The Clean Water Blog

Rooftop solar panel. photo: istock.com

Stop the Raids

Last year, the General Assembly voted to divert $175 million dollars from the Connecticut Green Bank, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), the Conservation and Load Management and Clean Energy Funds to plug a budget hole. The bulk of this money, $155 million, comes from a small charge on electric bills paid by ratepayers intended for services to increase home energy audits, energy efficiency services, and installation of clean, renewable energy sources. The impact of these raids was devastating, forcing contractors and energy efficiency business owners to lay off highly skilled workers, significantly reducing the amount of services provided to residents as colder weather approaches, limiting critical clean energy solutions that protect public health, reduce energy consumption and therefor costs and reduce climate changing greenhouse gas emissions.  

Unfortunately, a lawsuit filed by contractors, business owners and other ratepayers arguing the raids were unconstitutional and effectively stealing from residents, was not successful. While the group determines next steps, Clean Water Action and business leaders are taking action. We are launching a campaign to make all legislators, including those new to the General Assembly, aware of the critical role these funds play in protecting health, the environment and growing jobs in Connecticut.  Together, we’ll gather pledges from legislators opposing any future raids of these funds and their commitment committing to assuring that these ratepayer funds are used for their intended purpose, not only in the upcoming 2019 budget but for years to come.

Energy efficiency saves lives and we simply will not meet the state’s greenhouse gas emission reduction targets by 2030 and 2050 if the General Assembly continues to divert these funds.  Clean Water Action is proud to stand with these business leaders and skilled contractors, protecting health, the environment, growing green jobs and holding legislators accountable.