2017 - 2018 ORGANIZATIONAL ACCOMPLISHMENTS
Killed 2018 CT Senate Bill No. 420: An Act Repealing the Commercial Solar Tax Exemption
The Planning & Development Committee debated a bill to eliminate the commercial property tax exemption law that SolarConn wrote in 2013. SolarConn organized industry testimony opposing the bill and provided lawmakers on the Committee with materials used to convince committee leaders to kill the bill and keep the commercial PV tax exemption.
Members Revise Solar Photovoltaic Language in State's 2018 Fire Code Draft Update
Residential installers would have lost nearly a third of rooftop space if the original fire code update language on pathways and setbacks proposed last year went unchallenged. Members met with the State Building Official and Department of Administrative Services staff to negotiate new code language that restored most all of the space that was to be lost. The state's Regulation Review Committee approved the new codes on July 24, 2018.
Persuaded PURA to Revise Its Commercial / Residential Regulations on Voltage Variation
The regulation change we proposed last December will expand standard voltage variation from three percent above or five percent below; not to exceed five percent above or below. Members say they're forced to make expensive equipment upgrades to meet the current +3/-5 voltage variation regulation. PURA has agreed to make a change. A decision is pending.
Eliminate Sections of 2018's Connecticut State Senate Bill No. 9 (SB9)
SolarConn members helped defeat pieces of SB9 before the bill passed. Members testified before the Energy Committee and rallied at the state Capitol in Hartford opposing forced Buy All-Sell All that would have killed Solar + Storage for self-consumption, backup power, and demand management. The 40 MW annual cap on residential solar was lifted. The cap on commercial remains.
ZREC Price Cap Upped By Almost 50% to $126
Letters from a dozen SolarConn members and two key state lawmakers, all arranged by SolarConn, convinced PURA to reconsider the 64-percent ZREC cap reduction sought by Eversource and endorsed by the State Office of Consumer Counsel. Originally cut to $88, the cap was raised back to $126 after our members weighed in.
SolarConn Makes a Good Lawsuit Threat to Block State Lawmakers $165 Raid On Energy Accounts
A federal judge is expected to rule in September on the lawsuit SolarConn initiated charging state lawmakers acted illegally when $165 million was raided from the CT Green Bank and elsewhere to balance the state budget deficit last October. Numerous SolarConn members have funded the significant legal expense.
Bipartisan Lawmakers Group Tackles Solar Misconceptions
SolarConn convinced lawmakers to form a new legislative caucus to reverse misconceptions about solar and clean energy issues. Nearly 20 state lawmakers attended the first two meetings of the General Assembly's Bipartisan Connecticut Clean Energy Caucus. The next meeting will be in late November. SolarConn expects to suggest lifting the commercial PV cap and netting frequency as topics.