The Connecticut General Assembly made submetering of multi-unit buildings legal in the state this year, but a conflict has arisen because a utility, United Illuminating, says submetered buildings are not eligible for energy efficiency incentives.
Submetering allows building owners to charge individual tenants for the energy they actually use, rather than splitting up the cost on a pro-rata basis among tenants. Proponents of submetering say it causes tenants to save energy. But now, UI is refusing to pay a New Haven developer about $3.1 million in efficiency incentives at his mixed-use, high rise, according to The Hartford Business Journal.
The utility says submetering disqualifies the building from ratepayer-funded incentives. The utility argues that a submetered building is essentially a utility unto itself and should not be eligible for monies through the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund. UI claims it is doing its job in protecting ratepayer funds.
The building in dispute has been designated a LEED Platinum building from the US Green Building Council, reports the newspaper. The developer had planned to also use submetering at a new high-rise he’s constructing in Hartford, but he’s waiting to see how his dispute with UI plays out.
The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) will issue its decision whether submetered buildings are eligible for utility incentives on November 15.
In June, Connecticut passed a comprehensive energy strategy spearheaded by Gov. Dannel Malloy.