Public Laws

124th Legislature

First Regular Session


Parts: A B C D E F G H I J K

Chapter 372

H.P. 1038 - L.D. 1485

PART C

Sec. C-1. 5 MRSA §17001, sub-§40,  as amended by PL 2007, c. 134, §3, is further amended to read:

40. State employee.   "State employee" means any regular classified or unclassified officer or employee in a department, any employee of the Maine Community College System except those who make the election provided under Title 20-A, section 12722, any employee of the Maine Educational Center for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the Governor Baxter School for the Deaf except as provided in Title 20-A, section 7407, subsection 3-A, any employee of the Maine Military Authority, any employee of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, any employee of the Maine Port Authority , any employee of the Efficiency Maine Trust who on June 30, 2009 is an employee of the Public Utilities Commission energy efficiency or renewable energy programs who elects to remain a state employee, any employee of the Efficiency Maine Trust who accepts employment with the Efficiency Maine Trust prior to July 1, 2010 who was a state employee immediately prior to accepting such employment who elects to remain a state employee and any employee transferred from the Division of Higher Education Services to the Finance Authority of Maine who elects to be treated as a state employee, but does not include:
A. A judge, as defined in Title 4, section 1201 or 1301, who is now or later may be entitled to retirement benefits under Title 4, chapter 27 or 29;
B. A member of the State Police who is now entitled to retirement benefits under Title 25, chapter 195; or
C. A Legislator who is now or later may be entitled to retirement benefits under Title 3, chapter 29.

Sec. C-2. Transition. The following provisions apply to the establishment of the Efficiency Maine Trust pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, chapter 97.

1. Board appointed. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Act, the Governor shall post nominations for the appointment of the members of the Efficiency Maine Trust Board. As soon as practicable after Senate confirmation of board members the board shall appoint the Director of the Efficiency Maine Trust, and within 90 days of the board members' confirmation the board shall establish bylaws.

2. Staggered terms. Notwithstanding Title 35-A, section 10103, subsection 2, in making the initial appointments of members to the Efficiency Maine Trust Board pursuant to section 10103, subsection 2, paragraph A, the Governor shall appoint 2 members to serve an initial term of one year, 2 members to serve an initial term of 2 years and 3 members to serve an initial term of 3 years. Members appointed to initial 3-year terms must include persons who represent the interests of business consumers and individual consumers.

3. Triennial plan. The Director of the Efficiency Maine Trust shall hire or contract staff as needed to support the Efficiency Maine Trust and to prepare the triennial plan according to Title 35-A, section 10104 for commission approval by July 1, 2010. The Efficiency Maine Trust may study existing rules, conduct research, appoint technical advisory groups and hold public meetings in preparation for transitioning to the new structure and to support the development of the triennial plan.

4. Interim budget. The Director of the Efficiency Maine Trust shall prepare a budget for the period retroactive to the director's first day of employment to July 1, 2010 and submit it to the Efficiency Maine Trust Board for approval. The Efficiency Maine Trust Board shall submit the approved budget to the Public Utilities Commission, which shall provide full funding for the activities indicated in the budget from the Public Utilities Commission Reimbursement Fund established under Title 35-A, section 117. Use of such funds for such purposes is deemed by the Legislature to be consistent with the purposes of the Public Utilities Commission Reimbursement Fund. The commission and the Efficiency Maine Trust may enter into any arrangements necessary to achieve a smooth and efficient transition under this Act.

5. Rules. On July 1, 2010, all rules adopted by the Public Utilities Commission pursuant to Title 35-A, section 3210, subsection 5 and Title 35-A, sections 3211-A, 3211-C and 4711 and Title 35-A, chapter 95 and rules adopted by the Energy and Carbon Savings Trust pursuant to Title 35-A, section 10008 are deemed to be rules of the Efficiency Maine Trust and continue in effect until amended or rescinded by the Efficiency Maine Trust.

6. Contracts. All contracts of the Public Utilities Commission entered into pursuant to Title 35-A, sections 3211-A and 3211-C and Title 35-A, chapter 95 remain in effect, and the commission shall administer those contracts in accordance with the law in effect at the time the contracts were entered into except as otherwise may be directed by the Efficiency Maine Trust. On July 1, 2010, the Efficiency Maine Trust is the successor to the conservation programs managed under the name Efficiency Maine at the Public Utilities Commission. Contracts that are in place on July 1, 2010 may be extended for up to 2 years, subject to the approval of the trust, in order to maintain a smooth transition to the new program structure.

7. Transfer of funds. All accrued expenditures, assets, liabilities, balances or appropriations, allocations, transfers, revenues or other available funds in an account or subdivision of an account pertinent to energy efficiency, energy conservation or renewable energy programs must be transferred to the corresponding account in the Efficiency Maine Trust by July 1, 2010. After July 1, 2010, fees that are collected under Title 35-A, chapter 97 must be transferred to the Efficiency Maine Trust on a monthly basis.

8. Program staff and contracting. The Director of the Efficiency Maine Trust shall hire program management staff and contract for services to implement this Act. In hiring and contracting, the director shall give preference to state employees and contractors who were employed by the Public Utilities Commission and working on energy efficiency and renewable energy programs as of June 30, 2009.

9. Employees of the Public Utilities Commission. Employees of the Public Utilities Commission energy efficiency or renewable energy programs on June 30, 2009 who accept employment with the Efficiency Maine Trust may, at their option, elect whether to continue as state employees or to work under new agreements. Other persons who accept employment with the Efficiency Maine Trust prior to July 1, 2010 who were state employees immediately prior to accepting such employment may, at their option, elect whether to continue as state employees or to work under new agreements. Persons who accept employment with the Efficiency Maine Trust and who elect to remain state employees under this subsection retain their employee rights, privileges and benefits, including sick leave, vacation and seniority, provided under the Civil Service Law or collective bargaining agreements. Persons who accept employment with the Efficiency Maine Trust and who elect to remain state employees under this subsection remain members of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System as long as they continue as state employees, and the Efficiency Maine Trust shall reimburse the State for all costs related to employees who elect to remain state employees, including the employer's share of contributions to the Maine Public Employees Retirement System. Positions of employees who remain state employees under this subsection are terminated when vacated by those employees, unless filled by other persons eligible to remain state employees under this subsection who elect to remain state employees. Positions similar to those terminated may be established by the Efficiency Maine Trust. For employees who are not offered or who do not accept employment at the Efficiency Maine Trust, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Human Resources shall provide employment assistance. Nothing in this Act may be construed to interfere with the rights of employees of the Efficiency Maine Trust to organize for collective bargaining purposes in accordance with applicable law.

10. Records. All records pertaining to duties that are performed by the Public Utilities Commission and are transferred to the Efficiency Maine Trust effective July 1, 2010 must be transferred to the Efficiency Maine Trust by July 1, 2010.

11. Property and equipment. All property and equipment pertaining to the duties that are performed by the Public Utilities Commission and are transferred to the Efficiency Maine Trust effective July 1, 2010 must be transferred to the Efficiency Maine Trust by July 1, 2010.

12. American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Funds that are allocated to the State pursuant to the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5 prior to July 1, 2010 to programs or funds that are repealed in Part A of this Act must be transferred by July 1, 2010 to the corresponding funds or programs established in Part B of this Act. The Public Utilities Commission staff shall cooperate with, consult with and jointly plan with the Director of the Efficiency Maine Trust for the expansion of existing programs and establishment of new programs related to new funding for the state energy program resulting from the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Public Law 111-5.

13. Adoption of state standards. In accordance with Title 35-A, section 10104, subsection 7 and section 10114, before January 1, 2012 the Efficiency Maine Trust Board shall adopt certification standards for energy auditors, installers of energy efficiency measures and other service providers that provide services under programs administered by the trust. The board shall review and use any standards developed by the Public Utilities Commission as the starting point for standards it adopts.

14. Heating fuel weatherization and efficiency program. The Efficiency Maine Trust Board, in consultation with stakeholders, shall develop a proposed heating fuel weatherization and efficiency program to implement Title 35-A, section 10119 and appropriate funding mechanisms. In developing proposed funding mechanisms, the board shall consider a comprehensive list of options, including, but not limited to, a system benefits charge on #2 heating oil, kerosene and propane; bonds; federal funds and grants; funds in the Energy and Carbon Savings Trust Fund; General Fund appropriations; and potential revenues from the leasing of state-owned lands for energy facilities. To the extent the proposal includes a system benefits charge, it must include specific assessment and collection mechanisms and amounts for the funding options identified, identification of the appropriate entities to be assessed and provisions for appropriate exceptions and rebates, including, but not limited to, exceptions or rebates for vulnerable consumers. The proposal must also include recommendations for any appropriate changes to the assessment on natural gas under Title 35-A, section 10111 as a result of the establishment of the system benefits charge. The board shall identify changes in the proposed program and funding mechanism that would be required to obtain all achievable cost-effective energy efficiencies and alternative energy resources as identified by studies conducted by the trust and others. By the first Monday in January 2011, the board shall submit its proposal together with draft legislation to implement the proposal to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over utilities and energy matters, which, after receiving the report, may submit legislation relating to a heating fuel weatherization and efficiency program and the ongoing sustainable funding mechanism that will support the realization of the State’s energy efficiency and alternative energy resources goals.

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333