One year ago, the Connecticut legislature took money YOU pay each month on your electric bill for energy efficiency and clean energy services and used it to plug unrelated budget holes. Now programs like home energy audits, insulation, and efficient lighting are running out of funding. Sadly, energy efficiency businesses across the state have had to lay off workers.
That’s why we sued the State of Connecticut with co-plaintiffs and partners like Efficiency For All, Solar Connecticut, Fight the Hike, Connecticut Citizen Action Group, and efficiency and clean energy businesses around the state. We are arguing the swiping of ratepayer funds violates the contracts clause of the Constitution and amounts to an illegal tax on nonprofits and churches. The judge is still considering the case, but there’s something you can do in the meantime.
Can you help fight the raids with a letter to the editor?
Over $140 million was stolen from the Energy Efficiency Fund, Connecticut Green Bank, and Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative—all create economic growth, eliminate the need for new power plants, improve health, and lower costs for ratepayers.
We are waiting to hear the verdict from the lawsuit any day now—but your state legislators can fix this themselves, and you can ask them to.
We’re asking folks like you to write a letter to the editor for your local or favorite news publication, online and in print.
A letter to the editor is one of the most important and influential tools available. It helps shape public opinion in a personal way. Especially now, during election season, people are reading them extra closely—including your legislators and local candidates. It’s the perfect time to tell them you want the energy funds restored!
Send a letter today! (Click here for helpful bullet points and sample letters).
Together we can ensure cleaner air, lower bills, economic growth–and make sure these funds are never raided again.
Raids Bullet Points
- Last year the Connecticut legislature took money we all pay each month on our electric bills—money that is supposed to go to energy efficiency and clean energy services—and used it to plug unrelated budget holes instead. It’s an illegal tax.
- If you have used Eversource or UI programs to get affordable efficiency and clean services—or if you haven’t yet but want to—you can mention that to help make it relatable.
- Now programs like home energy audits, insulation, and efficient lighting that should be saving money for families are running out of funding. And energy efficiency businesses across the state have had to lay off workers.
- State legislators can fix this by replenishing the funds, and protecting them next year when it’s time to build a new state budget.
- I want my legislators and the candidates running in my district [you can name them if you want] to know that I care about this and will be listening to what they say about the energy efficiency and clean energy funds.
The theft of these funds is already affecting our environment and has led to layoffs at small energy efficiency businesses. If not reversed, the losses for the environment, Connecticut residents, and businesses could be huge:
- LOST: 6,885 jobs over the next two years. (According to a 2017 U.S. Department of Energy report, Connecticut’s efficiency programs have generated close to 34,000 jobs so far.)
- LOST: $1 BILLION in economic activity and $21.9 million in state tax revenue in Connecticut.
- LOST: Up to 12,900 families in 2018 alone may not be able to receive energy assessments, weatherization upgrades, and reduced pricing on insulation, and the associated energy bill savings.
- LOST: Energy efficiency programs for low income residents, small businesses, and businesses owned by people of color. (These groups often pay the highest percentage of their income to energy bills.) 5,600 of low income households will not receive financial assistance to close the energy affordability gap.
- LOST: $31 million per year in energy efficiency upgrades for Connecticut businesses and industries that generate millions in energy cost savings.
- LOST: Contracts worth an estimated $126 million, plus $252 million in private capital from customer investments leveraged from those contracts.
- LOST: 53% reduction in the Green Bank’s budget, layoffs, and cancelled transactions.
Fully replenishing these funds can curtail both short- and long-term economic damage and signal commitment to Connecticut’s clean energy businesses, climate commitments, public health, and citizens’ wallets.
More on the lawsuit here.