December 3, 2012

Hot Report: DEEP Comprehensive Energy Strategy

OLR Report 2012-R-0484 summarizes the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's draft 2012 Comprehensive Energy Strategy.

The draft 2012 Comprehensive Energy Strategy issued by the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) in October 2012 presents a series of policy proposals intended to expand energy choices, lower utility bills, improve environmental conditions, and create clean energy jobs. It focuses on five, sometimes overlapping, energy strategy sectors: natural gas, energy efficiency, electricity, industry, and transportation. Although the strategy contains significant research findings, this report focuses mainly on the recommendations proposed as a result of those findings within each sector.

In discussing the natural gas sector, the strategy concludes that natural gas is a cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable fuel for heating, power generation, and possibly transportation. It recommends a variety of proposals intended to encourage (1) people to convert their homes and businesses to natural gas and (2) gas utilities to expand their infrastructure.

For energy efficiency, which the strategy identifies as the most cost effective way to reduce energy bills, the strategy recommends improving funding for efficiency programs and expanding the programs to include more potential customers. The recommendations for the electricity sector similarly stress the importance of efficiency measures, but also propose measures to reduce electricity use, promote and expand renewable energy systems, and increase system reliability. Recommendations for the industry sector generally focus on adapting the gas, efficiency, and electricity proposals to the specifics of industrial needs, but also include suggestions to encourage water conservation and create an Advanced Energy Innovation Hub.

The strategy's recommendations for the transportation sector focus on reducing the amount of gasoline and diesel fuel consumed in the state while encouraging the availability of a diverse refueling infrastructure.

For more information, read the full report.