CTGBC 2017 Draft CES Comments

On September 25th, CTGBC submitted official comments on the 2017 Draft Comprehensive Energy Strategy for the State of Connecticut. Read the comments below.

September 25, 2017

Debra Morrell
DEEP Bureau of Energy and Technology Policy
Ten Franklin Square
New Britain, CT 06051

RE: CTGBC Comments on Draft 2017 Comprehensive Energy Strategy

The Connecticut Green Building Council (CTGBC) is pleased to provide these comments on the draft 2017 Comprehensive Energy Strategy (CES) to the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP). The Draft CES was issued on July 26, 2017 with a public comment period that extends through September 25, 2017.

The CTGBC is a Connecticut 501(c)(3) that is affiliated with the United States Green Building Council, an organization committed to a sustainable and prosperous future. CTGBC’s members represent diverse, small and large businesses working in sustainable design: energy efficiency and clean energy installations and new construction of high performance buildings and sustainable sites, green infrastructure and living shorelines. Our members and their employers create and retain well-paying jobs that benefit Connecticut’s economy and communities.

We are committed to transforming the way our buildings are designed, constructed and operated through LEED™ — the top third-party verification system for sustainable structures, landscapes and neighborhoods around the world. There are over 2,000 LEED Accredited Professionals and Green Associates working in Connecticut and 634 projects in Connecticut (representing nearly 60 million gross square feet) that have been LEED certified or registered. Throughout the year, CTGBC holds a series of workshops on green building topics, networking opportunities, membership meetings, educational forums, seminars on green buildings and periodic Connecticut based LEED training in conjunction with the US Green Building Council.

Since the CTGBC is focused on greening the built environment, we are pleased to see that one of the focus areas in the Draft CES is to “Prioritize energy savings as both a financial and energy resource” as well as to “Improve the performance and productivity of buildings and industrial processes.” We appreciate the focus on this section of the CES on improving energy consumption and production of clean energy in Connecticut’s homes and businesses. There are significant remaining opportunities for increased adoption of energy efficient equipment and practices, and new technologies expand that potential almost daily. We applaud the Connecticut DEEP for making energy-efficient buildings a key component of Connecticut's energy policy.

Having energy efficient buildings is a worthy and important goal, however there is much more sustainability potential in the built environment than just energy efficient buildings. CTGBC envisions a future Connecticut where communities are livable and resilient, comprised of sustainable and attractive buildings that are healthy to live in and tied to each other through resilient and green infrastructure that provides a high quality of life with lower energy and water consumption. Through resources such as LEED, and new emerging standards like WELL and the Living Building Challenge, we can advance these goals. LEED is particularly well placed to become the standard practice in new buildings since 2.2 million square feet of buildings are certified daily as complying with LEED requirements. CTGBC would suggest looking to these existing and emerging standards to enable the State of Connecticut to meet the goals set out in the CES.

CTGBC would welcome becoming a part of Connecticut’s energy future. We stand ready to assist DEEP in implementing a more aggressive sustainable future to provide livable communities for Connecticut’s citizens to live, work and play in. We see this future within our grasp, and look forward to engaging DEEP and other like-minded stakeholders in advancing policies to make this vision a reality.

Ross G. Spiegel
CTGBC Advocacy Committee

Patrick McDonnell
CTGBC Advocacy

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