New Energy Plan Clears Legislative Committee, But More Changes Expected

“It’s definitely got a long way to go,” Reed said of the legislation. She said one of her prime goals for revising the bill is to make sure it “continues the current net metering we now have” for rooftop solar power. That issue is one of the most controversial parts of the existing bill. The legislation would revise the way residential customers with solar power in their homes are now compensated for the power they produce. Critics claim the change would result in higher costs for homeowners and stall Connecticut’s solar power installation industry. “Ending net metering would end a
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Energy bill heads for committee showdown, uncertain future

The CES and original legislation did away with net metering, replacing it with a “buy-all/credit-all” concept. Essentially a solar owner would have to sell all his or her power to the grid at a rate to be set by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) and buy back what he or she needed at the retail rate. Such a system would mean higher fees for solar owners and would probably make it impossible to install battery storage or home-based smart energy systems that would help reduce energy demands and integrate with more modern grid concepts. “Forcing people to go that
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Tesla, dealers remain at odds as lawmakers urge compromise

Nicholas argued the “existential threats” hypothesized by dealers are overblown. He cited data analyzed by Acadia Center and the U.S. Department of Labor showing dealerships in Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey — states that allow direct sales — haven’t seen job losses at all. Read the full article from The Day here (article may not be available without subscription).

After Carbon Tax Fails in Washington, Focus Turns to 9 Other States

The proliferation of bills comes on the heels of President Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Climate Agreement last June. Following the announcement, many states and municipalities independently pledged to adhere to the agreement’s goals. “The current administration has no interest in advancing carbon policy,” says Jordan Stutt, a policy analyst at Acadia Center, a clean energy advocacy group. “State legislators are realizing they have the opportunity to craft carbon policy.” Read the full article from Governing here.

Commission cuts National Grid rate hike plan

A chorus of opposition from upstate consumers and advocacy groups made a difference as state regulators severely limited National Grid rate increases. The new plan also sets the stage for expanded discounts for low-income households. The state Public Service Commission, in a ruling issued Thursday, allowed the company to phase in higher rates beginning April 1. Read the full article from the Niagara Gazette here.

Albany Listening Session For Clean Transportation Is Positive First Step In Regional Commitment To Modernization

Jordan Stutt, policy analyst, Acadia Center, said: “The states are convening these conversations at an opportune time. Congested roads, outdated infrastructure and heavily polluting vehicles are a drag on the economy and our health. By working together, these states can implement regional solutions for clean and modernized transportation that will improve quality of life and reduce health risks from pollution.” Read the full article from PR Newswire here.

State Report: Budget Raid On Energy Funds Hurting Connecticut Economy

The energy board’s co-chairs are hoping to convince legislative leaders of the need to restore at least some of the money lost during last year’s budget “raids.” But they know it won’t be easy in this grim budget climate. “I think there’s support for trying to roll back some of the fund raids,” said William Dornbos, a co-chair of the energy panel and Connecticut director for the activist group Acadia Center. “But it’s definitely going to be an uphill battle,” he said. Read the full article from the Hartford Courant here.

New England Power Grid Operator Budgets Soaring

According to Ludlow, inflation of 3-4 percent a year accounted for a good portion of that 30 percent rise in ISO-New England’s budget over five years. U.S. Inflation Calculator.com estimates that the period actually averaged 1.6 percent annual inflation. “It raises real questions for me,” William Dornbos, the Connecticut director of the energy activist group Acadia Center, said of the 30 percent rise in ISO-New England’s revenue over five years. Read the full article from the Hartford Courant here.  

‘Reggie’ states addressing transportation emissions

“When you look at the success the states have had with RGGI in the electric sector, in some way it’s an obvious leap to get to the point where you say, ‘We should have a similar policy for the transportation sector,’” says Jordan Stutt, a Boston-based policy analyst for Acadia Center, an advocacy group in New England and New York that has watch-dogged RGGI since its formation. Read the full article from Yale Climate Connections here.

Bill Reauthorizing RGGI Becomes Law

Kathleen Meil, policy advocate with the Acadia Center, says the nine RGGI states agreed last fall to new, tighter pollution limits for 2021 to 2030. “Maine is now the first RGGI state to officially usher in the strengthened program,” she says. “It really represents a strong step forward for Maine to continue to reap the benefits of RGGI participation.” Read the full article from Public News Service here.