Connecticut lawmakers heard a plea Monday to leave state funding in place for energy efficiency improvements. The calls came at a public hearing that tested views on Governor Jodi Rell’s revenue raising proposals. WNPR’s Harriet Jones reports.
Among the money saving ideas put forward by the Governor as she and the legislature grapple with ongoing budget deficits, is borrowing against the future revenues of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and the Energy Efficiency Fund. The formal name for this is securitization, but opponents of the move call it "raiding". Lawmakers on the legislature’s finance, revenue and bonding committee were told by repeated witnesses that it would jeopardize important work going on in Connecticut. Doug Cahill is president of marketing at Competitive Resources, an energy efficiency services company near Meriden. He says the move is short sighted.
"It’ll provide a short term relief – but at what cost? Repaying the debt and interest will have a major impact on the fund going forward. Energy and consequently dollar savings that Connecticut residents would have realized will be forever lost on this quick fix. Not only that, but this idea flies in the face of the green job development that we’ve heard not only nationally but on a local level."
The Office of Policy and Management estimates that it would cost $180 million each year over ten years to support the costs of securitizing the $1.3 billion funds.
For WNPR, I'm Harriet Jones.