DEEP hires first procurement manager

Connecticut Thursday became the second state in the nation to have a power procurement manager — with the announcement that the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection had hired Jeffrey Gaudiosi.

The position was mandated in the huge energy bill passed during the last legislative session as way to get cheaper and cleaner energy to customers. Currently, procurement is done by the utilities themselves. Illinois is the only other state with a procurement manager.

Gaudiosi, 39, is a familiar face in energy circles here. He has served in the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund since 1998 and is now vice chairman. He served for several years on the Connecticut Energy Advisory Board. He is vice president of the Manufacturing Alliance of Connecticut, where he has been in some capacity since 1997.

It will fall to Gaudiosi to develop yearly procurement plans for use by Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating. The presumption is they would include a portfolio of options, at prices that are more consumer-friendly than in the past. The manager’s plan will be subject to oversight by the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority.

“With Jeff Gaudiosi coming on board we continue to ‘ramp up’ Connecticut’s leading edge approach to energy, which will drive down costs, improve our economy and help us capture environmental benefits,” said DEEP Commissioner Dan Esty in a prepared statement.

Gaudiosi’s hiring is the last major personnel piece that needed to fall into place as part of DEEP’s formation. Esty has already hired Jonathan Schrag to oversee the energy division of the department, and Macky McCleary was brought on as deputy commissioner for environmental quality. The PURA, a streamlined version of the old Department of Public Utilities Control, was also put in place.

Gaudiosi starts Feb. 10 at a salary of just over $92,000.