September Consumer Liaison Group discussed electrification of heating sector and consumer choices

The third quarterly meeting of the Consumer Liaison Group (CLG), held in Connecticut on September 20, featured opening remarks by Robert Klee, Commissioner at the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, an update from ISO New England, and a panel discussion addressing Electrification of the Heating Sector: Exploring Consumer Choices.

ISO-NE offered CLG meeting attendees a tour of its Backup Control Center in Windsor, CT.Keynote Speaker

Commissioner Robert Klee discussed his agency’s and the Malloy administration’s efforts to bring “cheaper, cleaner, more reliable energy” to the people of Connecticut. He noted that the state has set ambitious carbon reduction goals and that the need to transition to a zero-carbon clean energy future will require the electrification of the heating and transportation sectors as well as the electric sector. Commissioner Klee explained that the state is taking a multi-pronged approach to reaching its goals, such as contracting for large-scale renewable energy projects, providing rebates for electric vehicles, and pursuing energy-efficiency projects. He said that the transportation and heating sectors are the most difficult to penetrate, noting that half of Connecticut’s homes are heated by oil. He also noted that the state needs to be careful to electrify its economy in a way that does not exacerbate the winter reliability challenges the New England grid currently faces. He said that his agency’s efforts seek to protect the environment both now and 100 years in the future.

ISO Update

Anne George, Vice President of External Affairs and Corporate Communications for ISO New England, provided an update on the ISO’s short- and long-term plans to address fuel-security risk facing the region, the ISO’s preparations for the thirteenth Forward Capacity Action (FCA #13), the ISO’s proposed capital and operating budgets for 2019, and the Operating Procedure No. 4 event on Labor Day, Monday, September 3, 2018.

Panel Discussion

Panelists addressed the topic of Electrification of the Heating Sector: Exploring Consumer Choices:

  • Mary Sotos, Deputy Commissioner for Energy for the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, outlined the state’s carbon reduction goals and described the emissions profiles for different sectors of the Connecticut economy.  She compared the state’s profile with the rest of the country, and described the projected reductions the state must achieve in order to meet its goals.
  • Ronald Araujo, Manager of Energy Efficiency for Eversource Energy, explained the types of heat pumps customers can install and described the circumstances in which heat pumps can offer savings to customers.  He also discussed the different financial incentives that exist for Connecticut utility customers considering installation of these appliances.
  • Emily Lewis O’Brien, Senior Policy Analyst for Acadia Center, explained Acadia Center’s EnergyVision 2030 project, which explores the clean energy market levels needed to achieve a 45% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels. She said the analysis shows that the Northeastern states can achieve their 2030 climate goals if they act now on efforts to decarbonize the heating, transportation, and electricity sectors.
  • Christian Herb, President of the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association,discussed the benefits of low-sulfur oil and the possible role that biofuels can play in the state’s future energy mix and economy. 

Speakers’ presentations and other meeting materials are posted on the CLG webpage

Upcoming Meeting

Finally, the last quarterly meeting of the year will be held on December 6, 2018, at the Seaport Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts. Please mark your calendars!  Registration will be available through the CLG webpage.

You can now follow the CLG on Twitter at: @CLG_NE.

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