Energy Bill Passes House In Concurrence With The Senate

May 9, 2018

On balance, the bill was good, We:

  • finally established a community, shared solar program for those who want to participate in renewable energy but can't put solar panels on their roofs
  • lifted the Virtual Net Metering cap so many stalled municipal clean energy projects could now be funded and move forward
  • found needed funds for the energy efficiency program which ended up being diverted in last year's budget compromise
  • we extended, albeit temporarily, the Renewable Energy Credit subsidies which has fueled growth in commercial solar projects
  • increased the Renewable Portfolio Standard goals to conform with our climate change agenda

But the legislation was also flawed, in my opinion, venturing into risky territory by abandoning the net metering paradigm which has served CT solar for so long in favor of arguably premature commitment to a market-driven tariff program. The short-term compromise, maintaining a weakened, hybridized net metering system, risks undermining the solar industry in the state and the many jobs it represents. So now we're placing our faith in the Public Utility Regulatory Authority (PURA) to define our path forward.

I tried to address the bill's shortcomings with a sensible, modest amendment on the floor, which was supported by many but ultimately fell victim to the politics of getting the bill passed. It was disappointing for those of us passionate about solar, but did afford me the opportunity to call out the bill's flaws, offer a better vision and send a message to PURA.

You have my pledge that I will be heavily engaged in this deliberative process going forward to protect the interests of our citizens and these critical employers who provide good-paying green jobs.

The session ends at midnight tonight, but my efforts on behalf of Westporters and the state goes on. Thank you as always for your support!