Activists demand clean energy funds be used for clean energy
HARTFORD — Environmental activists are pressuring lawmakers to reverse a decision to divert clean energy funds to other uses in the wake of recent billion-dollar state budget deficits.
A petition signed by over 2,000 residents in 114 towns was submitted to Gov. Ned Lamont and legislative leaders on Friday in effort to halt diversion of some $145 million paid annually by electric customers to help develop clean and cheaper energy sources, such as solar and wind power.
The latest sweep of $54 million from the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund is scheduled in June.
“Hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents struggle to pay their energy bills,” said Amanda Schoen, deputy director of the Connecticut League of Conservation Voters.
“The Energy Efficiency Fund is critical to helping them lower their rates while also cutting our carbon footprint and supporting over thirty-four thousand good, local clean energy jobs,” Schoen said.
“Our lawmakers have said they want to make energy more affordable, fight climate change, and grow our economy,” Schoen added “That starts with putting an end to the upcoming diversion of the Energy Efficiency Fund before it’s too late.”
Lawmakers diverted the funds to help balance the state budget, a move environmental groups and activists challenged in federal court last year. The court ruled against the activists, saying the state has the authority to decide how the funds are used even though the money comes from ratepayers through a small fee on their monthly electric bill.