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Minnesota Legislature

Office of the Revisor of Statutes

SF 1696

1st Engrossment - 85th Legislature (2007 - 2008) Posted on 12/15/2009 12:00am

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; specifying criteria for affordability programs for low-income
residential customers; amending Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 216B.16,
subdivision 15.

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

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2006, section 216B.16, subdivision 15, is amended to
read:


Subd. 15.

Low-incomenew text begin affordabilitynew text end programs.

(a) The commission deleted text beginmaydeleted text endnew text begin mustnew text end
consider ability to pay as a factor in setting utility rates and may establishnew text begin affordabilitynew text end
programs for low-income residential ratepayers in order to ensure affordable, reliable, and
continuous service to low-income utility customers.new text begin By September 1, 2007, a public
utility serving low-income residential ratepayers who use natural gas for heating must
file an affordability program with the commission. For purposes of this subdivision,
"low-income residential ratepayers" means ratepayers who receive energy assistance from
the low-income home energy assistance program (LIHEAP).
new text end

(b) deleted text beginThe purpose of the low-income programs is todeleted text endnew text begin Any affordability program the
commission orders a utility to implement must:
new text end

new text begin (1)new text end lower the percentage of income that new text beginparticipating new text endlow-income households devote
to energy billsdeleted text begin, todeleted text endnew text begin;
new text end

new text begin (2)new text end increase new text beginparticipating new text endcustomer paymentsdeleted text begin, and todeleted text endnew text begin over time by increasing the
frequency of payments;
new text end

new text begin (3) decrease or eliminate participating customer arrears;
new text end

new text begin (4)new text end lower the utility costs associated with customer account collection activitiesnew text begin; and
new text end

new text begin (5) coordinate the program with other available low-income bill payment assistance
and conservation resources
new text end.

In ordering deleted text beginlow-incomedeleted text endnew text begin affordabilitynew text end programs, the commission may require public
utilities to file program evaluationsdeleted text begin, including the coordination of other available
low-income bill payment and conservation resources and
deleted text endnew text begin that measurenew text end the effect of the
new text begin affordability new text endprogram on:

(1) deleted text beginreducingdeleted text end the percentage of income that participating households devote to energy
bills;

(2) service disconnections; and

(3) new text beginfrequency of new text endcustomer deleted text beginpayment behaviordeleted text endnew text begin paymentsnew text end, utility collection costs,
arrearages, and bad debt.

new text begin (c) The commission must issue orders necessary to implement, administer, and
evaluate affordability programs, and to allow a utility to recover program costs, including
administrative costs, on a timely basis. The commission may not allow a utility to recover
administrative costs, excluding start-up costs, in excess of five percent of total program
costs, or program evaluation costs in excess of two percent of total program costs. The
commission must permit deferred accounting, with carrying costs, for recovery of program
costs incurred during the period between general rate cases.
new text end

new text begin (d) Public utilities may use information collected or created for the purpose of
administering energy assistance to administer affordability programs.
new text end