Energy Efficiency in Connecticut: Like Eating Peanuts

Sept. 13, 2013
Energy efficiency in Connecticut seems to have that eating peanuts quality. Have some, and you want some more. The state posted some big energy savings numbers for 2012 — and now it wants to do a lot more.

Energy efficiency seems to evoke that eating peanuts thing. Have some, and you want some more.

Such is the case in Connecticut. The state made signficant energy efficiency gains in 2012, and now wants to do more. Connecticut has proposed a near doubling of its energy efficiency program, as first reported here.

Here is the kind of peanut eating Connecticut did last year. The data comes from a Sept. 10 presentation by Diane Duva, a director at Connecticut’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. She provided the information in a public pitch for the expanded program.

  • Connecticut’s Energy Efficiency Fund served 4,579 commercial and industrial businesses in 2012, saving those business $25.9 million annually and more than $320.4 million over the lifetime of the investments.
  • In 2012, energy efficiency programs served 28,715 households plus an additional 12,877 low-income households. The programs helped homeowners pay for insulation, replacement furnaces, water heaters, and other measures, saving those residents more than $12.2 million annually.

For businesses, two state programs account for the bulk of energy savings, according to a separate report issued Sept. 11 through the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (Docket No. 13-03-02.) Energy Conscious Blueprint is for facilities under construction, and Energy Opportunities is for existing operations.  The two programs offer a range of incentives to improve lighting, HVAC, motors, hot water, and process vending, kitchen and laundry equipment.

Together, the two programs accounted for 59 percent of the electricity saved and 87 percent of natural gas saved by Connecticut’s commercial and industrial businesses last year, according to the report, “Large Commercial & Industrial Research: Participant Trend Analysis,” prepared for the state by Seattle-based Energy Market Innovations (EMI).

Connecticut spent about $37 million last year on the two C&I programs. The Energy Efficiency Board has proposed an increase in spending on all energy efficiency programs from $122 million to $231 million annually. The expanded program would run for three years.

“Connecticut is already reaping huge returns on our investment in efficiency and our decision to approve the proposed plan will help us do even more,” Duva said.

What’s next? The state is accepting public comment on the new three-year proposal through September 23. Comments can be filed electronically here or submitted to Debra Morrell at [email protected].

About the Author

Elisa Wood | Editor-in-Chief

Elisa Wood is an award-winning writer and editor who specializes in the energy industry. She is chief editor and co-founder of Microgrid Knowledge and serves as co-host of the publication’s popular conference series. She also co-founded, where she continues to lead a team of energy writers who produce content for energy companies and advocacy organizations.

She has been writing about energy for more than two decades and is published widely. Her work can be found in prominent energy business journals as well as mainstream publications. She has been quoted by NPR, the Wall Street Journal and other notable media outlets.

“For an especially readable voice in the industry, the most consistent interpreter across these years has been the energy journalist Elisa Wood, whose Microgrid Knowledge (and conference) has aggregated more stories better than any other feed of its time,” wrote Malcolm McCullough, in the book, Downtime on the Microgrid, published by MIT Press in 2020.

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