Connecticut Governor Dannel Malloy has unveiled a draft comprehensive energy strategy for the state that would expand energy efficiency programs along with offering lower-cost natural gas options to more than 250,000 residents and 75 percent of businesses in the next seven years. The plan also will reexamine the state’s renewable portfolio standards – which currently calls for 20 percent renewable power by 2020 – with an eye toward both raising the standard and increasing the mix of renewable options.
The plan analyzes total energy needs for residents and businesses going out to the year 2050. At the heart of the draft strategy are a series of policy proposals aimed at expanding energy choices, lowering utility bills for Connecticut residents and businesses, improving environmental conditions, creating clean energy jobs, and enhancing the quality of life in the State.
The proposed strategy offers recommendations in five priority areas:
- Energy efficiency
- Electricity supply including renewable power
- Industrial energy needs
- Natural gas
In terms of energy efficiency, the draft calls for an expanded commitment to all cost-effective programs that will “go beyond a traditional focus on upgraded lighting and weather stripping to deliver deeper efficiency gains in heating, air conditioning, ventilation, insulation, windows, furnaces, boilers, and other appliances such as refrigerators as well as process efficiencies in the manufacturing sector.”
In addition, the draft proposes to leverage private capital through innovative financing mechanisms including Connecticut’s Green Bank – a clean energy finance authority.
The draft unveiled by the Governor is available for public comment.