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March 5, 2014

Article as it appeared in the Hartford Business Journal

Bill earmarks $19M for clean energy

Connecticut State Sen. Rob Kane (R-Watertown) has introduced legislation to provide $19 million in funding to the Clean Energy Finance & Investment Authority, making up for money that the legislature raided last year to balance the budget.

CEFIA is a quasi-state agency that uses limited public funding from ratepayers to leverage private capital for clean and efficient energy products. Programs supporting energy efficiency and the solar installation industry come from CEFIA.
Last year, legislators and Gov. Dannel P. Malloy decided CEFIA must contribute $25.4 million over this fiscal year and the next in order to balance the state’s general fund.

“This is ratepayer dollars, not taxpayer dollars … that are specifically appropriated for this type of effort, and then we rob it,” Kane said. “It is frustrating when it affects businesses, and companies that are reliant on these funds.”

The $19 million will restore the needed funds to CEFIA.

Last year, Malloy and the legislators did provide a provision to make CEFIA whole by increasing the amount of funding the agency received from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

CEFIA has received $6 million in additional RGGI funds to date and is expected to receive at least $25.4 million total by the end of the next fiscal year, CEFIA spokesman David Goldberg said.

“Our goal is to use our public dollars in the most efficient way possible to leverage private capital,” Goldberg said.