language to be deleted (2) new language
relating to energy; creating programs for government energy conservation investments; removing rulemaking requirement for certain loan and grant programs; establishing microenergy loan program; authorizing issuance of state revenue bonds; modifying provision allowing guaranteed energy savings contracts; modifying or adding provisions relating to green economy activities; creating Green Jobs Task Force; requiring reports; appropriating money;
amending Minnesota Statutes 2006, sections 116J.8731, subdivision 4; 216C.09; Minnesota Statutes 2007 Supplement, sections 116J.575, subdivision 1a; 471.345, subdivision 13; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapters 16B; 116J; 216C; repealing Laws 2007, chapter 57, article 2, section 30.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
(a) If applications for grants exceed the available appropriations, grants shall be made for sites that, in the commissioner's judgment, provide the highest return in public benefits for the public costs incurred. "Public benefits" include job creation, bioscience development, environmental benefits to the state and region, efficient use of public transportation, efficient use of existing infrastructure, provision of affordable housing, multiuse development that constitutes community rebuilding rather than single-use development, crime reduction, blight reduction, community stabilization, and property tax base maintenance or improvement. In making this judgment, the commissioner shall give priority to redevelopment projects with one or more of the following characteristics:
(1) the need for redevelopment in conjunction with contamination remediation needs;
(2) the redevelopment project meets current tax increment financing requirements for a redevelopment district and tax increments will contribute to the project;
(3) the redevelopment potential within the municipality;
(4) proximity to public transit if located in the metropolitan area;
(5) redevelopment costs related to expansion of a bioscience business in Minnesota; and
(6) multijurisdictional projects that take into account the need for affordable housing, transportation, and environmental impact
(b) The factors in paragraph (a) are not listed in a rank order of priority; rather, the commissioner may weigh each factor, depending upon the facts and circumstances, as the commissioner considers appropriate. The commissioner may consider other factors that affect the net return of public benefits for completion of the redevelopment plan. The commissioner, notwithstanding the listing of priorities and the goal of maximizing the return of public benefits, shall make grants that distribute available money to sites both within and outside of the metropolitan area. Unless sufficient applications are not received for qualifying sites outside of the metropolitan area, at least 50 percent of the money provided as grants must be made for sites located outside of the metropolitan area.
Assistance must be evaluated on the existence of the following conditions:
(1) creation of new jobs, retention of existing jobs, or improvements in the quality of existing jobs as measured by the wages, skills, or education associated with those jobs;
(2) increase in the tax base;
(3) the project can demonstrate that investment of public dollars induces private funds;
(4) the project can demonstrate an excessive public infrastructure or improvement cost beyond the means of the affected community and private participants in the project;
(5) the project provides higher wage levels to the community or will add value to current workforce skills;
(6) whether assistance is necessary to retain existing business; and
(7) whether assistance is necessary to attract out-of-state business
A grant or loan cannot be made based solely on a finding that the conditions in clause (6) or (7) exist. A finding must be made that a condition in clause (1), (2), (3), (4), or (5) also exists.
Applications recommended for funding shall be submitted to the commissioner.
(a) The commissioner shall:
(1) manage the department as the central repository within the state government for the collection of data on energy;
(2) prepare and adopt an emergency allocation plan specifying actions to be taken in the event of an impending serious shortage of energy, or a threat to public health, safety, or welfare;
(3) undertake a continuing assessment of trends in the consumption of all forms of energy and analyze the social, economic, and environmental consequences of these trends;
(4) carry out energy conservation measures as specified by the legislature and recommend to the governor and the legislature additional energy policies and conservation measures as required to meet the objectives of sections 216C.05 to 216C.30;
(5) collect and analyze data relating to present and future demands and resources for all sources of energy;
(6) evaluate policies governing the establishment of rates and prices for energy as related to energy conservation, and other goals and policies of sections 216C.05 to 216C.30, and make recommendations for changes in energy pricing policies and rate schedules;
(7) study the impact and relationship of the state energy policies to international, national, and regional energy policies;
(8) design and implement a state program for the conservation of energy; this program shall include but not be limited to, general commercial, industrial, and residential, and transportation areas; such program shall also provide for the evaluation of energy systems as they relate to lighting, heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, building design and operation, and appliance manufacturing and operation;
(9) inform and educate the public about the sources and uses of energy and the ways in which persons can conserve energy;
(10) dispense funds made available for the purpose of research studies and projects of professional and civic orientation, which are related to either energy conservation, resource recovery, or the development of alternative energy technologies which conserve nonrenewable energy resources while creating minimum environmental impact;
(11) charge other governmental departments and agencies involved in energy-related activities with specific information gathering goals and require that those goals be met;
(12) design a comprehensive program for the development of indigenous energy resources. The program shall include, but not be limited to, providing technical, informational, educational, and financial services and materials to persons, businesses, municipalities, and organizations involved in the development of solar, wind, hydropower, peat, fiber fuels, biomass, and other alternative energy resources. The program shall be evaluated by the alternative energy technical activity; and
(13) dispense loans, grants, or other financial aid from money received from litigation or settlement of alleged violations of federal petroleum-pricing regulations made available to the department for that purpose. The commissioner shall adopt rules under chapter 14 for this purpose.
(b) Further, the commissioner may participate fully in hearings before the Public Utilities Commission on matters pertaining to rate design, cost allocation, efficient resource utilization, utility conservation investments, small power production, cogeneration, and other rate issues. The commissioner shall support the policies stated in section 216C.05 and shall prepare and defend testimony proposed to encourage energy conservation improvements as defined in section 216B.241.
The following definitions apply to this subdivision.
(a) "Energy conservation measure" means a training program or facility alteration designed to reduce energy consumption or operating costs and includes:
(1) insulation of the building structure and systems within the building;
(2) storm windows and doors, caulking or weatherstripping, multiglazed windows and doors, heat absorbing or heat reflective glazed and coated window and door systems, additional glazing, reductions in glass area, and other window and door system modifications that reduce energy consumption;
(3) automatic energy control systems;
(4) heating, ventilating, or air conditioning system modifications or replacements;
(5) replacement or modifications of lighting fixtures to increase the energy efficiency of the lighting system without increasing the overall illumination of a facility, unless an increase in illumination is necessary to conform to the applicable state or local building code for the lighting system after the proposed modifications are made;
(6) energy recovery systems;
(7) cogeneration systems that produce steam or forms of energy such as heat, as well as electricity, for use primarily within a building or complex of buildings;
(8) energy conservation measures that provide long-term operating cost reductions.
(b) "Guaranteed energy savings contract" means a contract for the evaluation and recommendations of energy conservation measures, and for one or more energy conservation measures. The contract must provide that all payments, except obligations on termination of the contract before its expiration, are to be made over time, but not to exceed 15 years from the date of final installation, and the savings are guaranteed to the extent necessary to make payments for the systems.
(c) "Qualified provider" means a person or business experienced in the design, implementation, and installation of energy conservation measures. A qualified provider to whom the contract is awarded shall give a sufficient bond to the municipality for its faithful performance.
Notwithstanding any law to the contrary, a municipality may enter into a guaranteed energy savings contract with a qualified provider to significantly reduce energy or operating costs.
Before entering into a contract under this subdivision, the municipality shall provide published notice of the meeting in which it proposes to award the contract, the names of the parties to the proposed contract, and the contract's purpose.
Before installation of equipment, modification, or remodeling, the qualified provider shall first issue a report, summarizing estimates of all costs of installations, modifications, or remodeling, including costs of design, engineering, installation, maintenance, repairs, or debt service, and estimates of the amounts by which energy or operating costs will be reduced.
A guaranteed energy savings contract that includes a written guarantee that savings will meet or exceed the cost of energy conservation measures is not subject to competitive bidding requirements of section 471.345 or other law or city charter. The contract is not subject to section 123B.52.
A municipality may enter into a guaranteed energy savings contract with a qualified provider if, after review of the report, it finds that the amount it would spend on the energy conservation measures recommended in the report is not likely to exceed the amount to be saved in energy and operation costs over 15 years from the date of installation if the recommendations in the report were followed, and the qualified provider provides a written guarantee that the energy or operating cost savings will meet or exceed the costs of the system. The guaranteed energy savings contract may provide for payments over a period of time, not to exceed 15 years.
A municipality may enter into an installment payment contract for the purchase and installation of energy conservation measures. The contract must provide for payments of not less than 1/15 of the price to be paid within two years from the date of the first operation, and the remaining costs to be paid monthly, not to exceed a 15-year term from the date of the first operation.
A municipality entering into a guaranteed energy savings contract shall provide a copy of the contract and the report from the qualified provider to the commissioner of commerce within 30 days of the effective date of the contract.
Guaranteed energy savings contracts may extend beyond the fiscal year in which they become effective. The municipality shall include in its annual appropriations measure for each later fiscal year any amounts payable under guaranteed energy savings contracts during the year. Failure of a municipality to make such an appropriation does not affect the validity of the guaranteed energy savings contract or the municipality's obligations under the contracts.
Presented to the governor May 19, 2008
Signed by the governor May 23, 2008, 12:19 p.m.