A pending bill in the Connecticut Legislature has heating oil and propane distributors fired up.
Connecticut lawmakers are considering a bill that would tax home heating oil and propane as part of a larger effort to encourage people to invest in more energy efficient heating sources.
Oil and propane distributors rallied at the state capitol on Tuesday ahead of the General Assembly’s Commerce Committee's public hearing on the proposal, House Bill 6650: An Act Concerning Energy Efficiency Programs.
“Our industry is going to show up in force tomorrow and oppose this,” Naugatuck resident Chris Herb, vice president of the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association, said. “I hope that once we shine the light back in their eyes, they realize this is just an ill-conceived idea.”
According to the General Assembly’s website, the bill is expected to “establish a heating fuel excise tax to provide funding for the implementing of cost-effective energy conservation programs” and to “require any furnaces or boilers to be Energy Star compliant in order to qualify for the residential heating equipment financing program.”
Herb, whose association represents 600 home heating distributors, said the proposed bill will hurt taxpayers.
“It is a surprise to me that with the state’s economy being as poor as it is — people are struggling to find jobs and many who have jobs are underemployed — and the legislature has time to sit around and think up a brand new tax on heating oil and propane,” he told Patch. “It just doesn’t make sense…”
No legislators or senators have signed on in support of the bill at this point. The Commerce Committee has introduced it.
The bill comes on the heels of Gov. Dannel Malloy's recently-released, 195-page “Comprehensive Energy Strategy” for Connecticut. Much of it centers on encouraging people and businesses to switch from oil to natural gas.
See a press release from the Connecticut Energy Marketers Association attached as a PDF.