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Key: (1) language to be deleted (2) new language

                            CHAPTER 644-H.F.No. 2591 
                  An act relating to utilities; eliminating duplicate 
                  reporting relating to energy demand forecasting 
                  information by public utilities; authorizing 
                  low-income rates in certain circumstances; 
                  establishing a pilot program; amending Minnesota 
                  Statutes 1992, sections 116C.57, subdivision 3; 
                  216B.16, by adding a subdivision; 216B.241, 
                  subdivision 1a; and 216C.17, subdivision 2; Minnesota 
                  Statutes 1993 Supplement, sections 216B.2422, by 
                  adding a subdivision; and 216C.17, subdivision 3; 
                  repealing Minnesota Statutes 1993 Supplement, section 
                  116C.54. 
        BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA: 
           Section 1.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 116C.57, 
        subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [EMERGENCY CERTIFICATION.] Any utility whose 
        electric power system requires the immediate construction of a 
        large electric power generating plant or high voltage 
        transmission line may make application to the board for an 
        emergency certificate of site compatibility or permit for the 
        construction of high voltage transmission lines, which 
        certificate or permit shall be issued in a timely manner no 
        later than 195 days after the board's acceptance of the 
        application and upon a finding by the board that a demonstrable 
        emergency exists which requires immediate construction, and that 
        adherence to the procedures and time schedules specified in 
        section 116C.54 and this section would jeopardize the utility's 
        electric power system or would jeopardize the utility's ability 
        to meet the electric needs of its customers in an orderly and 
        timely manner.  A public hearing to determine if an emergency 
        exists shall be held within 90 days of the application.  The 
        board shall, after notice and hearing, promulgate rules 
        specifying the criteria for emergency certification. 
           Sec. 2.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 216B.16, is 
        amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 15.  [LOW-INCOME RATES.] (a) The commission may 
        consider ability to pay as a factor in setting utility rates and 
        may establish programs for low-income residential ratepayers in 
        order to ensure affordable, reliable, and continuous service to 
        low-income utility customers.  The commission shall order a 
        pilot program for at least one utility.  In ordering pilot 
        programs, the commission shall consider the following: 
           (1) the potential for low-income programs to provide 
        savings to the utility for all collection costs including but 
        not limited to:  costs of disconnecting and reconnecting 
        residential ratepayers' service, all activities related to the 
        utilities' attempt to collect past due bills, utility working 
        capital costs, and any other administrative costs related to 
        inability to pay programs and initiatives; 
           (2) the potential for leveraging federal low-income energy 
        dollars to the state; and 
           (3) the impact of energy costs as a percentage of the total 
        income of a low-income residential customer. 
           (b) In determining the structure of the pilot utility 
        program, the commission shall: 
           (1) consult with advocates for and representatives of 
        low-income utility customers, administrators of energy 
        assistance and conservation programs, and utility 
        representatives; 
           (2) coordinate eligibility for the program with the state 
        and federal energy assistance program and low-income residential 
        energy programs, including weatherization programs; and 
           (3) evaluate comprehensive low-income programs offered by 
        utilities in other states. 
           (c) The commission shall implement at least one pilot 
        project by January 1, 1995, and shall allow a utility required 
        to implement a pilot project to recover the net costs of the 
        project in the utility's rates. 
           (d) The commission, in conjunction with the commissioner of 
        the department of public service and the commissioner of jobs 
        and training, shall review low-income rate programs and shall 
        report to the legislature by January 1, 1998.  The report must 
        include: 
           (1) the increase in federal energy assistance money 
        leveraged by the state as a result of this program; 
           (2) the effect of the program on low-income customer's 
        ability to pay energy costs; 
           (3) the effect of the program on utility customer bad debt 
        and arrearages; 
           (4) the effect of the program on the costs and numbers of 
        utility disconnections and reconnections and other costs 
        incurred by the utility in association with inability to pay 
        programs; 
           (5) the ability of the utility to recover the costs of the 
        low-income program without a general rate change; 
           (6) how other ratepayers have been affected by this 
        program; 
           (7) recommendations for continuing, eliminating, or 
        expanding the low-income pilot program; and 
           (8) how general revenue funds may be utilized in 
        conjunction with low-income programs. 
           Sec. 3.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 216B.241, 
        subdivision 1a, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 1a.  [INVESTMENTS, EXPENDITURES, AND CONTRIBUTIONS; 
        REGULATED UTILITIES.] (a) For purposes of this subdivision and 
        subdivision 2, "public utility" has the meaning given it in 
        section 216B.02, subdivision 4.  Each public utility shall spend 
        and invest for energy conservation improvements under this 
        subdivision and subdivision 2 the following amounts: 
           (1) for a utility that furnishes gas service, .5 percent of 
        its gross operating revenues from service provided in the state; 
        and 
           (2) for a utility that furnishes electric service, 1.5 
        percent of its gross operating revenues from service provided in 
        the state. 
           (b) The commissioner may require investments or spending 
        greater than the amounts required under this subdivision for a 
        public utility whose most recent advance forecast required under 
        section 116C.54 216B.2422 or 216C.17 projects a peak demand 
        deficit of 100 megawatts or greater within five years under 
        mid-range forecast assumptions.  A public utility may appeal a 
        decision of the commissioner under this paragraph to the 
        commission under subdivision 2.  In reviewing a decision of the 
        commissioner under this paragraph, the commission shall rescind 
        the decision if it finds that the required investments or 
        spending will: 
           (1) not result in cost-effective programs; or 
           (2) otherwise not be in the public interest. 
           (c) Each utility shall determine what portion of the amount 
        it sets aside for conservation improvement will be used for 
        conservation improvements under subdivision 2 and what portion 
        it will contribute to the energy and conservation account 
        established in subdivision 2a.  Contributions must be remitted 
        to the commissioner of public service by February 1 of each year.
        Nothing in this subdivision prohibits a public utility from 
        spending or investing for energy conservation improvement more 
        than required in this subdivision. 
           Sec. 4.  Minnesota Statutes 1993 Supplement, section 
        216B.2422, is amended by adding a subdivision to read: 
           Subd. 2a.  [HISTORICAL DATA AND ADVANCE FORECAST.] Each 
        utility required to file a resource plan under this section 
        shall include in the filing all applicable annual information 
        required by section 216C.17, subdivision 2, and the rules 
        adopted under that section.  To the extent that a utility 
        complies with this subdivision, it is not required to file 
        annual advance forecasts with the department under section 
        216C.17, subdivision 2. 
           Sec. 5.  Minnesota Statutes 1992, section 216C.17, 
        subdivision 2, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 2.  [FORECASTS.] Except as provided in subdivision 3, 
        in addition to supplying the current statistical and short range 
        forecasting information the commissioner requires, each utility, 
        coal supplier, petroleum supplier and large energy facility in 
        the state shall prepare and transmit to the commissioner by July 
        1 of each year, a report specifying in five, ten, and 15 year 
        forecasts the projected demand for energy within their 
        respective service areas and the facilities necessary to meet 
        the demand. 
           The report shall be in a form specified by the commissioner 
        and contain all information deemed relevant by the commissioner. 
           Sec. 6.  Minnesota Statutes 1993 Supplement, section 
        216C.17, subdivision 3, is amended to read: 
           Subd. 3.  [DUPLICATION.] The commissioner shall, to the 
        maximum extent feasible, provide that forecasts required under 
        this section be consistent with material required by other state 
        and federal agencies in order to prevent unnecessary 
        duplication.  Public Electric utilities submitting advance 
        forecasts containing all information specified in section 
        116C.54, subdivision 1, as part of an integrated resource plan 
        filed pursuant to section 216B.2422 and public utilities 
        commission rules shall be are excluded from the annual reporting 
        requirement in subdivision 2. 
           Sec. 7.  [REPEALER.] 
           Minnesota Statutes 1993 Supplement, section 116C.54, is 
        repealed. 
           Presented to the governor May 9, 1994 
           Signed by the governor May 17, 1994, 2:27 p.m.