California. Massachusetts. Maybe even New Jersey. Those are the names that typically come to mind in clean energy.

Industry watchers now need to add Connecticut to the list. This July, the 10-year-old Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF) was formally disbanded and transformed into the newly created Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority (CEFIA) that will be dedicated to promoting and developing clean energy and energy efficiency projects throughout the state.

With an $18 million boost from the state government, CEFIA plans to expand the scope of Connecticut’s clean energy installations and projects beyond that of clean electrical generation, according to CEFIA spokesperson Emily Smith. The $18 million will create a loan guarantee fund for consumers interested in installing their own clean energy generation on homes and private businesses.

The new agency will also encourage development of energy efficiency programs, infrastructure for electric vehicles, including EV charging stations, and alternative-fuel cars.

“The legislature and governor decided we kind of have to ramp it up now to the next level,” Smith told Breaking Energy. “Their goal is really to make Connecticut a state that is reliant on clean energy and not foreign oil.”

While the former CCEF was funded entirely by a monthly surcharge on residents’ electrical bills– a total of about $28 million a year–Smith said the state hopes that CEFIA’s expanded scope will attract more private investment and federal dollars.

Though CCEF employees all became CEFIA workers on July 1, new board members are still being appointed. CEFIA’s first official meeting is set for late September, Smith said.

Photo Caption: (Left – Right) Connecticut State Chairman Nina DiNardo, Majority Leader of the Connecticut House Rep. Christopher Donovan (D-84th District), Speaker of the Connecticut House Rep. James Amann (D-118th District), U.S. Sen. Christopher Dodd (D-CT), U.S. Rep. John Larson (D-CT), U.S. Rep.-elect Jim Himes (D-CT), President of the Connecticut State Senate Sen. Donald Williams (D-29th District), Connecticut House Rep. Denise Merrill (D-54th District), and Connecticut State Sen. Martin Looney (D-11th District) attend a press conference held in the Old Judiciary Room of the Connecticut State Capitol November 5, 2008 in Hartford, Connecticut.