c/o Office of Consumer Counsel
Ten Franklin Square
New Britain 06051
Chairman: Richard Steeves
No. board members: 14
Created by the state legislature in 1998 and funded primarily by a ratepayers, the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund (CEEF) works with the utilities and other partners to develop and implement energy efficiency programs for residents and businesses.
The residential component, known as Home Energy Solutions, provides a home energy assessment including detecting and sealing air leaks, replacing incandescent bulbs with compact florescent bulbs and offering rebates to upgrade appliances.
“There’s still a $75 co-pay but it’s covered by most vendors,” explains CEEF Vice Chairman Jeff Gaudiosi. The program is free, and may be more comprehensive, for low-income residents.
In 2009, under the Home Energy Solutions income-eligible program, all 50 units at Canal Park, a Westport Housing Authority property for seniors, disabled singles and couples at 5 Canal Park Road, were outfitted with low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators, door sweeps and compact fluorescent lighting.
In 2010, the Energy Efficiency Fund provided $117,877 to further upgrade the Canal Park units, including adding more insulation, replacing old refrigerators with energy-efficient Energy Star models and installing ductless heat pumps to replace baseboard heaters. These measures resulted in an average per-unit savings of around $745 per year, according to Connecticut Light & Power’s Cathy Lezon.
Federal American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (stimulus) funds “allowed us to get a little bit deeper into the residential stuff,” Gaudiosi says. “We got about $9 million, which let us do some fuel-blind stuff [irrespective of fuel source], including homes heated by oil.”
During 2009, 3,252 United Illuminating Co. (UI) residential customers participated in the Home Energy Solutions program; stimulus money partially paid for 720 of those assessments, according to Pat McDonnell, UI’s director of conservation and load management.
In 2010, 5,456 residential customers participated in the program and 2,792 were partially funded with stimulus money. These included 1,412 Fairfield residents, who had no co-pay for Home Energy Solutions energy-efficiency assessments and improvements because of a federal Energy Efficiency Block grant to the town, McDonnell says.
UI also did 4,792 Home Energy Solutions income-eligible projects in 2009, and 4,490 last year.
On December 17, Gov. M. Jodi Rell announced that Home Energy Solutions had completed more than 12,400 home energy audits/house-sealings to date, with an estimated annual savings exceeding $4 million, primarily in electricity (11.6 million kilowatt hours) and fuel oil (700,000 gallons).
Donovan’s Reef was awarded the first Certified Green Restaurant designation in Connecticut.
“The Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund will try to keep its momentum and success despite losing one-third of its budget over the next ten years, which Gov. Rell diverted to the general fund because of the fiscal crisis,” Gaudiosi explains. “The taking begins in 2012, so we have one more year of being fully funded.”
— Karen Singer
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