The opaque world of energy policy continues to roil the surface of state government as regulators again have chastised the state’s two biggest utilities: Eversource and United Illuminating. This time, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority fined both companies, alleging an “insufficient” rollout of a program called shared solar.
Shared solar lets customers who can’t put panels on their roof subscribe to a nearby solar array and get a credit on their bill. In 2018, the legislature passed a statewide shared solar program, which requires utilities to identify eligible customers and automatically enroll them.
Read more here: Regulators Issue Fines To Eversource And UI Over Shared Solar Program | WSHU
by Paula Panzarella, Fight the Hike
Solarize New Haven will have a press conference on Wednesday, Oct. 18 from 7-9 p.m. at the Hall of Records, G2 Hearing Room, 200 Orange St. The press conference will be followed by an information session. People can have their questions answered about solar panels, installation and energy financing. This is a great opportunity for New Haven homeowners to explore the possibility of getting solar panels. There are many financing programs that make solar panels affordable. This solar installation is available also to multi-family homes, provided that one of the apartments is owner-occupied. RGS is the company that will be installing solar panels through Solarize New Haven.
On Sept. 5, the New Haven Alders passed a resolution to encourage the State of Connecticut to push forward on promoting shared solar. We hope that as clean energy advocates in other CT cities and towns have their boards of alders or town councils pass similar resolutions, Connecticut legislators will move ahead in allowing the development of many shared solar projects.
At the hearings last month about the draft 2017 Comprehensive Energy Strategy of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, many people spoke out about the shortcomings of the proposed energy policy and specified the need for expanded shared solar projects. The timing of the hearings and the New Haven resolution coincided well!
Deadline to Apply: June 6, 2017
Neighborhood Housing Services (NHS) of New Haven is proud to announce our Inaugural Environmental Leadership Series! Learn about the environment and your neighbor-hood, connect with useful resources and people, and aspire to create your own environmental projects.
This year’s workshops are as follows:
June 13, 2017: Climate, Health, and Neighborhoods
June 20, 2017: Home Energy-Efficiency, Going Solar, and Other Renewable Solutions
July 11, 2017: Planning a Project
July 18, 2017: Water in Your Home and Neighborhood
August 1, 2017: Talking Trash, Managing Waste, and Greening Neighborhood Spaces
August 8, 2017: Transportation Matters and Project Showcase
Participants must attend at least five of the workshops listed above. Sessions will be held from 6 – 8 p.m. at NHS of New Haven. Dinner will be provided. Visit our website to apply today! nhsofnewhaven.org/content/environmental-leadership-program.
The application, as well as $20 registration fee, is due by June 6, 2017. Scholarships are available upon request.
by Paula Panzarella, Fight the Hike
More than half the homes in Connecticut don’t meet the criteria for the installation of solar panels. Here are some of the reasons that solar panels are not appropriate: roofs are shaded by buildings or trees, roofs are not in good shape, roofs don’t have a south-facing side, homes are rented, neighbor-hood associations do not allow solar panels, etc. That is why large-scale community solar projects can have a real impact on the growth of solar power and the solar industry in Connecticut.
The hopes for full-scale shared solar projects throughout Connecticut have stalled for this year, but the legislature is moving towards establishing rules for limited pilot projects. If the Dept. of Energy and Environmental Protection hears from people throughout the state, the agency and our politicians will hopefully understand that people want community solar power to lessen the dependence on fossil fuels and move towards a cleaner environment.
The legislation is titled Public Act 15-113, An Act Establishing a Shared Clean Energy Facility Pilot Program. If you want to receive the draft proposal (RFP) for this, please con-tact Debra Morrell at (860) 827-2688 and/or via e-mail at DEEP.EnergyBureau@ct.gov for the document to be sent.
There will be a public hearing on the draft RFP Thursday, June 9, at 9 a.m. in Hearing Room 1 at DEEP’s New Britain Office at 10 Franklin Square. It is requested people RSVP to DEEP.EnergyBureau@ct.gov by Tuesday, June 7, if planning to attend and/or present oral comment at the meeting.
DEEP will accept written or e-mailed public comments until 5 p.m. on Monday, June 20. Written comments may be filed electronically on DEEP’s website or submitted by email. Send comments by mail to DEEP, 10 Franklin Sqare, New Britain, CT 06051.
by Judi Friedman, People’s Action for Clean Energy
The ultimate net zero energy house will be open to the public on Saturday, May 21. With a rating of -23, this South Glastonbury, Connecticut, home is the most energy-efficient house in North America. It was the 2014 CT Zero Energy Challenge winner; the RESNET 2015 Cross Border Challenge winner; and the 2015 Housing Innovations Award winner.
Tours and seminars will be held at noon and 2:30 p.m. The 2,755 square-foot house has a geothermal heating and cooling system; a rotating photovoltaic steel pole array that powers all appliances, LED lights and the hot water heater. The PV is connected to the grid but is able to get power when the grid goes down.
Other energy saving features in this home for four people include a centrally heated foundation; aluminum roofing shingles with a 70-year lifespan; an energy recovery ventilator; triple glazed windows and Energy Star appliances. The tour is sponsored by Peoples Action for Clean Energy (PACE), the only all-volunteer nonprofit public health organization in Connecticut devoted solely to clean energy education.
Reservations are accepted in order of receipt for the tour, which will be held rain or shine. The non-refundable tickets are $15.00 per person. To order tickets, go online to http://www.pace-cleanenergy.org and click on Events, indicating the choice of time for the tours and seminar. Tickets may also be ordered by sending $15.00 per person to PACE c/o Donna Grant, 128 Melrose Road, Broad Brook, CT 06016. Include the ticket holder’s name, phone number, address, email address and choice of time. For ticket information, call Judi Friedman, (860) 623-5487. For tour information, call (860) 693-4813.
by Paula Panzarella, Fight the Hike
As of this printing, Senate Bill 928, facilitating shared solar projects in Connecticut, has still not been scheduled for a vote in the CT State Legislature. As mentioned in last month’s PAR newsletter, “Large-scale solar investment has been successful in Massachusetts and other states. Pilot projects are not necessary to track its feasibility. It works!”
The legislative session will end June 3, a few days after this newsletter is mailed out. If the fate of SB 928 has not yet been decided, please contact your legislators and the co-chairs of the Energy and Technology committee and the governor to let them know you support expansion of shared solar in CT.
Co-chair Rep. Lonnie Reed, 1-800-842-8267
Co-chair Sen. Paul Doyle, 1-800-842-1420
Gov. Dannel Malloy, 1-800-406-1527
There is an on-line petition here: petitions.moveon.org/sign/let-everyone-go-solar?source=s.icn.em.cp&r_by=13042003
Any questions? Call Paula or Frank, (203) 562-2798.