May 18, 2017
CT Green Guide

GOP budget plan raids energy efficiency funds

Photos | Rablo Robles
Photos | Rablo Robles
A proposed raid of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund to help plug the state's budget deficit could impact contractors for various initiatives, including the Home Energy Solutions program. Among those vendors is Leticia Colon de Mejias, CEO of Energy Efficiencies Solutions in Windsor, pictured here in 2013.

A revised budget proposal unveiled by newly empowered Senate Republicans would divert $320 million from ratepayer-funded energy efficiency programs to the state's general fund over the next two fiscal years.

The nonprofit Acadia Center said this week that the proposed 64 percent raid from the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund would "devastate" various efficiency programs, which fund various services for businesses and homeowners, from energy audits to multifamily retrofits.

"This shortsighted budget proposal would effectively end Connecticut's energy efficiency programs for the next two years, and perhaps beyond," said Bill Dornbos, Connecticut director and senior attorney at Acadia. "Cost-effective energy efficiency is at the center of any modern clean energy strategy, and so this troubling cut would be a needless step backwards for Connecticut, almost certainly crippling the emerging clean energy economy that will be so crucial to our future."

Advocates say 2016 investments from the programs are estimated to create nearly $962 million in lifetime bill savings.

Connecticut legislators are struggling to close a projected two-year deficit of approximately $5 billion.

Democrats and Gov. Dannel Malloy revised their own deficit-closing plans this week.

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