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HF 1433

as introduced - 87th Legislature (2011 - 2012) Posted on 04/11/2011 09:48am

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to energy; making technical changes and modifying provisions related
to utility report filings, weatherization programs, and public utility commission
assessments; removing obsolete and redundant language; providing for certain
reporting requirements; amending Minnesota Statutes 2010, sections 16E.15,
subdivision 2; 216B.241, subdivision 2; 216C.264; 216E.18, subdivision 3.


Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 16E.15, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.

Software sale fund.

(a) Except as provided in deleted text beginparagraphsdeleted text endnew text begin paragraphnew text end (b)
deleted text begin and (c)deleted text end, proceeds of the sale or licensing of software products or services by the chief
information officer must be credited to the enterprise technology revolving fund. If a state
agency other than the Office of Enterprise Technology has contributed to the development
of software sold or licensed under this section, the chief information officer may reimburse
the agency by discounting computer services provided to that agency.

(b) Proceeds of the sale or licensing of software products or services developed by
the Pollution Control Agency, or custom developed by a vendor for the agency, must be
credited to the environmental fund.

deleted text begin (c) Proceeds of the sale or licensing of software products or services developed by
the Department of Education, or custom developed by a vendor for the agency, to support
the achieved savings assessment program, must be appropriated to the commissioner of
education and credited to the weatherization program to support weatherization activities.
deleted text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 216B.241, subdivision 2, is amended to read:

Subd. 2.


(a) The commissioner may require public utilities to make
investments and expenditures in energy conservation improvements, explicitly setting
forth the interest rates, prices, and terms under which the improvements must be offered to
the customers. The required programs must cover no more than a three-year period. Public
utilities shall file conservation improvement plans by June 1, on a schedule determined by
order of the commissioner, but at least every three years. Plans received by a public utility
by June 1 must be approved or approved as modified by the commissioner by December
1 of that same year. The commissioner shall evaluate the program on the basis of
cost-effectiveness and the reliability of technologies employed. The commissioner's order
must provide to the extent practicable for a free choice, by consumers participating in the
program, of the device, method, material, or project constituting the energy conservation
improvement and for a free choice of the seller, installer, or contractor of the energy
conservation improvement, provided that the device, method, material, or project seller,
installer, or contractor is duly licensed, certified, approved, or qualified, including under
the residential conservation services program, where applicable.

(b) The commissioner may require a utility to make an energy conservation
improvement investment or expenditure whenever the commissioner finds that the
improvement will result in energy savings at a total cost to the utility less than the cost
to the utility to produce or purchase an equivalent amount of new supply of energy. The
commissioner shall nevertheless ensure that every public utility operate one or more
programs under periodic review by the department.

(c) Each public utility subject to subdivision 1a may spend and invest annually up to
ten percent of the total amount required to be spent and invested on energy conservation
improvements under this section by the utility on research and development projects
that meet the definition of energy conservation improvement in subdivision 1 and that
are funded directly by the public utility.

(d) A public utility may not spend for or invest in energy conservation improvements
that directly benefit a large energy facility or a large electric customer facility for which
the commissioner has issued an exemption pursuant to subdivision 1a, paragraph (b).
The commissioner shall consider and may require a utility to undertake a program
suggested by an outside source, including a political subdivision, a nonprofit corporation,
or community organization.

(e) A utility, a political subdivision, or a nonprofit or community organization
that has suggested a program, the attorney general acting on behalf of consumers and
small business interests, or a utility customer that has suggested a program and is not
represented by the attorney general under section 8.33 may petition the commission to
modify or revoke a department decision under this section, and the commission may do
so if it determines that the program is not cost-effective, does not adequately address the
residential conservation improvement needs of low-income persons, has a long-range
negative effect on one or more classes of customers, or is otherwise not in the public
interest. The commission shall reject a petition that, on its face, fails to make a reasonable
argument that a program is not in the public interest.

(f) The commissioner may order a public utility to include, with the filing of the
utility's deleted text beginproposed conservation improvement plan under paragraph (a)deleted text endnew text begin annual status
new text end, the results of an independent audit ofnew text begin all or a selection ofnew text end the utility's conservation
improvement programs and expenditures performed by the department or an auditor
with experience in the provision of energy conservation and energy efficiency services
approved by the commissioner and chosen by the utility. The audit must specify the
energy savings or increased efficiency in the use of energy within the service territory of
the utility that is the result of the spending and investments. The audit must evaluate the
cost-effectiveness of the utility's conservation programs.

Sec. 3.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 216C.264, is amended to read:


Subdivision 1.

Agency designation.

The department is the state agency to apply
for, receive, and disburse money made available to the state by federal law for the purpose
of weatherizing the residences of low-income persons. The commissioner must coordinate
available federal money with state money appropriated for this purpose.

Subd. 2.


The commissioner must make grants of federal and state money
to community action agencies and other public or private nonprofit agencies for the
purpose of weatherizing the residences of low-income persons. deleted text beginGrant applications must
be submitted in accordance with rules promulgated by the commissioner.
deleted text end

Subd. 3.

Benefits of weatherization.

In the case of any grant made to an owner of a
rental dwelling unit for weatherization, the commissioner must require that (1) the benefits
of weatherization assistance in connection with the dwelling unit accrue primarily to the
low-income family that resides in the unit; (2) the rents on the dwelling unit will not be
raised because of any increase in value due solely to the weatherization assistance; and (3)
no undue or excessive enhancement will occur to the value of the dwelling unit.

deleted text begin Subd. 4. deleted text end

deleted text begin Rules. deleted text end

deleted text begin The commissioner must promulgate rules that describe procedures
for the administration of grants, data to be reported by grant recipients, and compliance
with relevant federal regulations. The commissioner must require that a rental unit
weatherized under this section be rented to a household meeting the income limits of
the program for 24 of the 36 months after weatherization is complete. In applying this
restriction to multiunit buildings weatherized under this section, the commissioner must
require that occupancy continue to reflect the proportion of eligible households in the
building at the time of weatherization.
deleted text end

Subd. 5.

Grant allocation.

The commissioner must distribute supplementary
state grants in a manner consistent with the goal of producing the maximum number of
weatherized units. Supplementary state grants are provided primarily for the payment of
additional labor costs for the federal weatherization program, and as an incentive for the
increased production of weatherized units.

Criteria for the allocation of state grants to local agencies include existing local
agency production levels, emergency needs, and the potential for maintaining or increasing
acceptable levels of production in the area.

An eligible local agency may receive advance funding for 90 days' production, but
thereafter must receive grants solely on the basis of program criteria.

Subd. 6.

Eligibility criteria.

To the extent allowed by federal regulations, the
commissioner must ensure that the same income eligibility criteria apply to both the
weatherization program and the energy assistance program.

Sec. 4.

Minnesota Statutes 2010, section 216E.18, subdivision 3, is amended to read:

Subd. 3.

Funding; assessment.

The commission shall finance its baseline studies,
general environmental studies, development of criteria, inventory preparation, monitoring
of conditions placed on site and route permits, and all other work, other than specific site
and route designation, from an assessment made quarterly, at least 30 days before the start
of each quarter, by the commission against all utilities with annual retail kilowatt-hour
sales greater than 4,000,000 kilowatt-hours in the previous calendar year.

Each share shall be determined as follows: (1) the ratio that the annual retail
kilowatt-hour sales in the state of each utility bears to the annual total retail kilowatt-hour
sales in the state of all these utilities, multiplied by 0.667, plus (2) the ratio that the annual
gross revenue from retail kilowatt-hour sales in the state of each utility bears to the annual
total gross revenues from retail kilowatt-hour sales in the state of all these utilities,
multiplied by 0.333, as determined by the commission. The assessment shall be credited
to the special revenue fund and shall be paid to the state treasury within 30 days after
receipt of the bill, which shall constitute notice of said assessment and demand of payment
thereof. The total amount which may be assessed to the several utilities under authority
of this subdivision shall not exceed the sum of the annual budget of the commission
for carrying out the purposes of this subdivision. The assessment for the deleted text beginseconddeleted text endnew text begin thirdnew text end
quarter of each fiscal year shall be adjusted to compensate for the amount by which actual
expenditures by the commission for the preceding fiscal year were more or less than the
estimated expenditures previously assessed.