Governor Lamont Signs Key Climate Change and Energy Legislation Codifying Into Law His 2040 Zero-Carbon Target and Expanding Existing Renewable Energy Programs
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that he has signed into law two bills that further demonstrate Connecticut’s commitment to mitigating the impacts of the climate crisis by decarbonizing our electric sector and expanding existing renewable energy programs.
The package of reforms includes two bills:
- Public Act 22-5 (Senate Bill 10), An Act Concerning Climate Change Mitigation: This bill, which was sponsored by Governor Lamont, codifies into law the 2040 zero-carbon electric grid goal that Governor Lamont established through an executive order that he issued in 2019 (Executive Order No. 3). Codifying this goal into law will provide state policymakers and the electricity sector with a shared goal of fully transitioning Connecticut’s electric supply away from relying on natural gas and oil t power its electric grid. This law will take effect July 1, 2022.
- Public Act 22-14 (Senate Bill 176), An Act Concerning Clean Energy Tariff Programs: This bill expands existing programs supporting distributed renewable generation, or small, renewable generation that is located on-site and helps reduce the energy burden of participating customers. The Non-Residential Renewable Energy Solutions (NRES) program is an annual auction for on-site Class I renewables, generally solar and fuel cells, for commercial customers. The Shared Clean Energy Facilities (SCEF) program is a separate annual auction for Class I renewables, generally solar and fuel cells, that also provide on-bill credits to subscribers in the same electric distribution service territory, mostly targeting low to moderate-income customers. This law, for the most part, will take effect October 1, 2022.
Governor Lamont said, “Connecticut is a leading state when it comes to mitigating the impacts of climate change, and these new laws will help to further accelerate progress on our greenhouse gas emissions goals. By codifying our zero-carbon electric grid target into state law, we are providing a critical direction for public agencies, utility companies, and other partners as we collectively plan and implement Connecticut’s energy policies over the coming years. Expanding our renewable energy programs will allow for greater and more equitable participation in the green economy, and will help to reduce the energy burden for participating customers, particularly those with low-to-moderate incomes. I am proud to sign these bills into law because we are setting an example for what a state can do to become more environmentally sustainable and make meaningful progress to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) Commissioner Katie Dykes said, “We’ve made tremendous strides decarbonizing our electric sector, but there is still more work to be done in order to reach our zero-carbon target and meet our greenhouse gas emissions goals. Senate Bill 10 ensures that Governor Lamont’s direction to keep Connecticut on the path to a zero-carbon electric grid endures, and as DEEP’s Integrated Resources Plan shows, a 100% GHG-free electricity supply for Connecticut is achievable, and expanding our renewable energy programs will help us get there. I applaud Governor Lamont for his vision, the hard work of the Governor’s Council on Climate Change, and the advocates and legislators of both parties who supported these bills.”
State Senator Norm Needleman (D-Essex), co-chair of the legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee, said, “I’m thrilled that we were able to pass major climate change legislation this session. Connecticut has committed to getting all of our energy from zero carbon sources by 2040, doubling all of the caps on solar as well as making major changes in transportation infrastructure, including supporting electric vehicle adoption. These changes will lead to cleaner air for everyone in our state and are major steps in the right direction.”
State Representative David Arconti (D-Danbury), co-chair of the legislature’s Energy and Technology Committee, said, “The passage of Senate Bill 10 and Senate Bill 176 culminates four years of strong climate mitigation policy advancement between the legislature and the Lamont administration. Connecticut is once again a leader on climate, which is of the most consequential issues facing our state and country. I am proud of the role my colleagues and I have played in passing meaningful legislation like Senate Bill 10 and Senate Bill 176.”
Lori Brown, executive director of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters, said, “Governor Lamont’s 100% renewable energy bill, Senate Bill 10, will help us tackle climate change, breathe cleaner, healthier air, and create thousands of jobs for Connecticut residents. Senate Bill 176 will help meet our new commitment to 100% renewable energy by expanding rooftop commercial solar power across our state. It is clear that Governor Lamont and the Connecticut legislature are strongly committed to clean, renewable energy. This is the kind of leadership on climate that citizens have been hoping for.”
Nathan Frohling, director of external affairs for The Nature Conservancy in Connecticut, said, “Senate Bill 10 is far more than a goal, it is the commitment and focus we need to take action and get the job done to reach a zero-carbon electricity supply. This is huge for addressing Connecticut’s share of climate change because electricity is key – decarbonizing the multiple sectors of the economy will depend on clean electricity. We thank Governor Lamont and legislature for their vision on this bill.”