An Act To Support Electrification of Certain Technologies for the Benefit of Maine Consumers and Utility Systems and the Environment
Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA §10102, sub-§3-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 35-A MRSA §10110, sub-§1, ¶C, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 372, Pt. B, §3, is amended to read:
Sec. 3. 35-A MRSA §10110, sub-§2, ¶A, as enacted by PL 2009, c. 372, Pt. B, §3, is amended to read:
(1) Increase consumer awareness of cost-effective options for conserving energy;
(2) Create more favorable market conditions for the increased use of energy-efficient products and services;
(3) Promote sustainable economic development and reduce environmental damage;
(4) Reduce the price of electricity over time for all consumers by achieving reductions in demand for electricity during peak use periods , including by the implementation of beneficial electrification; and
(5) Reduce total energy costs for electricity consumers in the State by increasing the efficiency with which electricity is consumed.
Sec. 4. Efficiency Maine Trust to study barriers to beneficial electrification. The Efficiency Maine Trust established in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 10103, in consultation with stakeholders, shall study barriers to beneficial electrification in the transportation and heating sectors in the State. The study must identify social, technological, legal, regulatory and economic barriers to beneficial electrification for the transportation and heating sectors in the State. The study must include information on potential roles for electric utilities, natural gas utilities and competitive markets in supporting beneficial electrification, including benefits and drawbacks of these potential roles and examples of specific activities that may be conducted and specific needs that may be best served by the electric utilities, natural gas utilities or competitive markets. At the request of the trust, the Public Utilities Commission shall order electric and natural gas utilities to provide information requested by the trust to carry out the study. The Department of Transportation and the Maine Turnpike Authority shall provide information to the trust on potential barriers to beneficial electrification and solutions to overcome those barriers in areas under their jurisdiction. The trust may seek information regarding the study from other agencies or from private persons, organizations or interest groups. The trust shall provide public notice of the opportunity for the public to submit written information or comments to the trust before and after a draft of the study is completed. The trust shall develop a report based on the study. The report must:
1. Identify barriers to beneficial electrification in the transportation and heating sectors of the State;
2. Identify additional information that the trust may require to make additional recommendations or analyses;
3. Consider potential roles of utilities in supporting beneficial electrification;
4. Identify areas or populations in the State less likely to benefit directly from beneficial electrification without additional policy development or utility intervention; and
5. Recommend opportunities for beneficial electrification.
By February 1, 2020, the trust shall submit its report and any recommended legislation to the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology. The committee may report out legislation to the Second Regular Session of the 129th Legislature related to the report.
For purposes of this section, "beneficial electrification" has the same meaning as in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 10102, subsection 3-A.
Sec. 5. Public Utilities Commission to request proposals for pilot program to implement beneficial electrification in the transportation sector. The Public Utilities Commission, referred to in this section as "the commission," shall request proposals from utilities and from entities that are not utilities, including the Efficiency Maine Trust established in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 10103 for pilot programs that are limited in duration and scope to support beneficial electrification of the transportation sector of the State.
1. Proposals under this section must be submitted to the commission no later than December 1, 2019. A proposal under this section may address:
The commission shall require that a synopsis of the proposal that is suitable for public review and comment be submitted along with a proposal submitted under this section and shall allow public review of and comment on the synopsis. In its review of proposals, the commission shall consider whether and to what extent a proposal may duplicate related efforts currently being undertaken by the Efficiency Maine Trust. On or before March 1, 2020, the commission shall select one or more pilot program proposals submitted under this section that it finds are reasonably expected to result in information and data that would meaningfully inform future efforts regarding beneficial electrification. The commission may impose limitations on the duration, scope or cost of a pilot program proposal and require modifications of a proposal prior to approval.
2. Subsequent to the selection of proposals under subsection 1, the commission may request additional proposals under this section that include criteria under subsection 1 and other criteria the commission determines necessary to be submitted no earlier than January 1, 2021. A proposal submitted under this subsection must be reviewed pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 4. The commission shall allow public comment on a proposal submitted under this subsection. On or before August 1, 2021, the commission may select one or more proposals submitted under this subsection that are reasonably likely to result in beneficial electrification.
3. The commission shall determine a schedule to implement a proposal selected under subsection 1 or 2. By December 1, 2022, the commission shall complete a review of the implemented pilot program that assesses the effectiveness of each of the program's elements in supporting beneficial electrification of the transportation sector of the State.
4. For purposes of this section, "beneficial electrification" has the same meaning as in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 10102, subsection 3-A.