Energy and Technology Committee
JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT
AN ACT CONCERNING IMPLEMENTATION OF CONNECTICUT'S COMPREHENSIVE ENERGY STRATEGY.
Joint Favorable Substitute
SPONSORS OF BILL:
Rep. Sharkey; Rep. Aresimowicz; Sen. Williams; Sen Looney
REASONS FOR BILL:
This bill is the result and is intended to implement Governor Malloy's Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES). It was brought forward to address a wide variety of energy issues facing the state, including: energy efficiency, industrial energy needs, electricity access and cost, and the exploration of using more natural gas. The relationship between the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) and the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) is modified and clarified. Environmental concerns regarding heating oil sulfur content are addressed.
In Section 3(a)(1) the charge per kilowatt hour is changed from 6 mills to 3 mills.
In Section 18(a)(2)(A) the ending date in which the period that sulfur content must be reduced to 50ppm is changed from the proposed June 30, 2013 to June 30, 2014.
In Section 19 home heating oil is added to current law including dyed diesel fuel.
Section 20 was added that will require PURA to study the feasibility of reorganizing the regulation of water from DPH to PURA.
Section 21 was added to require DEEP to study the impact of a requesting municipality's aquifer protection regulations on economic development within the municipality.
RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:
Attorney General George C. Jepsen has concerns with several sections of the bill. He suggests a few changes including adding language “which explicitly requires that PURA shall consider the impact of decoupling on the gas or electric distribution company's return on equity and make necessary adjustments thereto.” The Attorney General also expressed concerns that the bill will give the DEEP Commissioner unilateral authority to increase or decrease gas and electric rates without any meaningful regulatory process or review by PURA. He stated that this change will result in ratepayers being less protected in utility regulation, ratepayers being undercut in the rate setting process, and may undermine the long-term stability of C&LM funding. Lastly, the Attorney General testified that utility ratemaking should ultimately lie with PURA rather than the DEEP Commissioner.
Elin Swanson Katz, Consumer Council supports revisions to the statutes to clarify the roles of DEEP and PURA to avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts, and to better coordinate planning for gas and electric Conservation and Load Management (C&LM) programs. She also testified in favor that an analysis be conducted to quantify the risk of decoupling. She then testifies against granting sole ratemaking power to the DEEP Commissioner and suggests that PURA be granted 120 days rather than 60 to review the commissioner's recommendations. The Consumer Council supports section 5 expanding virtual net metering and section 6 that expands PURA's authority to permit electric sub-metering.
Byran Garcia, Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) strongly supports various sections of the bill. On section 3 regarding the conservation adjustment mechanism he testified that “this will allow for the reduction of subsidies and rebates over time through the implementation of financing programs”. He also supports sections 8 and 9 regarding microgrids and Energy Improvement Districts that he believes will provide the state realize cleaner, cheaper, and more reliable energy. Testifying in support of sections 10 and 11 regarding commercial and residential building labels he stated: “The disclosure of energy consumption data before the sale or lease of such buildings will promote efficiency improvements.” He supports sections 13-15 regarding the benchmarking of energy efficiency of commercial buildings and section 19 regarding natural gas expansion stating that CEFIA is launching several financing programs to support fuel conversions and equipment replacement including C-PACE for industrial properties.
Commissioner Daniel C. Esty, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) strongly supports the bill stating that it “promotes efficiency, allows the state to work in step with the region on a number of fronts, expands sub-metering for more informed decision-making, encourages micro-grids and requires the sale of cleaner low sulfur heating oil.” He is particularly supportive of section 1 regarding decoupling of revenues and sales for electric and natural gas distribution companies. The Commissioner outlines the specific sections of the bill and stated in conclusion that DEEP “believes that its enactment will enable the state to advance many of the recommendations set forth in the Comprehensive Energy Strategy with the goal of securing a cheaper, cleaner, more reliable energy future for Connecticut”.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:
Barbara Sterling Backman, Canton resident supports some components of the bill including fuel cells and hydro upgrades but opposes relying on fossil-based natural gas and wasteful transmission of Canadian hydropower.
Abraham Scarr, Director, Connecticut Public Interest Research Group supports the provision allowing municipal, state or federal entities operating a Class 1 renewable energy source, Class 3 energy source, or small generator connected to a municipal micro-grid to independently distribute electricity across public streets or highways.
Andy Bauer, Portland Clean Energy Task Force supports the bill, urging caution against relying on natural gas. He is in favor of expanding energy efficiency, maximizing the deployment of local clean energy, and advocating for a fuel oil based funding source for energy efficiency.
Catherine Diviney, Energy Specialist, Town of West Hartford
Removing barriers to renewable energy installations
Fully fund all costs to towns
Improve our energy security and reliability by investing in micro-grids and distributed renewable generation
Increase support for our community-based outreach of energy programs
ClearEdge Power supports several sections in the bill including the revision in Section 5(3) which expands the definition of “customer host” to include leased or long-term contracted virtual net metering facilities. They also support the revision to Section 5(4)(A) which increases the value of an unassigned virtual net metering credit.
Todd Berch, Connecticut AFL-CIO supports the bill stating that it will reduce energy costs and could create an estimated 7,000 jobs to build gas mains and upgrading aging infrastructure.
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities supports the bill stating that it provides municipalities a greater ability to lease or own Class I renewable facilities. They also support the technical changes made to the micro-grid program.
Henry Talmage, Connecticut Farm Bureau Association supports the bill and is pleased with the inclusion of the agricultural virtual net metering provisions in the bill. They are concerned with the limitation of 10 agricultural beneficial accounts for anaerobic digestion projects.
Mark LeBel, Energy Fellow, Connecticut Fund for the Environment supports the bill, stating that the “policies have the potential to clean out air and substantially lessen our state's contribution to global warming.”
Elizabeth Gara, Connecticut Water Works Association (CWWA) supports parts of the bill including the provision that specifies that the combined conservation plan developed by the electric and gas companies may include water conservation programs in addition to energy. They also support Section 5 of the bill that expands eligibility for virtual net metering.
A provision regarding micro grids to allow municipal accounts to share credits with additional facilities in areas in which micro-grids are not feasible
Fred Zalcman, Managing Director of Regulatory Affairs-Northeast States supports the bill. Specifically, he testified in support of the provisions in the bill that remove the impediments to municipal virtual net metering and to expand eligibility to other customer groups.
Joel Gordes, West Hartford resident supports Section 8 on the bill stating that he believes “the current grid is incapable of providing the degree of public health, safety, security and restoration demanded and expected by the public, legislators and regulators today”.
John Humphries, CT Roundtable on Climate & Jobs supports part of the bill, including the emphasis on energy efficiency and the recommendation to study the possibility of raising the targets for the state's renewable portfolio standards. He does have concerns about the heavy emphasis on expansion of natural gas infrastructure due to the potential health concerns from extraction.
Joyce Acebo-Raguskus, Milford resident supports Governor Malloy's CES proposal and believes that we need to work together to plan energy strategy that compliments the earth with the wellbeing of its inhabitants.
Kathryn Dube, Connecticut Council of Small Towns supports the bill, especially Section 5 which allows municipalities to lease the renewable resource or enter into a long-term contract for it and qualify for virtual net metering.
Lynn Taborsak, Climate Change Specialist, League of Women Voters of Connecticut supports parts of the bill including the benchmarking and disclosure of energy usage in residential, commercial, and public buildings. She also supports efforts including equipment replacement and rate decoupling to achieve the maximum reduction in energy usage. She is concerned, however, because she says the plans do not identify a funding mechanism for efficiency programs in homes and businesses that heat with oil or propane.
Michael Foote, Regulatory and Corporate Council, NWP Services Corporation supports the bill but has a recommendation.
Language that includes making sub metering automatic by way of statute without the need for further PURA approval, as well as clarifying that RUBS billing is legal in Connecticut
Nancy B. Mason, West Hartford resident supports the bill and would like to see programs like energy audits conducted by the CT Energy Efficiency Fund expanded to include users of home heating oil as well as natural gas users.
Nate Brown, Operating Engineers Local 478 supports the bill stating, “The Governor's plan could mean good news for both Connecticut consumers and construction industry workers as his energy strategy encourages our state's businesspeople and homeowners to convert to cleaner and cheaper natural gas.” He also states that a conversion to natural gas could mean thousands of jobs for Connecticut residents.
Janet Gail Besser, VP, Policy and Government Affairs, New England Clean Energy Council supports the bill. She applauds the provisions in regard to energy efficiency and is pleased to see the provisions regarding virtual net metering. She hopes that the state will work to ensure that implementation takes full advantage of renewable and clean energy opportunities.
Northeast Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC-CT) supports various sections of the bill. The first is Section 2 which requires a multi-year plan for energy efficiency. They also support sections 11 and 12 which they say will empower owners to market their energy efficiency buildings. They would like to see a steady funding mechanism to allow residents who use oil to access Connecticut's award winning efficiency programs in the final bill.
Pam McDonald, Board Member, People's Action for Clean Energy (PACE) supports the strategy and the decision not to include nuclear power in the CES. She also believes that investments by homeowners and businesses should be endorsed and partly financed by the state. Lastly, she prefers natural gas over nuclear gas.
Pippa Bell Ader, Westport resident supports the overall strategy and would like to make sure that a stable funding source for heating oil energy efficiency and that energy efficiency programs are expanded to include partnerships with community organizations.
Robert Nixon, Greenwich resident supports most of the goals in the CES but believes that we should not rely on limited means and short term tactics. He believes that the state must embrace truly transformational decentralized technology, investment in a green workforce and state policy to get there.
Steve Sack, Sack Distributors supports section 18 of the bill stating that he is a proponent of moving to ultra-low sulfur heating oil but opposes section 19's emphasis on natural gas testifying that the state is indeed picking winners and losers.
Shaun Chapman, Deputy Director of Government Affairs, SolarCity supports the bill and particularly the provisions regarding virtual net metering stating, “we believe it is another policy tool that allows all citizens to participate in the solar value proposition, further democratizing the choice to go solar.”
Solar Connecticut supports the bill as it relates to virtual net metering.
Changes that would allow for third party financing in leases or PPA's in long term contracts; allow for commercial, agricultural as well as municipal and state facilities to install and finance VNM facilities; allow for up to ten beneficial accounts per host customer if within same utility area, and an additional five accounts if utilizing a microgrid; and raising the VNM cap from 10 million to 2% of the said utilities peak load.
David Foster, Wilcox Energy supports language in Section 18 that would reduce the sulfur content of home heating oil from 3,000 parts per million (PPM) to 15 ppm. He opposes section 19 that proposes to set into law a 25 year “hurdle rate”. He believes that this will give natural gas suppliers protections that weren't afforded to his company.
William Rees, President, Green Power Solutions, Inc. supports the bill and in particular supports section 5 regarding virtual net metering (VNM). He testified that because of the VNM credit structure in the bill Connecticut agriculture is anticipated to see an initial investment boost of more than 100 million dollars. He is concerned, however, of the ten account limit in section 5(d).
Lynne Bonnett, New Haven resident supports the bill but has reservations regarding the development of natural gas. She testified that the emphasis should be based on the conservation and creation of renewable energy sources instead. She is also concerned about the trash incineration process and the potentially harmful environmental effects it may have on distressed communities.
Mayor Ryan Bingham, City of Torrington supports the bill, citing the greater ability the plan would give to municipalities to own or contract with a third party Class I and Class III renewable facilities. He also testifies that the installation of the facilities would be more economically viable by alleviating the financial barriers that previous ownership requirements imposed.
Nancy Watson, Riverside resident supports the bill and the concept of benchmarking and disclosing the energy usage of homes for sale, apartments where tenants pay for heating, and major commercial buildings. She also believes that the state must address the need for a steady and fair funding stream that will allow residents who heat with fuel oil access the state's energy efficiency programs. She also thinks that natural gas will be part of the path to clean air but not a permanent solution.
Andy Markowski, Connecticut State Director, National Federation of Independent Businesses generally supports the plan. He testified that while some of NFIB's members express grave concerns over the expansion of natural gas that has the potential to artificially edge out other fuel sources, 67% of members support the expansion of natural gas.
Nina Huang, New Haven resident supports the bill and particularly supports efforts to require landlords to provide tenants with a statement of prior usage for heat expenses. She also supports efforts to provide landlords with opportunities for incentives to make their buildings more energy efficient.
James O'Reilly, Director of Public Policy, Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnerships (NEEP) supports the bill stating, “I can testify to the fact that the Comprehensive Energy Strategy represents exemplary leadership in a state that is clearly committed to harnessing the numerous benefits of energy efficiency.”
Paul McCary, PMC Property Group supports the bill and wants the language to make clear that submetering is permitted in revitalized urban buildings.
Martin Mador, Legislative Chair, Sierra Club supports sections of the bill including section 2 which adds a plan for conservation of water resources, section 6 which allows more extensive submetering, sections 10-16 which requires benchmarking for commercial, residential, and state owned buildings, and section 18 which accelerates the cap on sulfur in heating oil, and makes CT independent of the caps from other states.
South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority supports section 5 which broadens eligibility for virtual net metering (VNM) and supports broadening it to expand eligibility for VNM to include regional and private water companies, as defined under Section 25-32a of the general statutes.
Susan Andrus Olson, Weatogue resident supports the bill and investments in efficient energy use. In her testimony she outlined a positive experience with an energy audit conducted in one of her rental properties.
William Dornbos, Connecticut Director, Environment Northeast (ENE) strongly supports the overall bill, especially the energy efficiency procurement reforms and the oil heat efficiency changes but opposes section 19 unless modifications are made.
Place certain statutory requirements on the natural gas expansion planning process to maximize its environmental and consumer benefits.
Bruce Redman Becker, AIA, AICP supports the strategy and wants the committee to add language to any legislative action should enable residential buildings to implement submetering as a right.
Don DeCesare, President, Crossroads Communications, WLIS-AM and WMRD-AM generally supports the bill but would like to see radio and television broadcast facilities included into the definition of “microgrids”. He testified that radio and television stations provide robust point-to-multipoint communications that are essential in case of an emergency or a time of crisis.
Connecticut Energy Marketers Association supports the language in Section 18 that would reduce the sulfur content of home heating oil from 3000ppm to 15ppm but opposes Section 19 which would set into law a 25 year “hurdle rate”. They suggest this be amended to prevent utility from passing the cost of expanding their infrastructure to existing ratepayers.
William Barkas, Manager of State Government Relations, Dominion Retail, Inc. supports efforts to include natural gas options in residential customer choice programs. He goes on to testify that residential gas choice has been an option in other states for a number of years and it has benefitted customer's individual needs as well as providing financial savings.
First Selectman Matthew Knickerbocker, Town of Bethel supports the virtual net metering (VNM) provisions of the bill. He explained a process the Town of Bethel is going through attempting to secure bids for a 1 megawatt solar generator. There are several competent, interested parties and all of the proposals are contingent upon reform of the state's net metering statutes.
Doug Cahill, Competitive Resources generally supports the bill including the three year window for efficiency plans rather than a year by year basis and well as the retaining the Governor's stated goal of weatherizing 80% of the state's homes by 2030. He does, however, believe that a wider funding mechanism will be required to make this goal a reality.
Give credits to make the process of weatherizing safer for technicians that would be doing the work
Chris Phelps, Environment Connecticut supports the bill and the measures that move the state towards full funding of all cost effective energy efficiency measures benefiting energy consumers. He does suggest the addition of policy that would promote energy efficiency for home heating oil customers. He also supports section 5 of the bill regarding virtual net metering and suggests that it be expanded to include all classes of electric customers and to remove the “artificial cap” on the amount of projects approved. Lastly, he urges that the impacts of relying on natural gas be examined before the extraction and transportation commences.
Paul J. Miller, Fairvue Farms, LLC. supports the bill. The virtual net metering language would allow his farm to market all of the electricity that it produces.
Good Life Energy Savers LLC generally supports the bill but would like to see the emphasis on energy efficiency measures before a conversion to natural gas. They also believe in making building insulation a priority of the CES. They also recommend that energy efficiency programs are fully funded for all fuel types in addition to introducing marketing and outreach initiatives to educate residents of upgrades available. Lastly, they support the energy usage benchmarking language for commercial and residential buildings.
Vote Solar Initiative supports the bill, particularly section 5 pertaining to virtual net metering (VNM) which will result in new investment in clean energy.
Expand VNM to commercial energy customers
Increase the number of benefitting accounts for all eligible customers
Allocate credits according to a customer host's preferred allocation.
Raquel Kennedy, Home Performance Alliance of Connecticut (HPACT) generally supports the steps forward in the CES but has suggestions. They believe that there should be a permanent solution for heating oil customers to gain access energy efficiency programs. They also would like to see a requirement that weatherization through the Home Energy Solutions Program be done to any conversion to natural gas.
Katherine Freygang, Cornwall Energy Task Force supports the bill but suggests that more public outreach be conducted to promote state energy programs. She believes that this outreach could result in local jobs, keeping seniors in their homes, and would promote local consciousness in regards to energy efficiency.
Roddy Diotalevi, UIL Holdings Corporation generally supports the bill and strongly supports the provisions that provide consumers with the opportunity to switch to a cleaner, cheaper, fuel source. He also supports the proposed 25-year hurdle rate for natural gas conversions but suggests that the payback time be extended to match neighboring states. He is also in favor of expanding virtual net metering to municipal and agricultural customers and well as the microgrid pilot program currently being worked on between DEEP and UIL.
Rep. Mary Mushinsky generally supports the bill but believes that more needs to be done to help oil customers. She also believes that efficiency and conservation programs must include municipal utility customers. Regarding section 3 she testified that upfront financing of energy efficiency is needed on a massive scale. In section 8 she is supportive of the promotion of microgrids. On sections 10-16 she is in favor of disclosing energy benchmarks. She is also in support of section 17 to advance electric vehicle charging stations and would like to see section 19 include time limits on investment in gas infrastructure. Lastly, she testified that she sees a benefit in the thousands of jobs that could potentially be created with this legislation.
William Leahy, Eastern Connecticut State University supports a number of subsections in the bill. He supports section 1 regarding decoupling because it encourages aggressive energy efficiency without causing financial hardship to utilities. He also supports section 2 establishing an Energy Efficiency Fund and believes it should be available to all energy users. Lastly, he supports section 8 of the bill pertaining to microgrids. He testified that they will provide improvements to communities and large businesses in delivering services during power outage situations.
Sharon Peterson, Apple Oil supports section 18 of the bill that reduces the sulfur content of heating oil from 3000ppm to 15ppm and would like to see language that would prohibit monopolies from recovering their costs from their existing ratepayers when they expand their infrastructure.
Amanda Fargo-Johnson, Program Coordinator, Connecticut Farm Energy Program supports the expansion of virtual net metering to farms but would like to see it be expanded further to include the following: a representative from the agricultural community on the Energy Conservation Management Board, infinite piling of credits for the customer host, and allowing unlimited beneficial accounts for the purpose of agriculture.
Elise J. Willer, Legislative Policy Organizer, Connecticut Working Families supports the bill and would like to see even stronger policies to the CES and would support the establishment of a stable funding source for heating oil energy, integrating energy efficiency into all natural gas conversions, developing a statewide community based approach to increase home and business retrofits, and adding wage and benefit standards to any “Request For Proposals” resulting from legislation associated with the CES.
Henry Link, PE, Enviro Energy Connections generally supports the CES plans and outlines his priorities in his testimony. Those priorities include: not using taxpayer funds to expand the usage of natural gas, increasing the initial funding for the microgrid pilot program, implementing a monetary surcharge to fund efficiency programs, creating an Advanced Energy Innovation Hub at UConn, not broadening what counts as renewable energy sources, providing monetary support for industrial process efficiency programs, implement decoupling, allow sub-metering in multi-tenant buildings, establish energy performance ratings for buildings, increasing funding and publicity for Home Energy Solutions for all customers, and sending DEEP staff to participate in regional energy meetings.
Joel Rinebold, Director of Energy Initiatives, Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology, Inc. supports the bill stating the bill “would encourage the development of Class I renewable energy resources, including fuel cell technology.” He also testified that the plan could create jobs in the state.
Roger Smith, Co-Director, Clean Water Action Connecticut supports the bill but proposes some additions to strengthen the language.
DEEP and PURA create a portfolio of heating solutions
DEEP and PURA provide incentives and financing to all solutions
Require basic building efficiency for gas conversions
Set a firm date that the state will no longer pay back natural gas infrastructure
Steve Rosentel, President, Leahy's Fuels supports section 18 of the bill stating that his company has been selling 15ppm product since July 2012 and it has been working great.
Expansion costs not recovered during the 25 year period should be borne solely by the utility shareholders to protect the existing ratepayers
NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:
Jay Fletcher, Connecticut Light and Power Co. and YankeeGas Co. supports section 1 of the bill which would permit decoupling at the time of the utility's next rate case. He is also supportive of section 19 of the bill that would extend the hurdle rate to 25 years. He is opposed, however, to section 5 regarding virtual net metering, stating that the subsidies are unfair to non-participating customers and will end up being subsidized by other customers. He also currently opposes section 8 because he would like to see DEEP's pilot program completed before any further action is taken. He testified in opposition to section 6 regarding sub metering due to the language falling short on protective statutes and regulations on sub metered customers. Lastly he opposes section 7 because of potential changes that would have to be made to their computer systems to allow the combining of bills.
Robert Fromer, Windsor resident opposes the bill stating “the draft is incontrovertibly not comprehensive and not strategic because it is neither designed as claimed by DEEP to 'Conserve, improve and protect our natural resources'…”
Annie Harper, Yale Community Carbon Fund believes that energy efficiency should be the main focus of the CES although she understands the reasons for the gas conversions. She also testified that more is needed to reach out to low-income groups than financing options and actionable information.
Anthony Sorge, Bethlehem resident opposes the bill stating that the emphasis on natural gas is dangerous and misguided. He then references an article that appears in Mother Jones outlining his belief that natural gas is worse than coal for the environment.
Ben Martin, 350CT opposes the idea of using natural gas because of harmful effects to the environment that are also caused by coal and oil. He also states that including trash incinerators in the renewable energy standards is not a step forward in modernizing the state's energy infrastructure.
Corey Guilmette, Middletown resident has concerns with potential natural gas main expansions and recommends that the analysis take into account 1) energy savings available through efficiency, 2) impacts on consumers, and 3) the environmental and climate impacts from gas extraction, transport, and use.
David Mann, Chairperson, Town of Westport Green Task Force has concerns.
[This testimony addresses fracking, which is not in the bill.]
Eugene and Gene DeJoannis, Citizens for a Greener Manchester would like to change two parts of the CES.
The first change he proposes is an expansion of the virtual net metering program to include residential renewable generators. The second would be a change in CEFIA incentive funding policy for photovoltaic (PV) that limits installed capacity to expected annual household use, and instead install the maximum possible area of PV on every house that qualifies with a good solar exposure.
Greater Hartford Legal Aid, Inc. has concerns that the bill does not expressly require that consumer protections that exist for low-income tenants that are customers of Connecticut's Electric Distribution Companies (“EDCs”) be extended to sub metered electricity customers.
James Schneider, Kimberly-Clark Corporation is concerned that the proposed benchmarking provisions in Section 15 of the bill will make public “highly confidential and commercially sensitive information, given that energy consumption represents one of the key operating costs in the energy-intensive and extremely competitive paper-making industry.”
Kate Donnelly, Chair, Hampton Green Energy Committee opposes investing so much in natural gas and would like to see the plan invest in energy efficiency, clean renewable energy, and sustainable jobs in sustainable technology.
Marcia Wilkins, Brookfield resident opposes part of the bill. She testified in opposition of the expansion of natural gas citing environmental concerns regarding the practice of fracking and the potential toxic pollution concerns. She also opposes Canadian hydro power qualifying for Class I renewable status and taxpayer subsidies to trash incinerators. She does support the full funding of all energy efficiency programs and the shutdown of the Bridgeport Coal Plant.
Martha Kelly, Hartford resident opposes subsidies or incentives for the construction of trash incinerators and is concerned about the emphasis on natural gas conversions over alternate approaches like energy efficiency and the potential harm fracking has to the water supply.
Michael Gayda, President, PBF Energy opposes the bill due to the timeframe outlined to produce ultra-low sulfur heating oil.
They suggested a schedule that moves to 500ppm sulfur heating oil in 2016 then move to 15 ppm Ultra-low Sulfur Heating Oil (ULSHO) in 2018.
Raymond G. Long, Vice President, Government Affairs, NRG Energy, Inc. had concerns that have been addressed in the substitute language regarding the implementation date for the use of ultra-low sulfur oil.
Teresa Eickel, Interreligious Eco-Justice Network has concerns with two aspects of the CES. The first concern is that she does not want to see Canadian hydro or trash incinerators to be included in Class I renewables. The second concern is about natural gas. She testifies that natural gas conversion may result in harmful effects to the environment due to the extraction process.
Cindy Moeckel, Ashford resident opposes the bill due to the “extreme cost of turning natural gas to replace oil.” She believes the state should have to import the fracking waste for storage to be proportional to the amount of gas that is transmitted from other states.
Judi Friedman, Chair, People's Action for Clean Energy (PACE) opposes three concepts in the CES. The first is using Canadian hydropower because she does not think it will result in local jobs. The second concept she is opposed to is including trash incineration in a clean energy proposal. The last point was opposing natural gas conversions due to the risks regarding the fracking practices.
Joshua Morin believes language should be added to create a provision where consumers would be able to see the “cetane” content of diesel fuel the way they can see the octane rating while purchasing gasoline.
Kate Gibbel, Middletown resident has concerns about the bill regarding the expansion of natural gas. She would like to see the impact on consumers and the potential environmental and climate impacts from gas extraction, transport, and use. She believes after these factors are taken into account natural gas expansion will not be the best option for the state.
Raphael L. Podolsky, Legal Assistance Resource Center of Connecticut, Inc. recommends modification of section 6 regarding submetering to include no service fees, PURA regulatory control over submetering, and no shutoffs by the owner or the electric company for submetering payment arrearages.
Marianne Horn, People's Action for Clean Energy has concerns about several aspects of the bill. She testified in opposition to including trash incineration and Canadian hydro as Class I renewables. She is also opposed to the emphasis on natural gas over energy efficiency and believes that importance should also be put on investments in micro-grids for the future.
Michael Harder, Hebron resident believes stronger steps should be taken. He suggests changing the state's building code to require stricter insulation requirements for all new buildings, and retrofitting requirements to higher standards upon sale of existing buildings including residential structures should be taken now. He also warns that expanding natural gas will have climate benefits but will not serve as a permanent solution to the state's energy situation.
Roberta Paro, Sierra Club is concerned about the reliance of fossil fuel and trash incineration in the CES and would like to see the state move toward using renewable energy by removing barriers to solar installation and by signing long-term contracts produced in New England. He also believes that Canadian hydropower should be kept out of the Class I renewable standard.
Ruth Clancy, Sierra Club has concerns about the expansion of natural gas due to the potential effects of the extraction process. She would like to see DEEP conduct a study of the cost to the environment and climate from fracking. She is supportive, however, of allowing virtual net metering which she believes has the potential to turn unproductive land into assets.
Sharon E. Lewis, Executive Director, Connecticut Coalition of Environmental Justice (CCEJ) opposes the use of trash incinerators in the state. She states that CCEJ is currently trying to shut down the Hartford trash-to-energy incinerator which she says is a dangerous source of pollution that releases dangerous chemicals like dioxin and mercury.
Walter Gayeski suggests that “before we use taxpayer money to subsidize conversions from oil to natural gas, we must require that the home's building shell be brought up to a minimum insulation and air tightness standard.” He believes the plan is wasting the state's natural resources.
AARP has concerns about the plan and suggests that in the final version it include: a specific set of proposed steps for implementation of each policy proposal, an economic analysis to evaluate the cost to ratepayers of each policy proposal and all of the proposals in total, and proposed metrics to measure, quantitatively, progress towards achieving each key policy proposal relative to what otherwise would occur under a continuation of current policies.
Anthony Malkin, Malkin Holdings and Malkin Properties opposes the bill stating that it would “kill any chance for CHP projects in the state of Connecticut.” They believe combined heat and power systems should be the cornerstone of the CES and the strategy doesn't go far enough to address that issue. He goes on to testify that for every 100MW of cogeneration, 400 million dollars will be invested and approximately 600 construction and 80-100 permanent jobs will be created.
Barbara Doyle, East Hartford resident opposes the inclusion of energy from trash incineration into the Class I Renewable Portfolio Standard. She prefers that the state invest more in microgrids as that would leave us less vulnerable to power outages.
Councilwoman Cynthia R. Jennings, Esq. of Hartford opposes including trash incineration as a Class I Renewable energy source. She testified that she is against trash incineration is that it is highly polluting, contributes to global warming, and is a known asthma trigger.
Jennifer Kleinienst, Middletown resident has concerns about natural gas main extensions. She testified that environmental factors must be taken into consideration including the effects of gas extraction transport, and use.
Judith Allen, West Hartford resident opposes the inclusion of natural gas into the Class I renewable standards. Citing environmental concerns, she is also opposed to the inclusion of Canadian hydro and trash incineration into the Class I portfolio.
Steven Guveyan, Connecticut Petroleum Council strongly opposes section 18 and would like lines 795-797 be amended to insert a 500ppm standard effective 7/1/14, delete the 50ppm standard altogether, and add a 15 ppm standard becoming effective on 7/1/18. He testified that the price impact on heating oil and diesel customers could be quite severe.
Eric J. Brown, Connecticut Business & Industry Association generally opposes the bill. He calls for a change to section 3 to add a plan for transforming the Home Energy Solutions program into an open-market system and to promote an expansion of the number of contractors participating in the HES and other such programs. He opposes section 4 stating that the language drafting could give DEEP unlimited authority to regulate energy generators through whatever measures they deem appropriate. In section 5 he favors a study by PURA to determine a strategy for expanding access of virtual net metering to include privately owned buildings. Mr. Brown also opposes sections 10-16 which outline benchmarking requirements for businesses stating that this language will add to the burden and expense of owning a commercial building. He also opposes section 18 regarding the compliance deadlines for sulfur content in number 2 heating oils. Lastly, Mr. Brown is supportive of section 19 of the bill that will extend existing “hurdle rates” to 25 years.
Guy West, Canton resident opposes the bill because of the potential expansion of natural gas. He states that the bill will take up to 25 years to be cost-effective, promotes fossil fuels, promote volatile gas prices, sends money out of state, contributes to global warming, and fails to address the full range of economic and environmental costs when making decisions on natural gas main expansions.
John Murphy, Connecticut Citizen's Action Group (CCAG) opposes the bill due to the “over-reliance” of natural gas which CCAG states as the bill's major flaw. He also testified that there is far more emphasis being placed on natural gas than there is into energy efficiency or customers that can't convert to natural gas.
Reported by: Billy Taylor