STAND UP for Climate Action & Energy Equity

Educate. Motivate. Unite on Climate Action!

Thank you to all Climate Action seekers, defenders of the Planet, and those who value Energy Efficiency, Conservation, Clean Energy, Economic Growth, Environmental Advocacy, Human Health, Clean Public Transportation, Local Green Jobs, Healthy and Affordable Housing, and Water as a Public Right!

Thank You for Standing With Us

on Sunday, April 14th, 2019

Efficiency. Environment. Economy. Employment. Equity. Education. Reliable, Resilient, & Safe Energy for All!

STAND UP FOR Climate Action & Energy Equity

Educate. Motivate. Unite on Climate Action!

Calling All Climate Action Seekers, Defenders of the Planet, and Those Who Value Energy Efficiency, Conservation, Clean Energy, Economic Growth, Environmental Advocacy, Human Health, Clean Public Transportation Local Green Jobs, Healthy and Affordable Housing, and Water as a Public Right!

Stand With Us

Sunday, April 14th @ 1pm
Hartford State Capitol

We are STANDING UP FOR CLIMATE & ENERGY EQUITY as part of our collaborative call for responsible energy policies to fight climate change, protect public health, and create good, local jobs!

We Are Calling on Our Elected Leaders to:

  • Stop diverting Energy Efficiency & Clean Energy funds.
  • Ensure equal access to efficiency & clean energy programs
  • Lower energy waste and pollution.
  • Close the affordability gap & invest in a clean energy future.
  • Expand programs that cut waste & lower carbon emissions.

Policy Goals

  • Restore & expand our energy efficiency & renewable energy programs and create a path for increased energy equity.
  • Ensure all programs have an equity lens, including transportation.
  • Include underrepresented communities at the table & empower them with information.

Efficiency. Environment. Economy. Employment. Equity. Education. Reliable, Resilient, & Safe Energy for All!

Sunday, April 14th @ 1pm
Hartford State Capitol

Educate. Motivate. Unite. Take Action.

The Time is Now!

Click image to download flyer

CALL TO ACTION!

Efficiency for All

Dear Friends and Supporters,

Below, please find the bills that we could use your support on at the Capitol.

Please write letters in support of these bills.

Call your representatives and ask them to have these bills called on committee.

If you are at the Capitol please speak to your representative or senators about energy efficiency.

  • Efficiency is Efficient.
  • Conservation is conservative.
  • Using less leaves us with more and there is enough for everyone.

Help support Connecticut residents and the planet!


Bills

HJ 31
Resolution Proposing A State Constitutional Amendment Prohibiting The Diversion Of Funds For Energy Efficiency And Clean Energy Programs To The General Fund.
To prohibit the diversion of funds for energy efficiency and clean energy programs to the General Fund.

Sponsor(s): Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (136); Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (136)
Committee(s): Finance, Revenue and Bonding

*Current status: Referred to Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding (1/23)

HB 5030
An Act Restoring Energy Efficiency And Clean Energy Funds.
To restore moneys in the state budget of energy efficiency and clean energy program funds.

Sponsor(s): Rep. Joseph P. Gresko (121); Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (136)
Committee(s): Finance, Revenue and Bonding

*Current status: Referred to Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding (1/9)

HB 5409
An Act Prohibiting The Diversion Of Funds For Energy Efficiency Programs.
To prohibit the diversion of funds for energy efficiency programs.

Sponsor(s): Rep. Laura M. Devlin (134)
Committee(s): Finance, Revenue and Bonding

*Current status: Referred to Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding (1/16)

HB 5804
An Act Restoring Ratepayer Energy Efficiency And Clean Energy Program Funds.
To restore moneys in the state budget of energy efficiency and clean energy program funds.

Sponsor(s): Rep. Jonathan Steinberg (136)
Committee(s): Finance, Revenue and Bonding

*Current status: Referred to Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding (1/23)

HB 6453
An Act Concerning The Protection And Accountability Of Energy Efficiency Funds.
To restore and protect the purposes of the three clean energy funds while adding legislative oversight of such funds.

Sponsor(s): Rep. Mary M. Mushinsky (85)
Committee(s): Environment

*Current status: Referred to Joint Committee on Environment (1/28)


Let your voice be heard.

Thank you standing up for Connecticut and it’s residents!

Sincerely,

Efficiency For All

HOME ENERGY AFFORDABILITY IN CONNECTICUT: The Affordability Gap (2017)

Connecticut’s Home Energy Affordability Gap increased in 2017 relative to the prior year. As has been true for several years, home energy costs continue to pose a crushing burden to low- income residents of the state. Particularly for households with incomes in “Deep Poverty,” home energy
costs threaten not only the ability of Connecticut households to retain access to energy services, but also threaten access to housing, food, medical care and other necessities of life. The Home Energy Affordability Gap in Connecticut leaves an aggregate Gap substantially higher than available assistance resources. The size of the Affordability Gap indicates the extent of the home energy affordability crisis in Connecticut.

Home energy unaffordability in Connecticut is a statewide phenomenon. It affects areas of the state both rural and urban. It affects areas of the state both North and South, both East and West. The discussion below continues a series of annual reports examining home energy affordability in Connecticut. The Home Energy Affordability Gap measures the dollar amount by which actual home energy bills exceed affordable home energy bills. In this respect, “affordability” is examined in terms of home energy burdens, bills as a percentage of income. For example, if a Connecticut household has an annual income of $12,000 and an annual home energy bill of $3,000, that household has a home energy burden of 25% ($3,000 / $12,000 = 0.25). An affordable home energy burden is set at 6%.¹


¹ The 6% is a calculated figure. It is based on the premise that utility costs should not exceed 20% of shelter costs. Moreover, it is based on the premise that total shelter costs should not exceed 30% of income. 20% of 30% yields a affordable utility burden.

To learn more about the affordability gap in Connecticut, please find the full report here, or contact:

Operation Fuel, Inc.

75 Charter Oak Avenue, Suite 2-240
Hartford, CT, 06106

  • P. (860) 243-2345

Faces & Facts of Energy Efficiency – The Unsung Story of a Champion

January 12th, 2019

Connecticut Energy Leaders, Task Force Advocates, and community members came together to collaborate around equity, affordability, the environment, and human health.

Presentations from the event are available below:

Faces & Facts of Energy Efficiency – The Unsung Story of a Champion Presentation will be available shortly.

Support our work. Please donate:

To request an event or seminar at your location email us at:

contactus@efficiencyforall.org, or call us at 860-337-2239

EFA 2019 Energy Policy Goals

I. The state must ensure the Conservation Load Management Plan (C&LM) programs have stable and sufficient funding to meet the energy and carbon mitigation goals and targets.  

  • #1: Stop the pending June 2019 diversion of the C&LM funds & settle the litigation.
  • How to HELP! Meet with your legislators and let them know we want our ratepayer C&LM dollars back! Letters to Legislators calling for protection of the “C&LM Ratepayer funds”.
  • Data Point: Reducing energy waste through energy efficiency and thermal upgrades lowers our peak demand making it easier to reach our renewable energy and carbon reduction goals, while simultaneously lowering the energy burdens on Connecticut ratepayers. “Reduce waste before you invest in producing more energy.”  Diverting EE funds just doesn’t make Cents, learn more: Long Term EE Impacts Facts  and Diversion impact facts

II. Protect what works: Legislatively strengthen our policies and laws to protect the ratepayer funded C&LM programs. Our leaders must act to protect the ratepayer funds and ensure that they are contractually restricted for their intended purposes.  These funds were collected to support Energy Efficiency and renewable energy incentives or products and services that reduce the use of fossil fuel and have a minimum 1 to 1 Return on Investment for Connecticut ratepayers.  The C&LM programs offered today have a 1 to 7 ROI . Act 11- 80 & 12-45m are laws to lower our dependency on fossil fuels, and lower carbon emissions through demand reduction. The C&LM & CES & GC3 are the state energy plans.

III: Ensure equal access to energy efficiency programs and incentives for ALL electric ratepayers

IV. Energy and Climate Education for all people in Connecticut.   Many underrepresented communities and underrepresented populations do not have access to important energy and climate education materials.  

  • Programs must include strategies for outreach to empower and educate Connecticut’s residents, towns, and businesses with information they need to make educated energy choices, to mitigate energy waste, air pollution, carbon emissions, and to improve their health and living conditions.  

  • Ensure all Connecticut households and youth have access to conservation based actions and steps they can take at home and work. (*strategies beyond websites or emails “to meet people where they are at.”)
  • The state should ensure all communities, towns, residents are aware of the programs they can access to help them lower energy burdens, and protect human health and our environment.  
  • Ratepayers should be provided annual quantitative and qualitative information about program achievements which benefit ratepayers. This will aid in educating on the value of efficiency and encourage further participation in state mandated energy policy goals and programs.

V. Oppose: Attempts to stifle C&LM ratepayer incentive programs: C&LM programs serve the ratepayers and directly lower ratepayer energy waste while lowering their energy expenses in homes and business.  These programs lower our state energy demand overall. Ensure that we do NOT replace the successful C&LM Home Energy Solutions and LMI programs with “financing only programs”.

  • Ratepayers should have equal access to programs and incentives that are supported by a charge on their bills, and will help them lower energy waste, lower energy burdens, lower our dependence on carbon heavy fossil fuels, and access a clean energy future.  
  • THE CT GREEN BANK offers Finance programs, which are also supported by charge on ratepayer bills. They offer loans which are called “products, programs, or services”. The Green Bank loans are leveraged using ratepayer funds, collected from the charges on electric bills, RGGI funds, and grants. When coupled with the innovative and successful CL&M programs, financing is an important piece of the plan to help the ratepayers install upgrades.
  • Efficiency For All is a non-profit 501(c)(3) energy efficiency advocacy group.  Our goals are to educate the public and our legislature on the importance and benefits of sound, sustainable energy efficiency policy.  EFA is a stakeholder association which works to keep stakeholders informed, collect and reflect energy-related data, advocate for the stabilization and the continued development of local and national energy efficiency programs which protect human health, provide local jobs, increase positive economic outcomes, and reduce long-term energy costs.  Our work supports clean energy policy, green economies, and a cleaner environment.     

Thank you for everything you do to engage in protecting our environment, energy stability, accessibility, affordability, ratepayer rights, equity, and human health in our state and beyond.

Governors Energy Policy Transition Team January 4, 2019


Governors Energy Policy Transition Team
January 4, 2019 
Nature Conservatory, New Haven, CT

Efficiency For All has been working hard to represent the importance of growing energy efficiency to our state energy plan. 

Join us Jan 12 to learn more about how we can support energy efficiency and good energy policy in Connecticut. Click here to learn more.

Efficiency is Efficient: About Energy Efficiency as a Resource

Energy efficiency has the advantage of reducing all types of power plant-related emissions simultaneously by avoiding the need to generate electricity in the first place. Therefore, energy efficiency programs can improve air quality by reducing emissions. Whenever households and businesses reduce electricity consumption, somewhere on the grid one or more generators reduce their electric output (all else being equal). Typically, the avoided generation is from higher marginal-cost, fossil fuel-fired power plants, which, depending on the region, can be higher emitting power plants. Thus, avoiding generation from these units is desirable to reduce air pollutant emissions. – Pathways/Energy.gov 2017 Report

Energy Efficiency, while not new or exciting, is simply very efficient. According to the 2017 DOE National report, These programs  help reduce electricity market prices, reduce disconnections, reduce the number of customers in arrears, improve system reliability and electricity price stability, support local job growth and provide a host of benefits to participants, including non-energy benefits such as increased property values or positive health impacts. Energy efficiency is playing a significant role in helping meet the energy needs of energy customers throughout the country, with many states incorporating annual energy savings of ≧ 1 percent or more into their energy plans and delivery strategies, along with additional policies and programs at the state and local levels.

Energy efficiency is a good investment.  Energy efficiency is a well-established industry in the U.S. with billions of dollars invested annually through administered energy efficiency services programs, energy savings performance contracting, and other efforts.

Energy Efficiency Economy 2018

APPEAL: Ratepayers, Energy Businesses, and Environmental Advocates Ask Court to Review Decision on Ratepayer Fund Raids

Immediate Release – November 26, 2018

Contacts:

  • Leticia Colon de Mejias, Chair Efficiency For All, President of Green Eco Warriors Inc. (Plaintiff), 860-580-9076
  • Laura McMillan, CT Fund for the Environment (Plaintiff), 540-292-8429

APPEAL: Ratepayers, Energy Businesses, and Environmental Advocates Ask Court to Review Decision on Ratepayer Fund Raids

U.S. District Court ruled against ratepayers, energy efficiency and clean energy businesses, environmental orgs, and consumer groups; allies come back with appeal

Hartford, Conn. – Attorneys for ratepayers, efficiency businesses and environmental organizations filed an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit  in New York today, asking the appellate court to reverse an October 25 U.S. District Court decision that denied plaintiffs a remedy in their lawsuit to force the State of Connecticut to restore $145 million in ratepayer dollars intended to save families money on energy bills and reduce climate pollution.

Ratepayer representatives, energy efficiency businesses, clean energy businesses, and environmental nonprofits filed the federal lawsuit on May 15 seeking to stop the state legislature’s 2017 sweep of Connecticut’s energy efficiency and clean energy funds, and to prevent future diversions of ratepayer funds. The original complaint argued that diverting ratepayer funding to plug a budget deficit instead of using the dedicated funds for its intended purpose violates the Contract Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution and functions as an illegal tax on tax-exempt organizations like churches and nonprofits.

“Connecticut’s leaders broke the trust of their constituents when they turned electric ratepayer dollars into an illegal tax,” said lead plaintiff Leticia Colon de Mejias, chair of Efficiency For All (EFA) and founder. “Even in these difficult times, it is obvious that stealing ratepayer funds intended to help Connecticut residents and businesses reduce energy waste, save money on energy bills, and access clean resources is a bad choice. Legislators don’t have to wait for a court decision. Our leaders must take action to restore these funds which protect our energy stability, health, local jobs, and our economy. Efficiency and renewable resources are the future. We won’t stop fighting for fairness, for families, and for efficiency as a clean energy resource.”

Attorneys for the Plaintiffs and Defendants presented their cases in oral arguments before Judge Janet C. Hall at the U.S. District Court in New Haven on September 13. In a 27-page decision issued October 25, Judge Hall found that the state’s 2017 budget that swept ratepayer funds did not impair contracts between ratepayers and their electric distribution companies because neither utility tariffs nor state law ever promised ratepayers that their dollars would not be transferred to the General Fund for unrelated purposes.

Plaintiffs are Leticia Colon de Mejias; Connecticut Fund for the Environment; New Haven-based Fight the Hike; Energy Efficiencies Solutions, LLC; Best Home Performance of CT, LLC; Connecticut Citizen Action Group; New England Smart Energy Group, LLC; CT Weatherproof Insulation, LLC; Steven C. Osuch of East Windsor; Jonathan Casiano of Windsor; and Bright Solutions, LLC. The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys from the firms of Holland & Knight in New York City and Hartford-based Feiner Wolfson. Defendants are the Governor, Treasurer, and Comptroller of the State of Connecticut.

“It’s hard to stop the state from diverting millions of dollars dedicated for a specific purpose like energy efficiency and clean energy investments to general fund purposes on a legislative whim—even when, as happened here, the state treasury had a $1.7 billion surplus to call on,” said Stephen J. Humes, a partner at Holland & Knight and co-counsel on the case. “Already more than 3,000 jobs have been lost and a number of energy efficiency projects across the state have been halted as a result of the state’s action. We are confident in our legal arguments that a contractual relationship existed between the state and the ratepayer who paid into the energy programs, and that the sweep of the funding was an unconstitutional and illegal tax that has harmed the plaintiffs and other ratepayers. We look forward to reviewing these important and precedential legal issues with the Second Circuit.”

This case raises an important legal issue that is relevant beyond Connecticut in that it is the first time ratepayers argued in court that when they pay their utility bills with surcharges dedicated for specific programs or services—such as energy efficiency and renewable energy—enforceable contracts arise that cannot be invaded by any state.  The practical effect of Judge Hall’s October decision, however, was to deny judicial relief and send the problem back to the Connecticut General Assembly.

“We are pursuing the case to fix the damage the raids have done to Connecticut families and businesses,” said Roger Reynolds, chief legal director at Connecticut Fund for the Environment. “Residents trusted that their ratepayer dollars would go where their electric bills said they would—towards energy efficiency and clean energy programs that save money and cut climate pollution. Instead those hard-earned dollars were used to plug a hole in the state budget. We believe the appellate court will see that the state’s action violated federal contract and tax law, and ask them to correct that mistake to put Connecticut back on the path to a healthier energy future and a stronger economy.”

###

What Connecticut’s clean energy, efficiency, environment, and consumer advocacy communities are saying:

“We are now seeing the real life fall-out of this misguided, irresponsible decision by the state to take funds that weren’t theirs to take. Not only are we losing valuable, skilled technicians, but we are losing entire companies. If these funds aren’t restored in the very near future and future raids prevented, we will see a once-thriving and growing Connecticut industry—an industry that actually helped all the residents of Connecticut save money on their energy bills—disappear forever.”
Stephanie Weiner, plaintiff, CEO and founder of New England Smart Energy Group, LLC

“It breaks my heart when we receive a call from a client whose house is drafty and leaky, and the efficiency charge money they have been contributing on a monthly basis is no longer there to help them get the new windows or insulation they need.”
Vivian Perez, co-owner of HE-Energy Solutions, LLC

“Raiding these funds is extremely bad public policy. Shifting funds away from energy efficiency and clean energy projects had an immediate, detrimental impact on public health, the economy—with loss of highly skilled jobs and our environment. The raids disproportionately impacted communities of color and low income. This is unacceptable and must not happen again.”
 Anne Hulick, RN, MS, JD, Connecticut director, Clean Water Action/Clean Water Fund

“This case is not only about promoting energy efficiency and jobs. At its core, this case is about trust in government. Arbitrary diversion of funds clearly designated for one purpose has a corrosive effect on our trust that our elected leaders will keep their word about anything.”
 Mark Scully, president, People’s Action for Clean Energy

“Working families rely on energy efficiency and clean energy funds to pay their bills and protect their health. When the legislature raided those funds, they robbed the most vulnerable among us of their ability to pay for their basic needs. Many of these families live in low-income communities that already face significant challenges and disproportionate environmental impacts. After all, while climate change and pollution affect us all, they do not affect us all equally. We must restore these funds to protect all of our ratepayers and families in Connecticut.”
Alexander Rodriguez, Chispa community organizer, CT League of Conservation Voters

“Connecticut’s budget woes partially reflect a broader economic crisis that continues to hit working families the hardest, as the state suffers from a deficit in good jobs.  At the same time, we face a looming climate crisis that has already brought more severe storms and major flooding to coastal communities. Fortunately, these two crises have the same solution: we need to put people to work protecting the climate.  Our energy efficiency programs do exactly that: they help struggling communities by creating new local jobs, they grow our state’s economy and tax base, and they move us toward a clean energy future that protects the climate for our grandchildren.”
John Humphries, Organizer for the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs; and a member of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change

“Energy efficiency programs are a key part of the battle against climate change. Connecticut residents have paid for programs that will reduce harmful emissions and create good local jobs in our communities. Lawmakers should not be able to get away with robbing these essential programs of the funds they need to work.”
 Jen Siskind, Local Coordinator, Food & Water Watch

“The Energy Efficiency and RGGI Funds are an investment in economic development (jobs and businesses), tax revenue, and addressing the growing threat of climate change.  It has been a great resource for Connecticut municipalities and residents to save money, and should be restored as soon as possible.”
– Kenny Foscue,  member of the North Haven Clean Energy Task Force

Background:

Photo: Connecticut Energy Efficiency Workers at the State Capital speaking on the positive impacts of energy efficiency on low income, middle class households, and health outcomes in our state.  Jan. 2018

Photo: Leticia Colon de Mejias, Chair, Efficiency For All, Advocating for clean energy law in Washington, DC

Energy Funds: Court loss means CT legislators must act to protect ratepayers

Immediate Release – October 26, 2018

Contacts:

  • Laura McMillan, CT Fund for the Environment (Plaintiff), 540-292-8429
  • Leticia Colon de Mejias (Plaintiff), 860-580-9076
  • Mike Trahan, Solar Connecticut, 860-256-1698

U.S. District Court rules against ratepayers, energy efficiency and clean energy businesses, environmental orgs, and consumer groups; groups urge legislative remedy

New Haven, Conn. – Efficiency businesses and environmental organizations are pushing legislators to act after a federal judge ruled against the groups’ lawsuit to force the State of Connecticut to restore $145 million in ratepayer dollars intended to save families money on energy bills and reduce climate pollution.

Energy efficiency businesses, clean energy businesses, environmental nonprofits, and utility ratepayer organizations filed the federal lawsuit on May 15 seeking to stop the state legislature’s 2017 sweep of Connecticut’s energy efficiency and clean energy funds, and to prevent future diversions of ratepayer funds. The original complaint argued that using ratepayer funding for other than its intended purpose violates the Contract Clause and Equal Protection Clause of the United States Constitution and functions as an illegal tax on tax-exempt organizations like churches and nonprofits.

Plaintiffs are Leticia Colon de Mejias; Connecticut Fund for the Environment; New Haven-based Fight the Hike; Energy Efficiencies Solutions, LLC; Best Home Performance of CT, LLC; Connecticut Citizen Action Group; New England Smart Energy Group, LLC; CT Weatherproof Insulation, LLC; Steven C. Osuch of East Windsor; Jonathan Casiano of Windsor; and Bright Solutions, LLC. The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys from the firms of Holland & Knight in New York City and Hartford-based Feiner Wolfson. Defendants are the Governor, Treasurer, and Comptroller of the State of Connecticut.

Attorneys for the Plaintiffs and Defendants presented their cases in oral arguments before Judge Janet C. Hall at the U.S. District Court in New Haven on September 13. In a 27-page decision issued late Thursday, Judge Hall found that the state’s 2017 budget that swept ratepayer funds did not impair contracts between ratepayers and their electric distribution companies because neither utility tariffs nor state law ever promised ratepayers that their dollars would not be transferred to the General Fund for unrelated purposes.

“This case shows how incredibly difficult it is to stop the state from converting millions of dollars dedicated for a specific purposes—in this case, energy efficiency, renewables, and investments in clean energy—and converting the money into general fund purposes on a legislative whim even when the state treasury had already collected an unanticipated surplus of $1.7 billion dollars,” said Stephen J. Humes, a partner at Holland & Knight and co-counsel on the case. “While voters can hold their legislators accountable in 11 days, the sad reality is that more than 3,000 jobs have been lost and a number of energy efficiency projects across the state have been halted as a result. We disagree with the Court’s decision and are considering our right to appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York.”

“We won’t stop fighting for fairness, for families, and for clean air,” said Leticia Colon de Mejias, chair of Efficiency For All (EFA) and founder/owner of Energy Efficiencies Solutions. “Even in these difficult times, it is obvious that stealing ratepayer funds intended to help Connecticut residents and businesses reduce energy waste and use cleaner resources is a bad choice. No matter your political party, efficiency is efficient. While we decide next steps, legislators don’t have to wait for anyone else’s decision—they can take action themselves. This is the message to send your legislators and those hoping to be elected in just a couple weeks. Let them know that Connecticut cares about our health, our local jobs, and our economy. Efficiency and renewable resources are the future. It’s now up to us to tell our leaders to stop stealing the funds that support our path forward to a clean, efficient, stable energy plan!”

“Our goal remains to remedy the injury the raids have done to Connecticut families and businesses,” said Roger Reynolds, chief legal director at Connecticut Fund for the Environment. “Residents paid the charge on their electric bills, trusting that their ratepayer dollars would go towards energy efficiency and clean energy programs that save money and reduce climate pollution—not be used to plug an unrelated budget hole. We are considering our next move in this case; in the meantime, legislative leaders must return the swiped ratepayer dollars promised for efficiency and clean energy programs to prevent further damage to Connecticut’s healthy energy.”

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Background:

More information can be found at www.efficiencyforall.org and www.ctenvironment.org.

To speak with contractors who are experiencing direct harm or staff who were let go, please contact Leticia Colon de Mejias at 860-580-9076.