There has never been a greater need for state-level leadership to advance clean energy solutions and energy efficiency programs. As businesses and employers in Connecticut, we recognize the risk and opportunities that climate change poses to our business operations and profitability, and we understand the transformative economic opportunity that exists as the state transitions to a clean energy economy.

We support policy outcomes that align with the state’s clean energy goals and aspire to reach a clean energy economy with net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. These outcomes must support and advocate a clean energy transition that is equitable, just and accessible to all.¹

To realize these outcomes, we believe the following principles are important to consider and integrate into public policymaking:

1. Targets

Send clear, strong, and durable market signals, such as a state commitment to a zero-carbon electricity supply, to enhance investment in energy efficiency and clean energy.2

2. Innovation

Support the innovation and adoption of clean energy solutions and technologies in Connecticut through incentives, supportive financing, and other policy measures to enhance competitiveness and provide economic opportunities for the businesses and people of our state.3

3. Investment

Leverage public and private sector investment in clean energy and energy efficiency by increasing access to low-cost financing for businesses including local, small and mid-sized businesses, through a broad range of consistent financing, and efficiently and rapidly distributed rebates and incentive programs.4

4. Information

Strengthen informational resources and increase business access to energy efficiency and clean energy programs with clear targets for expanding business participation.5

5. Equity and Workforce

Create opportunities for clean energy workforce development, jobs, and investments in marginalized communities, and create opportunities for businesses owned by people of color and other under-represented groups. 6

6. Reform

Advance reforms of New England’s electric grid and governance system to improve energy markets and transmission planning necessary to advance a timely transition to clean energy that is reliable, increasingly affordable, and supports system-wide resilience.

7. Cost

Encourage competitive clean energy pricing so that costs are on par with fossil-fuel energy, benefit-to-cost ratios can be maximized and unfair cost barriers to renewable energy are minimized.7

8. Capacity

Increase the capacity for businesses to contribute to the electrical production in the state and realize clean energy cost benefits by enabling them to offload excess electrical capacity to the grid with price parity.8

9. Reliability

Reform and modernize the electric grid so we can integrate renewable energy in a way that also supports local and system-wide reliability and resilience.9

10. Resilience

Support the advancement of state-of-the-art distributed energy transmission and generation so that businesses can increase and maintain resilience to energy service interruption.10

Footnote 1. The globally accepted science-based target of 1.5 degrees Celcius provides us with a way to quantify whether these principles contribute to meeting larger climate goal, and ensures the policy principles are aligned with the recommendations of the 2022 International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Report.

Footnote 2. A major milestone was achieved during the 2022 CT Legislative Session with the passage of SB 10 (PA 22-5) which establishes a statutory commitment for the State of CT to have a 100% zero-carbon electricity supply by 2040. The value of this principle still stands because there may be other related policy measures that remain important including the steps needed to actually realize the 100% and whereby business support may be key to success.

Footnote 3. This policy principle seeks to develop and scale clean energy technology markets and solutions and to make these accessible to the public. Types of clean energy solutions and technologies suited for R&D include battery storage, high efficiency solar, and other technologies such as fuel cells, hydropower, geothermal, microgrids, advanced metering, and offshore wind.

Footnote 4. This policy principle seeks to enhance incentives and financing for programs like Energy Storage Solutions, the non-residential solar (NRES) program, the Innovative Energy Solutions (IES) program, and other programs through EnergizeCT and CT Green Bank like Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program (CPACE). Increasing incentives and financing through these programs can help ensure a strong business community and boost Connecticut’s green energy economy. In general, this principle seeks consistent incentives, low-cost and flexible financing, and assistance for people to figure out what to do and how to pay for it. An example of an outcome of this principle could be the expansion of battery storage programs such as Energy Storage Solutions for non-residential use.

Footnote 5. This policy principle intends to make it easier to find and disseminate information and programs that business owners can use to reduce their energy costs and consumption. Such information and programs (as mentioned above) can be complex to navigate. Increasing awareness and participation will help ensure these programs continue and become stronger.

Footnote 6. Collecting data from underserved and/or other targeted communities and measuring progress over time is one way to begin ensuring equitable distribution of jobs and other workforce development opportunities.

Footnote 7. This principle addresses the importance of benefit-to-cost ratio and being able to realize reasonable payback periods and/or return on investment (ROI) for clean energy and/or efficiency investments (e.g. 7-8 years is good, but 20+ is too many). The basic cost of production refers to the cost that businesses have that is related to what it costs to produce their products. There may be multiple applications where this is pertinent (e.g. solar programs) and can help increase business participation in clean energy and/or efficiency opportunities. This principle is also directed more broadly at needed reforms of the electricity system at the regional level (ISO-NE) which has a great impact on cost and where reforms that have already been contemplated could make a significant difference in the cost of renewable energy. As Connecticut transitions to 100% clean energy, costs for energy efficiency technology and clean energy will likely continue to fall, making an initial investment of such technology cost-effective regardless of state incentives.

Footnote 8. This principle pertains to the State’s non-residential (NRES) and shared clean energy facility (SCEF) solar programs. The 2022 CT Legislative Session doubled the program limits which made the benefits available to a larger number of businesses. It also doubled the size of any individual project and now allows the full expanse of roof space to be utilized for solar. Price parity in this context relates to the different program tariffs or reimbursement rates that commercial solar providers receive.

Footnote 9. Reliability refers to the sufficiency of power generation and the electric grid to meet electricity demands under varying and potentially taxing power demand situations. Resilience refers to both sufficient reliability and the hardiness of the system – locally or regionally – to withstand perturbations such as major storm events. This principle speaks to the reform needed in the regional system managed by ISO-NE pertaining to ISO-NE governance, electricity markets, and transmission planning that also affects reliability.

Footnote 10. This principle is relevant to increasing resilience through the potential use of fuel cell technology, microgrids, and/or local generation, and what companies are able to do on-site to increase their own resilience. In particular, it dwells in the debate between decentralizing at least some of the power grid through distributed energy resources (DER) and the reluctance to do so on behalf of keeping power more centrally managed and controlled.