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August 26, 2013

DEEP wants $109M increase for efficiency programs

The state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection today issued a draft decision that would nearly double funding for electric and natural gas efficiency programs.

Commissioner Daniel Esty wants the programs to receive $231 million a year for the next three years, up from $122 million.

DEEP wants to double the conservation fee on Connecticut ratepayers’ bills to 0.6 cents per kilowatt hour, which would bring the efficiency cost per average rate payer to an estimated $4.50.

And it wants to nearly triple the efficiency charge, from 1.7 cents per 100 cubic feet to 4.6 cents. That would mean an average monthly efficiency charge of approximately $4.40 during the winter months.

DEEP said the increases would likely be offset by reduced and avoided costs produced by the efficiency programs, such as appliance rebates, energy audits and financing for insulation and efficient furnaces.

Connecticut currently collects $105 million a year in conservation fees from electric ratepayers and $17 million in efficiency fees from gas ratepayers.

It will be up to the state Public Utilities Regulatory Authority to approve the increases. A 30-day public comment period must expire first, which will include a Sept. 10 public comment session at DEEP’s New Britain offices.

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