language to be deleted (2) new language
Laws of Minnesota 1992 CHAPTER 478-S.F.No. 1399 An act relating to utilities; authorizing a public utility to petition to have a pipeline classified as an intrastate pipeline; requiring conservation improvement plans to address the needs of low-income persons; authorizing utility customers not represented by the attorney general to challenge an energy conservation improvement program; determining when reconciliation of actual assessments to public utilities and telephone companies must be completed; amending Minnesota Statutes 1990, sections 216B.045, subdivision 1; 216B.62, subdivision 3; and 237.295, subdivision 2; Minnesota Statutes 1991 Supplement, section 216B.241, subdivisions 1b and 2. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: Section 1. Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 216B.045, subdivision 1, is amended to read: Subdivision 1. [DEFINITION.] For the purposes of this section "intrastate pipeline" means a pipeline wholly within the state of Minnesota which transports or delivers natural gas received from another person at a point inside or at the border of the state, which is delivered at a point within the state to another, provided that all the natural gas is consumed within the state. An intrastate pipeline does not include a pipeline owned or operated by a public utility, unless a public utility files a petition requesting that a pipeline or a portion of a pipeline be classified as an intrastate pipeline and the commission approves the petition. Sec. 2. Minnesota Statutes 1991 Supplement, section 216B.241, subdivision 1b, is amended to read: Subd. 1b. [CONSERVATION IMPROVEMENT; COOPERATIVES; MUNICIPALITIES.] (a) This subdivision applies to: (1) a cooperative electric association that generates and transmits electricity to associations that provide electricity at retail including a cooperative electric association not located in this state that serves associations or others in the state; (2) a municipality that provides electric service to retail customers; and (3) a municipality with gross operating revenues in excess of $5,000,000 from sales of natural gas to retail customers. (b) Each cooperative electric association and municipality subject to this subdivision shall spend and invest for energy conservation improvements under this subdivision the following amounts: (1) for a municipality, .5 percent of its gross operating revenues from the sale of gas and one percent of its gross operating revenues from the sale of electricity not purchased from a public utility governed by subdivision 1a or a cooperative electric association governed by this subdivision; and (2) for a cooperative electric association, 1.5 percent of its gross operating revenues from service provided in the state. (c) Each municipality and cooperative association subject to this subdivision shall identify and implement energy conservation improvement spending and investments that are appropriate for the municipality or association. Load management may be used to meet the requirements of this subdivision if it reduces the demand for or increases the efficiency of electric services. A generation and transmission cooperative electric association may include as spending and investment required under this subdivision conservation improvement spending and investment by cooperative electric associations that provide electric service at retail to consumers and that are served by the generation and transmission association. By February 1 of each year, each municipality or cooperative shall report to the commissioner its energy conservation improvement spending and investments with a brief analysis of effectiveness in reducing consumption of electricity or gas. The commissioner shall review each report and make recommendations, where appropriate, to the municipality or association to increase the effectiveness of conservation improvement activities. The commissioner shall also review each report for whether a portion of the money spent on residential conservation improvement programs is devoted to programs that directly address the needs of renters and low-income persons unless an insufficient number of appropriate programs are available. For the purposes of this subdivision and subdivision 2, "low-income" means an income of less than 185 percent of the federal poverty level. (d) As part of its spending for conservation improvement, a municipality or association may contribute to the energy and conservation account. Any amount contributed must be remitted to the commissioner of public service by February 1 of each year. Sec. 3. Minnesota Statutes 1991 Supplement, section 216B.241, subdivision 2, is amended to read: Subd. 2. [PROGRAMS.] The commissioner may by rule 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 a two-year period. The commissioner shall require at least one public utility to establish a pilot program to make investments in and expenditures for energy from renewable resources such as solar, wind, or biomass and shall give special consideration and encouragement to programs that bring about significant net savings through the use of energy-efficient lighting. The commissioner shall evaluate the program on the basis of cost-effectiveness and the reliability of technologies employed. The rules of the department must provide to the extent practicable for a free choice, by consumers participating in the program, of the device, method, or material 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, seller, installer, or contractor is duly licensed, certified, approved, or qualified, including under the residential conservation services program, where applicable. 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. Load management may be used to meet the requirements for energy conservation improvements under this section if it results in a demonstrable reduction in consumption of energy. The commissioner shall consider and may require a utility to undertake a program suggested by an outside source, including a political subdivision or a nonprofit or community organization. No utility may make an energy conservation improvement under this section to a building envelope unless: (1) it is the primary supplier of energy used for either space heating or cooling in the building; (2) the commissioner determines that special circumstances, which would unduly restrict the availability of conservation programs, warrant otherwise; or (3) the utility has been awarded a contract under subdivision 2a. The commissioner shall ensure that a portion of the money spent on residential conservation improvement programs is devoted to programs that directly address the needs of renters and low-income persons unless an insufficient number of appropriate programs are available. A utility, a political subdivision, or a nonprofit or community organization that has suggested a program,
orthe 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 person petitioning for commission review has the burden of proof. 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. Sec. 4. Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 216B.62, subdivision 3, is amended to read: Subd. 3. The department and commission shall quarterly, at least 30 days before the start of each quarter, estimate the total of their expenditures in the performance of their duties relating to public utilities under section 216A.085, and sections 216B.01 to 216B.67, other than amounts chargeable to public utilities under subdivision 2 or 6. The remainder shall be assessed by the commission and department to the several public utilities in proportion to their respective gross operating revenues from retail sales of gas or electric service within the state during the last calendar year. The assessment shall be paid into the state treasury within 30 days after the bill has been mailed to the several public utilities, which shall constitute notice of the assessment and demand of payment thereof. The total amount which may be assessed to the public utilities, under authority of this subdivision, shall not exceed one-eighth of one percent of the total gross operating revenues of the public utilities during the calendar year from retail sales of gas or electric service within the state. The assessment for the secondthird quarter of each fiscal year shall be adjusted to compensate for the amount by which actual expenditures by the commission and department for the preceding fiscal year were more or less than the estimated expenditures previously assessed. Sec. 5. Minnesota Statutes 1990, section 237.295, subdivision 2, is amended to read: Subd. 2. [ASSESSMENT OF COSTS.] The department and commission shall quarterly, at least 30 days before the start of each quarter, estimate the total of their expenditures in the performance of their duties relating to telephone companies, other than amounts chargeable to telephone companies under subdivision 1 or 5. The remainder must be assessed by the department to the telephone companies operating in this state in proportion to their respective gross jurisdictional operating revenues during the last calendar year. The assessment must be paid into the state treasury within 30 days after the bill has been mailed to the telephone companies. The bill constitutes notice of the assessment and demand of payment. The total amount that may be assessed to the telephone companies under this subdivision may not exceed one-eighth of one percent of the total gross jurisdictional operating revenues during the calendar year. The assessment for the secondthird quarter of each fiscal year must be adjusted to compensate for the amount by which actual expenditures by the commission and department for the preceding fiscal year were more or less than the estimated expenditures previously assessed. A telephone company with gross jurisdictional operating revenues of less than $5,000 is exempt from assessments under this subdivision. Presented to the governor April 15, 1992 Signed by the governor April 17, 1992, 5:15 p.m.
Official Publication of the State of Minnesota
Revisor of Statutes