Governor Lamont directs $3.5 million in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative funds to energy efficiency programs for low-income customers that will reach 1,000 additional homes

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07/28/2022

Governor Lamont directs $3.5 million in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative funds to energy efficiency programs for low-income customers that will reach 1,000 additional homes

(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he is allocating $3.5 million in Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) funds to Connecticut utility-administered energy efficiency programs to low-income customers. This support will increase the delivery of energy efficiency programs that save residents money on their utility bills while reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions.

The funding augments an approximate $37 million annual budget dedicated to low-income energy efficiency programs across the state and will be used to support the Home Energy Solutions-Income Eligible (HES-IE) program, enabling the plan to reach approximately 1,000 additional households in 2022. .

HES-IE provides home energy audits and basic weatherization measures, such as air and duct sealing, for an average savings of $250 on annual household energy bills. After the first HES-IE visit, customers can receive additional upgrades, such as insulation and efficient windows, which can generate even more savings. Income-eligible clients receive these services for little or no charge through the HES-IE program. HES-IE is available to clients whose household income is less than or equal to 60% of the state median income, who participate in utility rebate or matching payment programs, or who receive other forms of means-tested assistance.

“Global disruptions in the energy sector are hitting low-income households particularly hard, and initiatives like this are designed to provide relief,” Governor Lamont said. “I worked to protect our state’s award-winning energy efficiency programs from damaging budget sweeps and supported Connecticut’s energy efficiency contractors during pandemic disruptions. These programs are there to help consumers save money during this energy crisis. These funds will help our most vulnerable residents reduce their energy costs, while protecting the environment.

“Energy efficiency is central to the Lamont administration’s strategy to reduce emissions from the electric sector, an area in which Connecticut has made tremendous progress in recent years,” Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes said. “The RGGI program has long been a workhorse that funds our energy efficiency programs, and protecting taxpayers’ energy efficiency funds has been a priority for Governor Lamont since taking office. This funding will provide residents with a sustainable source of energy cost savings over time and will be complemented by DEEP’s latest Conservation and Load Management Plan, which directs Connecticut utilities to redirect RGGI funding as needed toward programs benefiting low-income, over-energized, and other underserved clients, including those living in multi-unit buildings.

Under Governor Lamont’s leadership and DEEP’s oversight, energy efficiency programs are well positioned to meet this increased demand. In addition to protecting taxpayers’ energy efficiency funds from being diverted for other purposes, the Lamont administration has also taken steps to build the capacity of Connecticut’s energy efficiency workforce, including through the launch in 2021 of the Office of Workforce Strategy CareerConneCT Program, which will train local workers in in-demand sectors such as energy efficiency. With this support, energy efficiency programs will continue to be a source of energy savings, emission reductions and economic development for the state.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lamont administration, including DEEP and the Ministry of Economic and Community Development, worked closely with utilities, the Energy Efficiency Commission, contractors and other stakeholders to ensure contractors could continue to provide essential customer services through statewide energy efficiency programs by implementing health and safety procedures and encouraging customer involvement. These measures generated record levels of demand for energy efficiency programs that persist to this day. Demand for state utility energy efficiency programs has peaked this year as consumers look for ways to reduce their energy costs.

HES-IE is one of many utility-administered energy efficiency programs available through the EnergizeCT initiative. Energize CT provides Connecticut residents and businesses with services, financing and rebates for energy efficiency and clean energy improvements. More information is available at energizect.com.

RGGI is a cooperative effort between the states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Virginia to cap and reduce CO2 emissions from the electricity sector. RGGI is the country’s first mandatory market-based CO2 emissions reduction program. In RGGI states, fossil fuel-fired electricity generators with a capacity of 25 megawatts or more must hold allowances equal to their CO2 emissions during each three-year control period. Producers must also hold allowances equal to 50% of their emissions during each intermediate monitoring period (the first two calendar years of each three-year monitoring period). The current three-year control period is from January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2023.

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