CONNstruction - Summer 2014 - (Page 17)

feature The Public Policy Behind Energy in Connecticut A Q&A with state Sen. Bob Duff Sen. Bob Duff Connecticut took a big step toward addressing the cost, availability, and environmental impact of its energy supply in June 2013, when state Sen. Bob Duff (D-Norwalk), chairman of the Senate Energy & Technology Committee, led a vote of 28-3 to approve legislation that put the state's Comprehensive Energy Strategy into motion. Duff and Rep. Lonnie Reed (D-Branford), chairman of the state House Energy Committee, said the bill sets Connecticut on a carefully considered path to more affordable, cleaner, more reliable energy. The energy strategy focuses on several key areas: energy efficiency, clean energy, natural gas expansion, telecommunications, and utility reliability. The strategy's most important components include: * Requires electric and gas companies to develop a combined energy conservation plan with the Energy Conservation Management Board; requires energy consumption benchmarking of state buildings. * Establishes a program to finance residential clean-energy improvements that  reduce electricity, gas, oil, and propane usage (ex: a new furnace, boiler, or smart meter); broadens eligibility for "virtual net metering," which provides  a transferable billing credit to customers who generate renewable electricity; reduces the maximum sulfur content of heating oil from 3,000 parts per million to 500 ppm until mid-2018 and 15 ppm thereafter. * Seeks to expand natural gas infrastructure and promote cost-effective customer conversions; facilitate installation of efficient equipment and weatherization  for converted buildings; provide  natural gas access to industrial facilities. * Expands the ability of electric and telecommunications companies to trim trees and vegetation near their lines so as to prevent falling limbs from causing power outages during severe weather. In early May, Duff took the time to speak with CONNstruction Magazine about how the bill came to fruition and how it is being implemented. Q: How was the Comprehensive Energy Strategy developed in the Energy & Technology Committee? A: As legislators, as chairs of the committee, we were very much hands on. We spent a lot of time last year going over the bill and going over the legislation. In Connecticut, in our legislature anyway, it's not like we're Congress, where they have a lot of professional staff or committee staff. We have our nonpartisan officer of legislature research, our nonpartisan attorneys, and so a lot of it falls to the chairs of the committees or the committee members to help bring forth the legislation. As chairs of the committees, you have to really roll up your sleeves. But we did it in a bipartisan way, so we had the Republican leadership of the committee involved every step of the way. Continued on page 18 CONNstruction / SUMMER 2014 / 17

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CONNstruction - Summer 2014

Standardizing OQ
Measuring Mud on Construction Sites
2014 General Assembly Concludes
Transition to Natural Gas Holds Promise of Construction Jobs
CEFIA: Banking on Energy
The Public Policy Behind Energy in Connecticut
Call Before You Dig
The 2014 AGC/CT Build CT Awards and 67th Annual Meeting
The Second Annual Construction Industry Joint Forces Luncheon
Travelers Congratulates CCIA for 15 Years of Insurance Excellence
Agc of Connecticut Honored Nationally
CCIA | AGC of CT Young Contractors Forum - Membership Meeting
Index to Advertisers /

CONNstruction - Summer 2014