An Act To Enhance Maine's Clean Energy Opportunities
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, this legislation needs to take effect before the expiration of the 90-day period in order to ensure the proper implementation of the Efficiency Maine Trust Act; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA §3210-C, sub-§1, ¶F is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 35-A MRSA §3210-C, sub-§1, ¶G is enacted to read:
Sec. 3. 35-A MRSA §3210-C, sub-§3, as repealed and replaced by PL 2009, c. 415, Pt. A, §21, is amended to read:
(1) To the extent necessary to fulfill the policy of subsection 2, paragraph A; or
(2) If the commission determines appropriate for purposes of supplying or lowering the cost of standard-offer service or otherwise lowering the cost of electricity for the ratepayers in the State. Available energy contracted pursuant to this subparagraph may be sold into the wholesale electricity market in conjunction with solicitations for standard-offer supply bids . ; and
If at any time after July 1, 2011 the commission determines that the assessments on transmission and distribution utilities under section 10110, subsections 4 and 5 will not provide sufficient funds to meet the energy efficiency program budget allocations articulated in the triennial plan approved by the commission pursuant to section 10104, subsection 4 or any annual update plan approved by the commission pursuant to section 10104, subsection 6, the commission may, after providing notification to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over utilities and energy matters, direct investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities to enter into long-term contracts for energy efficiency capacity resources and any available energy associated with such resources to the extent necessary to meet the energy efficiency program budget allocations articulated in the triennial plan or annual update plan.
The commission may direct investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities to enter into contracts under this subsection only as agents for their customers , only when such contracts are in the best interest of customers and only in accordance with this section. The commission may permit, but may not require, investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities to enter into contracts for differences that are designed and intended to buffer ratepayers in the State from potential negative impacts from transmission development. To the greatest extent possible, the commission shall develop procedures for long-term contracts for investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities under this subsection having the same legal and financial effect as the procedures used for standard-offer service pursuant to section 3212 for investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities.
The commission may enter into contracts for interruptible, demand response or energy efficiency capacity resources. These contracts are not subject to the rules of the State Purchasing Agent. In a competitive solicitation conducted pursuant to subsection 6, the commission shall allow transmission and distribution utilities to submit bids for interruptible , or demand response or energy efficiency capacity resources.
Capacity resources contracted under this subsection may not exceed the amount necessary to ensure the reliability of the electric grid of this State , to meet the energy efficiency program budget allocations articulated in the triennial plan as approved by the commission pursuant to section 10104, subsection 4 or any annual update plan approved by the commission pursuant to section 10104, subsection 6 or to lower customer costs as determined by the commission pursuant to rules adopted under subsection 10.
Unless the commission determines the public interest requires otherwise, a capacity resource may not be contracted under this subsection unless the commission determines that the capacity resource is recognized as a capacity resource for purposes of any regional or federal capacity requirements.
The commission shall ensure that any long-term contract authorized under this subsection is consistent with the State's goals for greenhouse gas reduction under Title 38, section 576 and the regional greenhouse gas initiative as described in the state climate action plan required in Title 38, section 577.
Sec. 4. 35-A MRSA §3210-C, sub-§6, as enacted by PL 2005, c. 677, Pt. C, §1, is amended to read:
Sec. 5. 35-A MRSA §3210-C, sub-§7, as repealed and replaced by PL 2009, c. 415, Pt. A, §22, is amended to read:
Sec. 6. 35-A MRSA §3210-C, sub-§9, as enacted by PL 2005, c. 677, Pt. C, §1, is amended to read:
Sec. 7. 35-A MRSA §10103, sub-§1, ¶C, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 372, Pt. B, §3, is amended to read:
Sec. 8. 35-A MRSA §10104, sub-§4, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 372, Pt. B, §3, is amended to read:
(1) Transmission and distribution utilities and natural gas utilities shall furnish data to the trust that the trust requests under this subsection subject to such confidential treatment as a utility may request and the board determines appropriate pursuant to section 10106. The costs of providing the data are deemed reasonable and prudent expenses of the utilities and are recoverable in rates.
(1) Weatherizing 100% of residences and 50% of businesses by 2030;
(2) Reducing peak-load electric energy consumption by 100 megawatts by 2020;
(3) Reducing the State's consumption of liquid fossil fuels by at least 30% by 2030;
(4) By 2020, achieving electricity and natural gas savings of at least 30% and heating fuel savings of at least 20% as defined in and determined pursuant to the measures of performance ratified by the commission under section 10120;
(5) Capturing all cost-effective energy efficiency resources available for electric and natural gas utility ratepayers;
(6) Saving residential and commercial heating consumers not less than $3 for every $1 of program funds invested by 2020 in cost-effective heating and cooling measures that cost less than conventional energy supply;
(7) Building stable private sector jobs providing clean energy and energy efficiency products and services in the State by 2020; and
(8) Reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the heating and cooling of buildings in the State by amounts consistent with the State's goals established in Title 38, section 576.
The trust shall preserve when possible and appropriate the opportunity for carbon emission reductions to be monetized and sold into a voluntary carbon market. Any program of the trust that supports weatherization of buildings must be voluntary and may not constitute a mandate that would prevent the sale of emission reductions generated through weatherization measures into a voluntary carbon market.
As used in this paragraph, "heating fuel" means a fossil fuel used for the purposes of heating buildings or for domestic water heating, including liquefied petroleum gas, kerosene or #2 heating oil, but not including fuels when used for industrial or manufacturing processes, and "liquid fossil fuel" means any liquid fossil fuel or heating fuel used for a purpose other than for transportation.
Sec. 9. 35-A MRSA §10107, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 372, Pt. B, §3, is amended to read:
§ 10107. Conflicts of interest; financial disclosure statements
Each trustee is an "executive employee" for purposes of Title 5, sections 18, 18A and 19. A trustee or employee of the trust or a spouse or dependent child of any of those individuals may not receive any direct personal benefit from the activities of the trust in assisting any private entity. This section does not prohibit corporations or other entities with which a trustee is associated by reason of ownership or employment from participating in program activities with the trust if ownership or employment is made known to the board and the board or director trustee abstains from voting on matters relating to that participation.
Sec. 10. 35-A MRSA §10110, sub-§5, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 372, Pt. B, §3, is amended to read:
For the purposes of this subsection, "gross operating revenue" means revenue derived from filed rates, except from sales for resale. The commission may correct any errors in the assessments under this subsection by means of a credit or debit to the following year's assessment rather than reassessing all utilities in the current year. The commission shall determine the assessments under this subsection annually prior to May June 1st and assess each utility for its pro rata share for expenditure, including funds for energy conservation programs, during the fiscal year beginning July 1st. The commission may not charge increase any assessment under this subsection until the Legislature has approved the commission's Efficiency Maine Trust's budget in accordance with section 116. The Following the commission's approval of the triennial plan pursuant to section 10104, subsection 4 or any update plan pursuant to section 10104, subsection 6, the commission shall separately identify present any recommended increase in the assessment under this subsection in its presentation of budget recommendations contained in any current services budget legislation and any supplemental budget legislation to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over public utilities matters pursuant to section 116. Each utility shall pay the assessment charged to that utility under this subsection on the same schedule that payment of assessments under subsection 4 is required.
Sec. 11. 35-A MRSA §10115, sub-§3 is enacted to read:
Sec. 12. Review of long-term contracting. By January 15, 2012, the Public Utilities Commission shall report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over utilities and energy matters regarding long-term contracts implemented pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 3210-C, including the number, types and lengths of contracts. After review of the commission's report, the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over utilities and energy matters may submit a bill regarding long-term contracts to the Second Regular Session of the 125th Legislature.
Sec. 13. Transmission and subtransmission voltage level electricity customers; participation in energy efficiency programs. The Efficiency Maine Trust established in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 10103 shall convene a working group to examine options regarding the participation of electricity customers receiving service at transmission and subtransmission voltage levels in the energy efficiency programs of the trust, particularly those programs funded by assessments on transmission and distribution utilities. The working group shall, at a minimum, consider the opportunity for these customers to self-direct funding and other strategies. The Efficiency Maine Trust shall, at a minimum, invite the Office of the Public Advocate, the Public Utilities Commission, representatives of transmission and distribution utilities, representatives of industrial energy consumers and representatives of environmental interests to participate in the working group. No later than January 31, 2011, the Efficiency Maine Trust shall submit a report to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over utilities and energy matters regarding the findings and recommendations of the working group. Following receipt and review of the report, the committee may submit a bill related to the report to the First Regular Session of the 125th Legislature.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.