Energy policy has important ramifications for our environment and our economy. The amount of energy that we consume and the types of fuels that we use affect the quality of the air we breathe, the stability of our climate, and the kinds of jobs created here in Connecticut.
As a part of major reforms to Connecticut’s energy policy last year, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) is required to create a Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) to guide legislative and executive actions for the next several years. The short-term decisions that come out of the strategy will have long-term ramifications. Investing in particular kinds of energy infrastructure could tie Connecticut residents to certain patterns of living for decades to come.
DEEP released the draft CES last month. The draft strategy makes proposals across a range of issues, including increased investment in energy efficiency for existing buildings, transportation, electricity generation, and a serious expansion in natural gas infrastructure. We believe energy efficiency should be the primary focus of the final strategy.
Energy efficiency is the best way of meeting our state’s economic and environmental goals. Investing in measures to reduce the amount of energy we use is cheaper than generating additional energy from fossil fuels, and avoids the release of greenhouse gases and of pollutants that hurt local air quality. Improving the efficiency of homes means families are more comfortable while spending less on utility bills, and therefore have more cash in their pockets to reinvest in our local economies. What’s more, tasks like conducting home energy audits or installing new insulation mean on-the-ground jobs that can’t be outsourced–smart energy efficiency policies spur growth in a wide range of building, industrial, and home performance fields.
Check out this recent CTNewsJunkie article to read more about the draft CES.
DEEP is accepting public comments on the draft CES until 4:30 P.M. on December 14. Comments can be submitted online, by e-mail to Debra Morrell at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by mail to Debra Morrell, DEEP, Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy, 10 Franklin Square, New Britain, CT 06051.
Posted by Mark LeBel, energy fellow, and Laura McMillan, outreach associate for CFE/Save the Sound