, and increasing safety. This will result in lowered carbon emissions, lowered pollution, and lowered energy waste. EE includes building science based weatherization measures, insulation, windows, and upgraded comprehensive cost effective efficiency retrofits.