Malloy Promotes Energy Plan In Woodbridge
High School Embraces Natural Gas
As debate continues over Connecticut’s new comprehensive energy plan, Governor Dannel Malloy has been traveling around the state promoting one of its key components: natural gas. On Monday, he visited a high school in Woodbridge which is now heated with natural gas rather than oil.
It cost about $120,000 for Amity Regional High School to switch from using heating oil to natural gas earlier this fall. But the change is also expected to save about the same amount on the school’s yearly heating bill. State officials like Dan Esty say those savings will continue because the cost of natural gas will remain low while the price of heating oil will skyrocket.
“We in Connecticut are going to deliver cheaper, cleaner, and more reliable electricity, and more broadly, energy, to the citizens of this state," said Esty, who is commissioner of the state's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection. "And I think what we see is that natural gas, which is what we’re particularly celebrating here today, is a very important part of that story.”
Amity Regional High is just one of several public facilities that will convert to natural gas after new gas mains were extended into the center of Woodbridge earlier this year. Other schools, as well as the town’s fire department and public works buildings, will make the switch soon. Speaking to an audience of Amity students on Monday, Governor Malloy called their school a model of what they would like to see happen in much of the rest of the state.
“Your yearly savings after year one will cover almost two teachers’ salaries," he said.
Connecticut’s energy plan was released earlier this month and has received a lot of criticism for its focus on natural gas. While natural gas is currently a third of the price of oil, critics say those prices may not stay that way. Home heating oil companies are also worried about what the plan will do to their businesses, of which there are about 600 in the state.