In 2018, after tumultuous negotiations during the last days of the legislative session, Connecticut's General Assembly passed SB9: Connecticut's Energy Future. This bill increases our state's investment in renewable energy, but it also contained an attack on residential solar.
Click the headlines below to learn more about the specific impacts of SB9.
Renewable energy Goals
Connecticut is required to purchase a portion of its energy needs from renewable sources. These are allocated under the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Previously, renewable energy accounted for 20% of Connecticut's energy purchases. Under SB9, 40% of Connecticut's energy needs will be met by renewable sources by the year 2030.
Net-metering refers to Connecticut's current solar compensation program. When homeowners or commercial solar customers generate more energy than they use, they can sell the excess amount back to the power grid at current retail rates.
Energy companies like Eversource generally oppose net-metering in favor of a system where solar users sell ALL their power to the grid and then buy back what they need at retail rate. Called "buy-all/credit-all," this system means higher fees for residential solar customers and makes it nearly impossible for homeowners to take advantage of battery storage or some smart-home energy systems.
SB9 allows solar customers to either use net-metering or buy-all/credit-all, but at a rate—called a tariff—to be determined by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).
Eversource and utility companies lobbied hard against net-metering, and succeeded in dramatically weakening the ability of residential customers to affordably use solar power. CTLCV is already working with a coalition of advocates to fix this issue in the next session.
Low- and Zero-emission Renewable Energy Credit Program
Low-Emission and Zero-Emission Renewable Energy Credits (LREC/ZREC) help homegrown solar and clean energy businesses thrive. These credits reward "behind-the-meter" programs that reduce or eliminate carbon emissions.
Under LREC/ZREC, commercial energy projects powered by sources with no carbon emissions (such as solar or wind) or low carbon emissions (like fuel cells and biomass) earn credits which are purchased by utility companies. These credits help developers offset the higher installation and startup costs of renewable energy technologies, making it easier for small businesses to go green.
SB 9 extended LREC/ZREC credits to help our business community cut emissions and invest in clean energy.
Community Shared Solar
Shared solar enables residential and commercial consumers who cannot afford to or otherwise unable to install their own solar panels to instead band together to buy shares in a larger solar project.
SB9 included Connecticut's first pilot program for shared solar. It is capped at 25 megawatt hours annually and focuses primarily on low- to moderate-income households and small businesses. This allows more people access to clean, renewable energy.
Clean Energy in Connecticut
Connecticut is home to our nation's first ever Green Bank, which helps fund clean energy projects for homeowners and small businesses, improving efficiency and cutting emissions.
We have also taken steps to increase our own investment in affordable energy, and have begun exploring offshore wind projects.
Click the headlines below to learn more about a specific topic.
Connecticut Green Bank
The Connecticut Green Bank is our country’s first green bank. Established by the Connecticut General Assembly on July 1, 2011 as a part of Public Act 11-80, the Green Bank supports the Governor’s and Legislature’s energy strategy to achieve cleaner, less expensive, and more reliable sources of energy while creating jobs and supporting local economic development.
The Connecticut Green Bank evolved from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) and the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), which was given a broader mandate in 2011 to become the Connecticut Green Bank.
Since its inception, the Connecticut Green Bank has helped fund over $1 billion in clean energy projects.
By statute, the Connecticut Green Bank is authorized to invest in
CONNECTICUT Energy Efficiency Fund
The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF) works to advance the efficient use of energy, reduce air pollution and negative environmental impacts, and promote economic development and energy security.
CEEF supports a variety of programs that provide financial incentives to help Connecticut consumers reduce the amount of energy used in their homes and businesses. CEEF programs are reviewed by the Energy Efficiency Board, a group of advisors who utilize their experience and expertise with energy issues to evaluate and consult with Connecticut’s electric and natural gas utility companies on how programs should best be structured for and delivered to Connecticut consumers.
Clean Energy Investments
Connecticut recently purchased over 250 megawatts of renewable energy from the following sources:
Economic Impact of Clean Energy