Screen Shot 2018 09 12 at 10.37.10 AMHARTFORD: Just as the state and environmental groups face off in Federal Court on Thursday September 13 over moves to cut back on energy efficiency programs, a new report outlines the scope of the industry in Connecticut.

According to E2 a business oriented non-profit organization that advocates for the “energy efficiency” industry, Connecticut is ranked 22nd in the country in energy efficiency employment.

The report says that Connecticut has 34,743 jobs across the entire business.

Connecticut ranks in the top half of states nationwide when it comes to energy efficiency jobs, according to a new report. The organization says that the industry is growing in the state and has grown from its previous survey in 2016 by nearly tripling. The report says there are just under 7,000 businesses in the industry as well, primarily small companies, with 55% having 5 or fewer employees and 25% with to 19 employees.

Some of the employment growth is attributed to Connecticut’s energy efficiency support programs. That support has changed when the state according to a lawsuit by several environmental groups “raided” the Clean Energy Fund, ostensibly to help balance the state budget.

The lawsuit filed in May is asking US District Court Judge Janet Hall in New Haven to force the state to restore $175 million in Energy Efficiency and Clean Energy funds. The environmental groups are represented by Holland & Knight of New York City and Feiner Wolfson of Hartford. The plaintiff want to stop the state to put $127 million back to the Energy Efficiency Fund, $28 million to the Green Bank and $20 million to the Regional Greenhouse Initiative to the state’s general fund.