Since 2000, Connecticut has been ranked as one of the top states in the nation for energy efficiency. This leadership is due to the foresight of our legislature in creating the Energy Efficiency Fund (Fund)—supported by you — the utility rate payers. The money collected supports energy-efficiency programs that benefit all energy users in Connecticut.
In addition to energy efficiency programs, renewable energy programs are available through the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority. Recognizing the need to bring both energy solutions together, in 2012 the State launched Energize CT — an effort to promote both energy efficiency and renewal energy. The overarching goal of Energize CT is to empower Connecticut residents and businesses to make smart energy choices, now and in the future.
Energy efficiency is the easiest, most cost-effective way to collectively save money, create jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, enhance energy security, and reduce the need for additional generation plant construction. The Fund was created with the direct purpose of helping homeowners and renters, small and large businesses, and state and local governments use energy more efficiently. Since 1998, Connecticut’s energy-efficiency programs have helped small and large businesses, homeowners and renters, and state and local governments manage their energy use and costs. In 2011, the Fund programs activities resulted in 3.2 billion kilowatt-hour lifetime savings. This is the equivalent to:
The electric companies, The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P) and The United Illuminating Company (UI), and the gas companies, Yankee Gas Services Company, Connecticut Natural Gas Corporation and The Southern Connecticut Gas Company, administer the energy-efficiency programs the Fund supports, providing energy-efficiency expertise and financial incentives to help their customers reduce the amount of energy used in their homes and businesses.
The energy-efficiency programs are reviewed by the Energy Efficiency Board (EEB), a group of advisors who utilize their experience and expertise with energy issues to evaluate and consult with the utility companies on how the programs are structured and delivered. In conjunction with the EEB, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) regulates the utility companies and reviews and approves the Fund’s energy-efficiency programs annually.
Energy efficiency is the most cost-effective resource available to policymakers to address rising energy costs and reliability challenges, meeting the greenhouse gas reduction goals in the Governor’s Climate Action Plan and the federal attainment goals for nitrogen oxides emissions. The least expensive kilowatt-hour is the one not used.
For every $1 spent on electric efficiency, Connecticut receives electric system benefits of more than $3 and the same statement can be made for natural gas system. This return on investment is remarkable in today’s economic climate and demonstrates that Fund programs are an important part of resolving the state’s economic crisis by reducing customer costs, generating “green” jobs and making the state more competitive due to lower business operating costs. The energy-efficiency measures installed in 2011 through the Fund’s programs will result in a savings of about $645.8 million over the life of the measures.
Efficient use of electricity slows down the need to build more power plants and results in fewer toxins emitted into our atmosphere. For more information about energy issues and resources in Connecticut, visit: