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SF 3386

1st Engrossment - 91st Legislature (2019 - 2020) Posted on 03/10/2020 08:36am

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

Current Version - 1st Engrossment

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A bill for an act
relating to energy; modifying conservation improvement programs for low-income
households; amending Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 216B.241, subdivisions
3, 7.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 216B.241, subdivision 3, is amended to read:


Subd. 3.

Ownership of energy conservation improvement.

deleted text beginAndeleted text end new text beginA preweatherization
measure or
new text endenergy conservation improvement made to or installed in a building in accordance
with this section, except systems owned by the utility and designed to turn off, limit, or vary
the delivery of energy, are the exclusive property of the owner of the building except to the
extent that the improvement is subjected to a security interest in favor of the utility in case
of a loan to the building owner. The utility has no liability for loss, damage or injury caused
directly or indirectly by an energy conservation improvement except for negligence by the
utility in purchase, installation, or modification of the product.

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end

Sec. 2.

Minnesota Statutes 2018, section 216B.241, subdivision 7, is amended to read:


Subd. 7.

Low-income programs.

(a) The commissioner shall ensure that each utility
and association subject to subdivision 1c provides deleted text beginlow-incomedeleted text end new text beginenergy conservation new text endprogramsnew text begin
to low-income households. For purposes of this section, "low-income" means a household
income that is at or below 60 percent of state median income
new text end. When approving spending
and energy-savings goals for low-income programs, the commissioner shall consider historic
spending and participation levels, energy savings for low-income programs, and the number
of low-income persons residing in the utility's service territory. A municipal utility that
furnishes gas service must spend at least 0.2 percent, and a public utility furnishing gas
service must spend at least deleted text begin0.4deleted text end new text begin0.8 new text endpercent, of its most recent three-year average gross
operating revenue from residential customers in the state on low-income programs. A utility
or association that furnishes electric service must spend at least 0.1 percent of its gross
operating revenue from residential customers in the state on low-income programs. For a
generation and transmission cooperative association, this requirement shall apply to each
association's members' aggregate gross operating revenue from sale of electricity to residential
customers in the state. Beginning in 2010, a utility or association that furnishes electric
service must spend 0.2 percent of its gross operating revenue from residential customers in
the state on low-income programs.

(b) To meet the requirements of paragraph (a), a utility or association may contribute
money to the energy and conservation account. An energy conservation improvement plan
must state the amount, if any, of low-income energy conservation improvement funds the
utility or association will contribute to the energy and conservation account. Contributions
must be remitted to the commissioner by February 1 of each year.

(c) The commissioner shall establish low-income programs to utilize money contributed
to the energy and conservation account under paragraph (b). In establishing low-income
programs, the commissioner shall consult political subdivisions, utilities, and nonprofit and
community organizations, especially organizations engaged in providing energy and
weatherization assistance to low-income deleted text beginpersonsdeleted text endnew text begin householdsnew text end. Money contributed to the
energy and conservation account under paragraph (b) must provide programs for low-income
deleted text begin personsdeleted text endnew text begin householdsnew text end, including low-income renters, in the service territory of the utility or
association providing the money. The commissioner shall record and report expenditures
and energy savings achieved as a result of low-income programs funded through the energy
and conservation account in the report required under subdivision 1c, paragraph (g). The
commissioner may contract with a political subdivision, nonprofit or community organization,
public utility, municipality, or cooperative electric association to implement low-income
programs funded through the energy and conservation account.

(d) A utility or association may petition the commissioner to modify its required spending
under paragraph (a) if the utility or association and the commissioner have been unable to
expend the amount required under paragraph (a) for three consecutive years.

(e) The costs and benefits associated with any approved low-income gas or electric
conservation improvement program that is not cost-effective when considering the costs
and benefits to the utility may, at the discretion of the utility, be excluded from the calculation
of net economic benefits for purposes of calculating the financial incentive to the utility.
The energy and demand savings may, at the discretion of the utility, be applied toward the
calculation of overall portfolio energy and demand savings for purposes of determining
progress toward annual goals and in the financial incentive mechanism.

new text begin (f) Up to 15 percent of a public utility's spending on low-income programs may be spent
on preweatherization measures. For purposes of this section, "preweatherization measures"
means an improvement that is necessary to allow energy conservation improvements to be
installed in a home.
new text end

new text begin (g) The commissioner must, by order, establish a list of qualifying preweatherization
measures eligible for low-income energy conservation programs no later than July 15 of
the year following enactment of this section. The list of qualifying measures may be reviewed
and modified on an annual basis.
new text end

new text begin (h) A Healthy AIR (Asbestos Insulation Remediation) account is established as a separate
account in the special revenue fund in the state treasury. A public utility may elect to
contribute money to the Healthy AIR account to assist the department with administration
of the program. Amounts contributed to the account must be credited to the account. Money
contributed to the account counts toward: (1) the minimum low-income spending requirement
under paragraph (a); and (2) the cap on preweatherization measures under paragraph (f).
Money in the account is annually appropriated to the commissioner of commerce to fund
Healthy AIR related activities.
new text end

new text begin (i) By July 1, 2021, and at least once every five years thereafter, the commissioner must
convene a stakeholder group to review and update guidelines for eligibility of multifamily
buildings in low-income programs. The stakeholder group must include but is not limited
to stakeholders that represent: public utilities as defined in section 216B.02, subdivision 4;
municipal, electric, or gas utilities; electric or gas cooperative associations; multifamily
housing owners and developers; and low-income advocates. For purposes of this paragraph,
"multifamily building" is defined as a residential building with five or more dwelling units.
Notwithstanding the definition of low-income household in this subdivision, a utility or
association must comply with the most recent guidelines published by the Department of
Commerce when determining a multifamily building's eligibility for low-income programs.
new text end

new text begin EFFECTIVE DATE. new text end

new text begin This section is effective the day following final enactment.
new text end