The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board today officially released its 2013 Programs and Operations Report to members of the Connecticut General Assembly and other policymakers, efficiency advocates, and stakeholders throughout the state. This annual report details the steps that the Energy Efficiency Fund has taken to empower the state’s residents and businesses to use energy more efficiently and save money.
Through participation in energy-saving programs in 2013, Connecticut’s residents, businesses and municipalities were able to save approximately 285.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity, which is equivalent to cost savings of approximately $53.4 million annually and $630 million over the lifetime of the energy-saving measures performed. Connecticut also avoided carbon dioxide emissions of over 184,900 tons as a result of participation in programs in 2013. Additionally, for every $1 spent on energy efficiency, Connecticut received electric, gas, fuel oil, and propane system benefits valued at nearly $2.40.
“The energy-saving programs offered through the Energy Efficiency Fund, part of the Energize Connecticut initiative, play a vital economic and environmental role for our state,” said Jamie Howland of Environment Northeast and Chairperson, Connecticut Energy Efficiency Board. “As we move into 2014, we will continue to introduce innovative programs and seek additional opportunities to maximize our energy savings so that Connecticut remains a national leader in energy efficiency.”
In 2013, Connecticut moved up one place to fifth in an annual ranking of energy efficient states by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). Additionally, Connecticut passed expanded budgets in 2013 to implement even more energy efficiency programs for residents and businesses in the years to come.
More than 477,000 Connecticut homeowners and renters participated in residential energy-saving programs in 2013, saving approximately $29.2 million overall. Programs include in-home services such as Home Energy SolutionsSM (HES), rebate and retail product programs, and a program for the construction of new homes.
More than 4,000 Connecticut businesses and municipalities participated in energy-saving programs in 2013, saving approximately $24.2 million for the year. Commercial, industrial and municipal programs include free energy audits for small businesses; rebates, incentives and financing options for the purchase of new energy efficient equipment, or for incorporating energy efficiency measures into new construction; and training programs to help implement company-wide energy efficiency behavioral changes.
“A number of these businesses engaged in our ‘comprehensive initiative,’ a strategy that rewards businesses who implement multiple energy-saving measures at the same time,” said Howland. “For example, simultaneously installing LED lighting and a premium efficiency HVAC system. The long term return on investment is higher when customers take this approach.”
The report recognized the statewide Clean Energy Communities program, a joint Energy Efficiency Fund and Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) initiative in which a community pledges to reduce its municipal building energy consumption 20 percent by 2018, and to attain 20 percent of its municipal electrical needs from renewable sources by 2018. At the close of 2013, 77 Connecticut municipalities had signed the pledge.
Also recognized were two comprehensive, citywide pilot campaigns, “Energize Waterbury” and “Energize Hamden,” designed to introduce residents and businesses to programs and services, and provide them with additional resources including fixed pricing and financing options for insulation and heating equipment. Launched by Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating, these campaigns utilized focused, saturated outreach efforts that included multiple events, neighborhood canvassing, and local media opportunities.
The report also included information on the success of Connecticut’s energy efficiency educational programs, including eesmarts™, a K-12 energy efficiency and clean, renewable energy education initiative, and the state’s E-House initiative. Considered the nation’s first high-school laboratories for learning “green” construction, the E-House initiative provides a clean energy and energy efficiency curriculum for the schools’ architectural, carpentry, electrical and plumbing faculty and students.
Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund programs are brought to residents, businesses, and municipalities by Connecticut’s local electric and gas utilities – Connecticut Light & Power, United Illuminating, Connecticut Natural Gas, Southern Connecticut Gas, and Yankee Gas.
To view the entire 2013 report and more specific information regarding residential, business, community and educational programs and initiatives, please visit EnergizeCT.com/about/CEEF