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Energy Bill Brings Short-Term And Long-Term Relief For Rate Payers
By Rep. Kevin Ryan
Connecticut residents have gained more control over their energy expenses and hopefully some stability in their electric bills thanks to new legislation passed in the General Assembly this weekend. The State House of Representatives and State Senate both passed comprehensive, sweeping energy legislation with the design to assist consumers with the rising cost of energy bills.
Arriving at this plan was not easy. The bill’s 129 sections and 165 pages lay out an extensive plan for Connecticut that brings together some of the country’s most innovative ideas for promoting energy efficiency and new technologies.
The new energy bill calls for:
Rebates and tax exemptions for residents who choose to invest in energy-efficient technology. Products that may be replaced with more efficient models include air conditioners, boilers, freezers or other appliances with new versions that use the latest technology and less energy. For example, consumers can receive a $500 credit when they purchase a new gas or oil furnace.
A sales tax exemption for automobiles that average more then 40 mpg consumers purchasing. A $20,000 car will see $1,200 in savings.
New incentives that encourage Connecticut consumers to “go green.” Including the ability to buy CFL’s (compressed florescent light bulbs) and energy star products sales tax free.
Conservation fees currently charged on all customers’ monthly bills, will be redirected back to the Connecticut Clean Energy and Conservation funds. These funds are then freed up for programs focused on developing brand new conservation and clean energy programs.
Presenting the option to install an “advanced meter” to all Connecticut consumers. Advanced meters allow households or businesses to pay for their power based on “Time of Use” pricing. Households that choose to run their appliances during off peek evening hours will finally be able to see real financial savings in their monthly bill.
One of the most important components of the energy bill is a provision for a “Save More” program. Modeled after California’s “20/20 program, “Save More” creates the possibility for solid and rapid relief from the cost of rising energy bills. The program accomplishes this for all of Connecticut’s residents through a partnership between the utility company and the consumer. The more a resident conserves in July and August compared to 12 months earlier, the more they can save on their bill, allowing a family the opportunity to save up to 20 percent off their energy bill during the summer months.
It took a compromise between both House and Senate leadership to provide a sound plan for Connecticut’s energy future. The bill combines a balance between government oversight of energy production and private generation, while creating alternative choices for those who desire to have more control over their monthly energy bill.
This bill takes positive steps towards conservation and stability.
Kevin Ryan is currently serving his 8th term and represents the towns of Bozrah, Franklin, Lebanon and Montville.