DEEP Announces Updates to Conservation and Load Management Plan
Updates Enhance Commitment to Equity, Bring New Savings Opportunities for Residents and Businesses, and Support Goals Outlined by GC3
The Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) today announced updates to its 2019-21 Conservation and Load Management (C&LM) Plan, an award-winning and nationally-recognized energy efficiency, demand management, and market transformation investment plan designed to help Connecticut residents and businesses reduce energy use and save money.
The 2021 Plan Update includes a variety of measures that enhance the state’s long-standing commitment to equity and environmental justice with new strategies to bring energy efficiency programs to underserved groups, provide for new energy savings opportunities for Connecticut residents and businesses, make Connecticut’s buildings more efficient, and support the state’s broader energy goals, including those outlined by the Governor’s Council on Climate Change (GC3).
With an investment of just under $750 million over three years, the 2019-21 C&LM Plan provides an estimated $2.6 billion in lifetime economic benefitsthrough energy and cost savings improvements. The C&LM plan improves productivity and lowers operating costs for local businesses. In 2019 alone, businesses saved $444.8 million in lifetime energy savings.
Electric, gas, oil, and propane savings resulting from the 2019-21 Plan’s energy efficiency programs will directly reduce 7.3 million tons of CO2 emissions-- equivalent to taking over 1.5 million passenger vehicles off the road for one year! The 2019-21 plan will also result in a combined annual peak demand reduction of 213 MW reducing the need to build and use expensive, fossil-fuel resources to meet energy peaks.
Every year, the utilities collaborate with Connecticut’s Energy Efficiency Board to develop a Plan Updatethat incorporates public input, clean energy trends, price forecasts, and new energy policies relevant to Connecticut with the goal of advancing the plan’s impact and strategy. DEEP approves the Plan Update, often adding conditions that enhance energy efficiency program design, equity, and access.
“The C&LM Plan has already provided residents and businesses a tremendous amount of direct benefits through energy and cost savings and resulting positive impact on the environment through significant reductions in CO2 emissions,” said Vicki Hackett, DEEP’s Deputy Commissioner of Energy. “The 2021 Plan Update continues and expands those benefits, making our energy efficiency programs more equitable and just, providing more opportunities for residents and businesses to save, and aligning with many of the recommendations outlined in the GC3’s Phase 1 Report.”
Some of What’s New in the 2021 Plan Update:
Enhanced Commitment to Equity and Environmental Justice
- The creation of new energy equity metrics to measure and increase participation in underserved communities. Creating and tracking these metrics has been a DEEP priority since it opened the Equitable Energy Efficiency Proceeding, and will support the GC3 recommendation of assessing the distribution of C&LM program funds from a broader equity lens.
- New evaluation techniques for Home Energy Solutions-Income Eligible visits, allowing more customers to get insulation at no cost and receive energy-efficient windows at lower costs.
- A plan to address renter barriers to weatherization through more data collection, landlord roundtable meetings, and the development of a proposal to increase renter participation in energy efficiency programs. These measures align with GC3 recommendations to address barriers to efficiency upgrades.
More Savings Opportunities for Residents
- Plans to ramp up heat pump promotion during the 2021 program year with higher-than-ever rebate levels.
- An exploration of options for a residential energy efficiency concierge service that would connect program participants to additional energy-savings measures like insulation, heat pumps, efficient appliances, rooftop solar, and opportunities to participate in shared clean energy facilities. Per the GC3 recommendations, a concierge could help building owners take a more holistic approach to building performance.
- A pay-for-performance pilot to supplement the Home Energy Solutions program and maximize energy savings, prioritize decarbonization of home heating fuels, and leverage additional funds to increase access to energy efficiency programs.
New Ways for Businesses to Save
- New virtual pre-assessments that allow contractors to remotely assess the energy needs of small businesses and identify easy energy-saving opportunities that can be made once a vendor can go on site.Also, a new Small Manufacturers Initiative focused on making it easy for small manufacturers to take advantage of the wide variety of Energize CT incentives.
- A new market segment for agricultural customers to best understand how energy efficiency programs can support large dairy operations, shade tobacco farms, vineyards, hops farms, and more to best meet their business needs.
- An HVAC Modernization pilot to increase adoption rates of high-efficiency HVAC systems and equipment by larger businesses, and a heat pump pilot focused on increasing adoption rates of cleaner heat pumps in larger businesses. Increased adoption of heat pumps will support the GC3 recommendation to transition buildings to renewable thermal technologies.
Greater Focus on Education and a Sustainable Workforce
- Planned trainings such as Green Professional Building Skills and Salesforce Training dedicated to equipping the clean energy workforces with trade-specific green construction knowledge and sales approaches. These programs further the GC3 recommendation to improve workforce training and technical capacity.
- Interactive mobile educational exhibits that provide communities and K-12 schools with hands-on, educational programming and informative exhibits on energy efficiency and other energy-related topics.
- A new Passive House education program that will provide training and credentials to the residential new construction community.
Better Community Engagement and Outreach
- A new Customer Engagement Initiative to motivate behavior change and participation in energy efficiency programs with data-driven insights and targeted recommendations.
- Expansion of community engagement by providing funding to community groups working with a municipality to increase energy efficiency program participation. This process furthers the GC3 recommendation to engage municipalities as energy efficiency allies.
- A Home Energy Score working group that will recommend solutions to increase participation in and recommended metrics for measuring the success of the Home Energy Score program.
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