As part of its requirements under the 2008 Global Warming Solutions Act, a new report shows that Connecticut is on schedule to meet its mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions below what they were in 1990.
The report concluded that since 2005 Connecticut has reduced carbon emissions from power plants about 40 percent, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy said Friday.
Those reductions in the power sector put Connecticut on track toward compliance with the carbon pollution standards for existing power plants released earlier this week by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The report released Friday by Connecticut officials said that overall carbon emissions in the state peaked in 2004 and then declined by a total of 17 percent through 2010, the most recent year for which full data is available.
The report also shows that the biggest reduction in emissions was in the electric power sector, where emissions fell 31 percent since 1990 and 22 percent since 2005, Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Robert Klee, said.
That puts the state on track to meet the EPA goal of reducing carbon emissions from power plants by 30 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, Klee said.
The Connecticut report comes on the heels of a report from the EPA, which is currently headed by Gina McCarthy.
“By leveraging cleaner energy sources and cutting energy waste, this plan will clean the air we breathe while helping slow climate change so we can leave a safe and healthy future for our kids,” McCarthy said earlier this week. “We don’t have to choose between a healthy economy and a healthy environment — our action will sharpen America’s competitive edge, spur innovation, and create jobs.”
Klee said Connecticut gets it. It understands that “climate change is real and it’s happening. And the only way to slow the impact is reduce the release of carbon emissions in the atmosphere,” he added.
“In fact, recently released data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that Connecticut was one of the top three lowest energy-related CO2 emitting states in the United States per unit of economic output,” Malloy said Friday during a Hartford press conference.
Malloy attributed the progress in reduction of greenhouse gases to the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and the first-in-the-nation green bank, also known as the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority.
Friday’s press conference was held at Crest Mechanical Services in Hartford because it was one of the companies that financed the installation of solar panels through the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority’s Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy program.
Paul Breglio, president of Crest Mechanical Services, said they financed $145,000 an interest rate of 5.5 percent to install the panels, but are saving about $22,000 per year on its electric bill.
Bryan Garcia, president and CEO of the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority, said Berglio is saving more on energy than he’s paying on debt service for the panels.
Berglio said once he saw the savings, which he could invest back in the business, he was sold on the program. However, he appreciates that he’s helping the environment in doing this.
“It’s great to get the bills now from CL&P,” Berglio said. “They’re a lot lower than they were.”
Over the lifetime of the panels, at today’s energy cost, they will save more than $400,000, Berglio said.
Crest Mechanical Services fabricates sheet metal for HVAC systems. It also provides plumbing, piping, and fire protection systems and has a second location in an old mill building in Norwich. Berglio said they are looking at similar investments in the Norwich facility.