Thursday, December 30, 2010

Electric rates set to go down

DPUC approved new lower rates for electricity users in CT. CL&P customers should see approx 8% reduction while UI customers will see a more modest 1.5% dip. Read more here.

Still, you may find lower rates from an alternative provider. Click here for a list of providers and prices.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Madison saves big bucks on energy bills

Updated control systems help make sensible choices, like not heating or cooling rooms that are not in use. CT Energy Efficiency Fund (funded through our electric bills) shelled half of the $68k installation, allowing the school to save $27k per year. That's an impressive 2.5 year pay-off.

Click here to read more from the New Haven Register's Alexandra Sanders.

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Exotic" wind turbine in Torrington

Not all wind is harnessed equally. Here's an interesting 150 KW wind turbine design by Optiwind and installed at a farm in Torrington.

Free energy analyses available for UI customers

The CT Energy Efficiency Fund is offering free energy use analysis and cost-saving tips to the first 6,000 United Illuminating customers to sign up. UI will supply "detailed" energy reports for one year, comparing your energy use (electricity only, I assume) to last year's usage and also in relation to similar homes in the area. They are promoting the program through facebook. Click here to sign up and get more information.

You help pay for this and similar programs through small charges on your electricity bill, so don't be shy about signing up!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

University of New Haven develops 500 mpg car

UNH has designed and built a single-seater that can travel 500 miles on a single gallon of gasoline. It relies not on hybridization, regenerative braking, solar or human power -- just good old fashioned ingenuity and efficient design. Best of luck to team who will be competing in the national supermileage competition this weekend!

Read here and here.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Rell vetoes energy bill

Governor Jodi Rell put the kibosh on the legislature's comprehensive energy reform bill. This bill was to become the most sweeping energy change in the state since deregulation was passed in 1998.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

WOW! UI buys gas companies

UI's parent company jumps head first into the Natural Gas business. They just bought the two largest NG companies in CT and one in Mass. Read more from Luther Turmelle.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Save the CT Clean Energy Fund

The legislature is planning to take money you pay for clean energy and apply it to the general fund. Please read the press release below and consider turning out for the public hearing on March 22.

Contact: Emily Smith,
Managing Director, External Relations
Connecticut Innovations
Phone: (860) 257-2337

On Monday March 22, 2010 the legislature’s Finance, Revenue & Bonding Committee is holding a public hearing on S.B. 484 An Act Concerning the Governor’s Revenue Plan. This bill will “securitize” the revenue stream of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund for a 10-year period diverting funding intended to support development of renewable energy projects in Connecticut to the general fund. This proposed raid on the CCEF will have dire consequences on the continued growth and development of clean energy efforts across the State of Connecticut.

Information about the public hearing is below:

MONDAY, MARCH 22, 2010

The Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee will hold a public hearing on Monday, March 22, 2010 from 10: 00 A. M. to 3: 00 P. M. in Room 2E of the LOB. Please submit 75 copies of written testimony one hour prior to the start of the hearing to Committee staff in Room 3700 of the LOB. Testimony not submitted prior to the start of the hearing will not be distributed. Sign-up for the hearing will begin at 8: 30 A. M. in the Atrium next to the up escalator. All sign up will be done by a lottery system. Each person wishing to testify should be in line prior to sign up at 8: 30 A. M. At the time of sign up you will draw a number and your name will be placed on the list next to the corresponding number on the sign up sheet. The lottery will conclude at 9: 45 A. M. and all other speakers should report to Room 3700 of the LOB where your name will be placed at the end of the list. The first hour of the hearing is reserved for Invited Speakers. The public portion will begin at approximately 11: 00 A. M. Speakers will be limited to 3 minutes of testimony. Unofficial sign-up sheets have no standing with the Committee.

If you are unable to attend the public hearing you should still contact members of the Finance, Revenue & Bonding committee to voice your opposition to this proposal. A list of committee members and their e-mail addresses may be found here.

Raiding this fund is backdoor way to tax electric ratepayers - the CCEF is funded through a small surcharge on every CL&P and UI electric ratepayer’s bill. Ratepayer funding goes to support CCEF programs and initiatives that benefit Connecticut. Using this funding for purposes other than clean energy turns it into a tax on certain ratepayers. Not fair!

Ratepayer funding is used for programs and initiatives that create “green jobs” - The programs and initiatives of the CCEF have resulted in significant growth of the “green” economy across Connecticut. Its solar programs have grown an in-state solar installation industry that now boasts over 50 solar installation companies. The fuel cell industry includes over 1200 highly-skilled employees with the potential for rapid growth as fuel cell projects continue to grow in number and size. Large scale clean energy projects under the Project 150 program will create hundreds of good construction jobs. Green jobs are the jobs of the future. The Federal government is increasing commitments to green jobs by funding new clean energy projects across the country. Connecticut must invest in the future, not steal from it.

Clean energy is good for Connecticut – CCEF has put Connecticut on the map as a national leader in promoting clean energy. Its mission and goals help improve the quality of life for all Connecticut residents by creating jobs, reducing our dependence on foreign oil, reducing greenhouse gases, improving the environment and improving public health. CCEF programs support clean energy projects at businesses, non-profits, public facilities and residences. Ratepayer funding must continue to support clean energy initiatives so that Connecticut can maintain its position as a national leader in promoting clean energy.

Raiding the CCEF puts millions of federal stimulus package dollars at risk - CCEF has worked hard to create a renewable energy industry and support clean energy projects across Connecticut. It has created strong programs and has staff in place to quickly deploy any federal dollars targeted for clean, renewable energy projects. Raiding the Fund would put an end to CCEF’s successful programs making it impossible for the state to take advantage of these federal dollars.

Link to CCEF “Talking Points/Impact Statement”

Thank you for your continued support of the CCEF,

Norma Glover
CCEF Board

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

More residents choosing alternative electric providers

20% of CT electric customers have now chosen an alternative provider for generation. you, too, can choose a better rate from this list. Read more about the trend in the article in the New Haven Register.

There has been some discussion about "re-regulating" the electric market in CT. Opponents claim that this would remove our right to choose alternatives (which is true) and further point out that the utility generation rates are higher than the alternatives. However, this does not necessarily mean that everyone's rates will go up if we eliminate the competitive market. States that have maintained the regulated monopolies have significantly lower overall rates than states like CT who have competitive markets. So your alternative provider might be saving you a penny or two over UI, but your rate is still 3 cents too high compared to the rest of the country.

The reasons for this are not 100% clear. Some may argue that we are now susceptible to market manipulation by the generation companies. Also, we now have an additional middle-man who serves as a broker between you and the generation companies. Regardless, re-regulating the market seems like an extremely difficult task. The utilities would have to buy back all the power plants that they sold off in the 90s. With only one buyer, how would they determine a fair price?
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