Budget Raid Would Squander $60 Million in Energy Benefits & Undermine Climate Leadership
Budget proposals from the Connecticut legislature would slash $20m in funding from Connecticut’s clean energy programs, costing the state and consumers approximately $60 million in benefits from energy savings programs. Raiding clean energy and climate programs would threaten Connecticut’s progress to date addressing climate pollution, and undermine the state’s standing with partners in multi-state Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
“We are deeply troubled by this shortsighted proposal,” said Jamie Howland, Direct of Acadia Center’s Climate and Energy Analysis Center. “The raid would disadvantage consumers, increase pollution, undermine the state’s leadership on climate, and further erode confidence in the predictability of policy making. It puts at risk Connecticut’s hard-earned credibility as a founding participant in the nation’s first carbon emissions trading program.”
Through Connecticut’s award-winning energy efficiency programs, revenue from RGGI – which Connecticut currently chairs – supports programs that reduce ratepayer energy bills while creating jobs and spurring the economy. In 2015, Energize Connecticut achieved $3.98 in lifetime energy savings for each dollar invested. The General Assembly’s budget proposal would deprive energy efficiency programs of $15 million in 2017, which is what would cost consumers the approximately $60 million mentioned above.
The remaining $5 million of the proposed $20 million raid would be drawn from the Connecticut Green Bank, which provides an important source of funding for Connecticut’s renewable energy industry. Green Bank-funded clean energy programs reduce expenditures for fossil fuels imported to generate power and heat homes, thus making Connecticut more competitive while reducing carbon emissions.
Examples of the types of projects supported by RGGI funding include efficiency upgrades to the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center in Hartford, solar for the John Lyman Elementary School in Middlefield and Bishop’s Corner Library and Senior Center in West Hartford, and incentives for thousands of homeowners and businesses to reduce energy waste.
Acadia Center’s fact sheet on the proposed raid is available here.
The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is the first mandatory, market-based effort in the United States to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states reduce CO2 emissions by setting an overall limit on emissions “allowances” which permit power plants to dispose of CO2 in the atmosphere. States sell allowances through auctions and invest proceeds in consumer benefit programs: energy efficiency, renewable energy, and other programs.
The official RGGI web site is: www.rggi.org
Jamie Howland, Director, Energy Efficiency and Demand Side Initiative
firstname.lastname@example.org , (860) 246-7121 x201
Kiernan Dunlop, Communications Associate
email@example.com, (617) 742- 0054 x107
Acadia Center is a non-profit, research and advocacy organization committed to advancing the clean energy future. Acadia Center is at the forefront of efforts to build clean, low-carbon and consumer-friendly economies. Acadia Center provides accurate and reliable information, and offers a real-world and comprehensive approach to problem solving through innovation and collaboration.