Wilton Go Green holds Lamont to campaign ideals
Wilton Go Green has joined with 28 other environmentally concerned organizations in sending a letter to Gov. Ned Lamont expressing their concern that steps taken by his administration will thwart the state’s efforts to meet its greehouse gas reduction targets for 2020 and 2030.
The letter focuses specifically on:
- Energy efficiency and clean energy funds.
- Electric vehicles and clean transportation.
- Offshore wind.
- Solar energy and net metering.
- Leaking gas infrastructure and pipeline tax.
Referring to statments Lamont made when he was on the campaign trail last year — in which he espoused a goal of a “zero-emissions state in the future” by developing renewable energy sources and said it made “little sense to invest $6.6 billion for a gas pipeline,” — the letter asks him to “encourage your agency leaders to work towards bold, concrete action for agreen and vibrant Connecticut.”
Among the items of most concern to Wilton Go Green, which is a proponent of all forms of sustainability, are the clean energy funds and solar net metering.
“When the state came up short on its budget a few years ago (2017), it looked at funds collected under the combined public benefit charge on our electrict bills,” Wilton Go Green member Patrice Gillespie told The Bulletin. That money was used to market and implement energy efficiency and clean energy projects across the state.
“The ratepayers already pay for these programs, which lower energy waste and energy expense, spur the green economy, and create jobs,” the letter says.
“The state took the money and spent it elsewhwere,” Gillespie said, “and the result was a drop in home energy audits. That needs to be rectified.”
On the issue of solar net metering, the organizations seek to reverse changes implemented in last year’s legislature to eliminate net metering. They are seeking support for H.B. 7251, which would delay the end of the state’s net metering policy until Dec. 31, 2021. This, they say, would allow time to study the economic value of solar projects and consider a long-term sustainable plan “that ensures consumers get fair compensation for the energy they produce from their solar systems.”
Such action, Gillespie said, would also preserve a steady market for solar companies.
The letter also offers support for the procurement of 2,000 megawatts of offshore wind energy that would be provided by a wind power installation in the ocean off the end of Long Island. HB 7156 would produce $3 billion in new economic growth for connecticut, at least 4,000 new jobs, and significant long-term utility bill savings for electric ratepayers. An installation of this size is enough to power 900,000 to one million homes, Gillespie said.
At 38 percent, transportation is the largest source of Connecticut’s greenhouse gas emissions . To that end, the letter also offers support for HB 7205, which would help put more electric vehicles on the road and put in place mandates for the state’s fleet of light duty vehicles and buses in terms of energy efficiency.