Summary: Requirement for acquisition of all cost-effective efficiency resources, equivalent to annual electricity savings targets of ~1.4%, natural gas savings of ~60 MMTherms through 2015.
The state's renewable portfolio standard (RPS), established in 1998 and revised thereafter, requires that electricity providers and wholesale suppliers obtain 27% of their retail load from renewable energy and energy efficiency by 2020. Technologies eligible to meet the standard are grouped into tiers or classes, with each class assigned a specified percentage of load it must meet. Energy efficiency measures and combined heat and power systems installed after January 1, 2006 are considered "Class III sources" and must meet 1% of retail load in 2007, 2% in 2008, 3% in 2009 and 4% in 2010 and thereafter.
Utilities are offered an alternative method of compliance called an "alternative compliance payment" (ACP), the price of which was set at $31/MWh for efficiency. An ACP is an amount of money required by a utility or load serving entity that fails to meet its requirement for energy efficiency. This allows load serving entities in the state some flexibility in complying with the regulations by enabling them to either run efficiency programs, or pay the ACP, whichever is less costly.
The 2007 Electricity and Energy Efficiency Act (Public Act 07-242) took an important step in recognizing the value of energy efficiency by requiring utilities to achieve resource needs through "all available energy efficiency resources that are cost-effective, reliable and feasible." The Department of Public Utility Control interpreted this mandate overly restrictively, however, focusing only on capacity needs, and did not approve funding increases to achieve all cost-effective energy efficiency (Docket 10-02-07). Therefore, the state has an all cost-effective efficiency procurement requirement for electric and natural gas utilities that has yet to be implemented.
Public Act 11-80 (2011) created the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), into which was integrated the DPUC, renamed the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA). DEEP has several goals related to energy: to reduce the cost electricity in the state; to ensure the reliability and safety of the state's energy supply; to increase the use of clean energy; and to develop the state's energy economy. The Act requires DEEP to review the state's energy and capacity resource assessment every two years and to develop an integrated resources plan that identifies how best to meet projected demand for electricity and to lower the cost of electricity through a mixture of supply and demand side measures, including energy efficiency, load management, demand response, combined heat and power facilities, distributed generation and other emerging energy technologies.
In 2013, the state passed Public Act 13-298, An Act Concerning Implementation of Connecticut’s Comprehensive Energy Strategy. The Act contained provisions requiring gas and electric distribution companies to create triennial energy conservation plans and increased funding levels to the point where the state’s all cost-effective mandate is achievable. In December, 2013, PURA approved rate adjustments requested by utilities for implementation of their efficiency plans.
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