DEEP: Connecticut Laws & Executive Orders on Climate

Connecticut Laws & Executive Orders on Climate
Connecticut has been a leading state in developing climate change legislation. There have been many laws passed that will help Connecticut reach our greenhouse gas mitigation goals. These laws help us prepare for, and respond to dangerous climate change. The laws and selected highlights found below reflect the state's commitment to climate change action:
Public Act 15-194: “An Act Concerning the Encouragement of Local Economic Development and Access to Residential Renewable Energy”
  • Requires the Connecticut Green Bank to offer incentives to support the deployment of no more than 300 MW of residential solar. 
Public Act 15-113: “An Act Establishing a Shared Clean Energy Pilot Program”
  • Requires DEEP to establish a two-year pilot program for shared clean energy facilities using Class I renewable energy sources.
Public Act 15-107: “An Act Concerning Affordable and Reliable Energy”
  • Authorizes DEEP to solicit and select proposals to meet winter reliability needs using Class I renewable energy sources, energy efficiency, Class III energy sources, large-scale hydropower, and natural gas.
  • Establishes a new Governor’s Council on Climate Change to monitor the state’s greenhouse gas emissions and make recommendations to meet the 2050 GWSA target.
Special Act 13-9: "An Act Concerning Climate Change Adaptation and Data Collection"
  • Endorses the establishment of a Coastal Climate and Resiliency Center to provide resources and technical support.
  • Requires Connecticut to purchase renewable energy in increasing amounts, leading to 100% renewable energy by 2050.
Public Act 13-303: "An Act Concerning Connecticut's Clean Energy Goals"
  • Allows for large-scale procurement of regional renewable power, commencing immediately with policy tools (long-term contracts, reverse auctions, reduced reliance on older biomass projects, etc.) to ensure that projects get built at the lowest possible cost to ratepayers.
  • Tightens standards for biomass to qualify as a Class I Renewable, ensuring the most effective use of limited clean energy incentive dollars.
  • Increases competitiveness in the clean energy marketplace by introducing large-scale hydropower, which will result in lower electricity rates to consumers.
Public Act 13-298: "An Act Concerning Implementation of Connecticut's Comprehensive Energy Strategy and Various Revisions to the Energy Statutes"
  • Doubles funding for residential, commercial, and industrial energy efficiency investments throughout the state.
  • Creates a robust "decoupling" mechanism to ensure that utilities are properly incentivized for investments in energy efficiency.
  • Ensures availability of energy efficiency financing to lower income households.
  • Allows for submetering for all residents and businesses that use a Class I renewable or Combined Heat and Power (CHP) unit for generation, which will result in increased energy efficiency gains and lower energy demand.
  • Allows for residents to utilize on-bill financing to pay for heating systems and energy efficiency upgrades.
  • Creates a new "Energize" program that drives energy efficiency upgrades through community aggregation and that drives natural gas conversions through community aggregation.
  • Expands virtual net metering for government entities to include critical facilities and enables agricultural virtual net metering.
  • Requires gas utilities to create an action agenda that will convert roughly 300,000 non-gas customers to a cheaper and cleaner natural gas supply.
  • Revises the "hurdle rate" from 15 to 25 years to facilitate the expansion of the natural gas infrastructure by better aligning financing in terms with the life expectancy of gas mains and allowing gas companies to finance more gas main extensions.
  • Enables the state to use non-taxpayer dollars to help deploy electric vehicle charging stations through the EVConnecticut initiative.
  • Allows for the adjustment of the rate structure for electric vehicle charging stations.
  • Adjusts the regulatory framework to allow for municipal ownership of microgrids that cross a public right of way.
Public Act 13-285: "An Act Concerning Recycling and Jobs"
  • Helps Connecticut increase the recycling rate and lower per capita disposal costs by recapturing more of the valuable materials in the waste stream.
Public Act 13-239: "An Act Authorizing and Adjusting Bonds of the State for Capital Improvements, Transportation, Elimination of the Accumulated GAAP Deficit and Other Purposes"
  • Commits an additional $25 million for energy efficiency upgrades in state buildings, on top of an existing $43 million investment.
  • Commits an additional $30 million for the build-out of microgrids across the state.
  • Provides $20 million for state acquisition of open space lands under the Recreation and Natural Heritage Trust Program.
  • Provides $20 million for grants to municipalities and land trust organizations to support local open space purchase under the Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program.
Public Act 13-179: "An Act Concerning the Permitting of Certain Coastal Structures by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection"
  • Requires development of best practices for permitting of coastal structures and refines coastal regulatory procedures for ease of use by the public.
Public Act 13-78: "An Act Concerning Water Infrastructure and Conservation, Municipal Reporting Requirements and Unpaid Utility Cost Accounts at Multi-Family Dwellings"
  • Promotes water conservation - and conservation of the energy used to treat and deliver it - through changes in water company rate structures.
Public Act 13-61: "An Act Concerning Property Tax Exemptions for Renewable Energy Sources"
  • Creates a property tax exemption for Class I Renewable power projects.
Public Act 13-15: "An Act Concerning Sea Level Rise and the Funding of Projects by the Clean Water Fund"
  • Takes a forward look at sea level rise to guide state investments. 
Public Act 12-148: "An Act Enhancing Emergency Preparedness and Response"
  • Establishes a pilot program to fund microgrids for critical facilities.
  • Expands the depth of the state's civil preparedness and training requirements.
Public Act 11-80: "An Act Concerning the Establishment of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and Planning for Connecticut's Energy Future"
  • Creates the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection through the combination of the former Departments of Environmental Protection and Public Utility Control (DEP and DPUC respectively). The former DPUC becomes the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA).
  • Requires DEEP to prepare a Comprehensive Energy Strategy for Connecticut on a tri-annual basis and requires DEEP to prepare an Integrated Resources Plan.
  • Creates a Combined Heat and Power (CHP) pilot program.
  • Authorizes state agencies and municipalities to enter into energy saving performance contracts with energy service companies.
  • Requires that energy consumption in state-owned or state-leased buildings be reduced 10% by 2013, and an additional 10% by 2018.
  • Creates the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA), the "green bank."
  • Initiates a residential solar investment program, operated by CEFIA.
Public Act 08-98: "An Act Concerning Global Warming Solutions" (Global Warming Solutions Act, or GWSA)
  • Adopted by the General Assembly in 2008, setting forth the following greenhouse gas emission reduction requirements:
    • By January 2020, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 10% below 1990 levels; and
    • By January 2050, reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 80% below 2001 levels.
  • Pursuant to the GWSA, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is required to:
    • Publish on this website a baseline inventory of greenhouse gas emissions to establish a baseline for such emissions in the state and publish a summary of greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies by December 2009;
    • Publish on this website by July 2010 the results of greenhouse gas reduction modeling scenarios, including, but not limited to, the evaluation of potential economic and environmental benefits and opportunities for economic growth based on such scenarios;
    • Analyze greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies and, after an opportunity for public comment, make recommendations by July 2011 on which such strategies will achieve the greenhouse gas emission levels specified in the GWSA; and
    • Beginning in July 2012 and every three years thereafter, develop with an opportunity for public comment, a schedule of recommended regulatory actions by relevant agencies, policies and other actions necessary to show reasonable further progress towards achieving the greenhouse gas emission levels specified in the GWSA. 
Public Act 04-252: "An Act Concerning Climate Change"
  • Requires mandatory reporting of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions and creates a GHG registry.
  • Adopts GHG emissions reduction targets established by the Conference of New England Governors and Eastern Canadian Premiers of achieving 1990 (regional) baseline GHG levels by 2010; 10% below 1990 levels by 2020; and 75-85% below 2001 GHG levels by 2050 (unless otherwise dictated by the Conference).
  • Requires a Climate Action Plan be created that outlines steps to achieve the 2010 and 2020 GHG reduction targets.
  • Requires the Department of Administrative Services (DAS) to identify and purchase when possible, recycled and/or environmentally preferable products, services, and practices.
Public Act 04-231: "An Act Concerning Clean and Alternative Fuel Vehicles"
  • Promotes clean and alternative fuel vehicle adoption through provision of tax incentives.
Public Act 04-222: "An Act Concerning Preservation of the Family Farm and Long Island Sound"
  • Promotes the purchase of Connecticut-grown foods by the State.
  • Creates a "Connecticut Farm Fresh" program.
Public Act 04-85: "An Act Concerning Energy Efficiency Standards"
  • Establishes energy efficiency standards for products and appliances.
Public Act 04-84: "An Act Concerning Clean Cars"
  • Adopts California light duty motor vehicle emissions standards.
Content Last Updated October 2015