Last DSIRE Review: 08/02/2012
||Public Benefits Fund
|Eligible Renewable/Other Technologies:
||Photovoltaics, Biomass, Hydroelectric, Fuel Cells, CHP/Cogeneration, Hydrogen, Tidal Energy, Wave Energy, Ocean Thermal, Ethanol, Biodiesel, Fuel Cells using Renewable Fuels, Other Distributed Generation Technologies
||Commercial, Industrial, Residential, Utility, Institutional, All
|Total Fund:||~$20 million annually (In 2010 $4.67 M came from ARRA). Total Funding 2000-2010: $151 M.|
|Charge:||$0.001 per kilowatt-hour for Connecticut Light and Power (CL&P) and United Illuminating (UI) customers|
Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-245n|
S.B.1243 (Public Act 11-80)|
Connecticut's 1998 electric restructuring legislation (Public Act 98-28) created separate funds to support energy efficiency and renewable energy.* This information summarizes the renewable energy fund.**
A surcharge on Connecticut ratepayers' utility bills provides the funding for the renewables fund. In 2000-2001 the charge was set at $0.0005 per kilowatt-hour (0.5 mill per kWh), rising to $0.00075 per kWh (0.75 mill per kWh) in 2002-2003 and "not less than" $0.001 per kWh (1 mill per kWh) beginning July 1, 2004. The fund is administered and governed by the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, a quasi-governmental investment organization granted a significant amount of flexibility by the Connecticut General Assembly to develop programs and fund projects that meet the fund's mission. The Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority receives guidance from a board of directors, whose members include the Commissioner of the Department of Energy & Environmental Protection, additional members are appointed by the Connecticut General Assembly, and the Connecticut's governor. The Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is required to approve a comprehensive plan for the fund and review annual reports. The fund is to be audited annually.
The fund is authorized to invest in solar-electric energy, solar-thermal energy, wind energy, ocean-thermal energy, wave or tidal energy, fuel cells, landfill gas, hydrogen production and hydrogen conversion technologies, low-impact hydropower, low-emission advanced biomass conversion technologies, alternative fuels produced in Connecticut and used for electricity generation (including ethanol and biodiesel), usable electricity from combined heat and power (CHP) systems with waste-heat recovery systems, thermal storage systems, geothermal, and "other energy resources and emerging technologies which have significant potential for commercialization and which do not involve the combustion of coal, petroleum or petroleum products, municipal solid waste or nuclear fission, financing of energy efficiency projects, and projects that seek to deploy electric, electric hybrid, natural gas or alternative fuel vehicles and associated infrastructure and any related storage, distribution, manufacturing technologies or facilities."
Programs began in earnest in January 2000. For details on existing programs -- including funding amounts per program -- see the most recent annual report and the individual program records on DSIRE.
In addition, each of Connecticut's municipal electric utilities is required by statute to establish a fund to provide renewable energy, energy efficiency, conservation and load-management programs (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 7-233y). To support these funds, a surcharge is imposed on the customers of electric municipal utilities according to the following schedule: 1.0 mills on and after January 1, 2006; 1.3 mills on and after January 1, 2007; 1.6 mills on and after January 1, 2008; 1.9 mills on and after January 1, 2009; 2.2 mills on and after January 1, 2010; and 2.5 mills on and after January 1, 2011. Municipal electric utilities must adopt a comprehensive plan for the spending the money collected, and the plans must be consistent with the comprehensive plan of the state's Energy Conservation Management Board (ECMB).
* Connecticut's restructuring legislation also created a systems benefits charge to fund public education, weatherization and energy conservation measures for low-income residents, storage and disposal costs for spent nuclear fuel, and post-retirement costs for decommissioned nuclear reactors.
** Legislation passed in July 2011 completely restructured the Clean Energy Fund and created the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority. Under this new structure, the rate payer funds can be leveraged to raise private investment and further support renewable and clean energy development in the state.