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Gov. Dannel P. Malloy, D-Conn., has unveiled a draft comprehensive energy strategy for Connecticut that is intended to create jobs, lower energy costs and provide improved environmental protection.

Although the plan focuses heavily on increasing natural gas usage, it also calls for expanding energy efficiency programs and advancing related information technology opportunities, including a smart grid, advanced meters and smart appliances.

In addition, the plan calls for more use of renewable energy. The government will re-examine the state's renewable portfolio standard - which currently calls for 20% renewable power by 2020 - with an eye toward both raising the standard and increasing the mix of renewable options.

The state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection will also aim to increase distributed generation and use economic incentives, such as reverse auctions, the Connecticut Green Bank and power purchase agreements, to lower the costs of renewable energy. The goal is to "promote a portfolio of alternative energy technologies that can compete with existing fossil-fuel generation over time," the plan states.

Combined, the governor's new energy strategy is expected to generate at least 10,000 jobs, according to Malloy's office. The draft is currently open for public comment and can be accessed here.



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