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March 17, 2015

CT biz energy use reaches highest efficiency levels

HBJ File Photo Connecticut had an 83 percent rise in solar arrays in 2014, according to the Council on Environmental Quality

Connecticut businesses generated $14.10 worth of gross domestic product for every kilowatt hour of electricity consumed, the state’s most efficiency use of energy in the past 10 years, according to the Council on Environmental Quality.

CEQ put out its annual report on Connecticut’s environmental performance on Tuesday, noting the gains and challenges in the state’s businesses and residents use of natural resources.

The $14.10 in GDP generated in 2013 was the highest mark in energy efficiency use by the business sector since it started keeping track in 2004. At home, the residential use of 3,549 kilowatt hours of electricity per person per year also was the lowest in the last 10 years.

The report also noted Connecticut residents are driving less and breathing cleaner air. The miles driven per person per day dropped to 23.57 miles, down from a high of 25.01 in 2007.

The state’s air pollution index dropped to 30.78 in 2014, the lowest level of sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide, and ground-level ozone in the past 10 years.

Connecticut had 7,891 solar installations in 2014, an 83 percent increase over 2013.

On the negative side, water pollution remained an issue with 78.6 miles of Connecticut rivers affected by the overflow of raw sewage and only 30 percent of state rivers and streams was deemed suitable for swimming and other water contact sports.

Environmental compliance also was an issue, as the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection issued more than 1,200 violations of air, water, and other pollution laws in 2014.

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