Connecticut Seal

Substitute House Bill No. 5420

Public Act No. 04-247

AN ACT CONCERNING MINOR REVISIONS TO THE ELECTRIC UTILITY PROVISIONS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 16-245l of the general statutes, as amended by section 8 of public act 03-135 and section 14 of public act 03-140, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) The Department of Public Utility Control shall establish and each electric distribution company shall collect a systems benefits charge to be imposed against all end use customers of each electric distribution company beginning January 1, 2000. The department shall hold a hearing that shall be conducted as a contested case in accordance with chapter 54 to establish the amount of the systems benefits charge. The department may revise the systems benefits charge or any element of said charge as the need arises. The systems benefits charge shall be used to fund (1) the expenses of the public education outreach program developed under subsections (a), (f) and (g) of section 16-244d, as amended, other than expenses for department staff, (2) the reasonable and proper expenses of the education outreach consultant pursuant to subsection (d) of section 16-244d, as amended, (3) the cost of hardship protection measures under sections 16-262c, as amended, and 16-262d and other hardship protections, including but not limited to, electric service bill payment programs, funding and technical support for energy assistance, fuel bank and weatherization programs and weatherization services, (4) the payment program to offset tax losses described in section 12-94d, (5) any sums paid to a resource recovery authority pursuant to subsection (b) of section 16-243e, (6) low income conservation programs approved by the Department of Public Utility Control, (7) displaced worker protection costs, (8) unfunded storage and disposal costs for spent nuclear fuel generated before January 1, 2000, approved by the appropriate regulatory agencies, (9) postretirement safe shutdown and site protection costs that are incurred in preparation for decommissioning, (10) decommissioning fund contributions, (11) the costs of temporary electric generation facilities incurred pursuant to section 17 of [this act] public act 03-135, and (12) legal, appraisal and purchase costs of a conservation or land use restriction and other related costs as the department in its discretion deems appropriate, incurred by a municipality on or before January 1, 2000, to ensure the environmental, recreational and scenic preservation of any reservoir located within this state created by a pump storage hydroelectric generating facility. As used in this subsection, "displaced worker protection costs" means the reasonable costs incurred, prior to January 1, 2008, (A) by an electric supplier, exempt wholesale generator, electric company, an operator of a nuclear power generating facility in this state or a generation entity or affiliate arising from the dislocation of any employee other than an officer, provided such dislocation is a result of (i) restructuring of [(A)] the electric generation market and such dislocation occurs on or after July 1, 1998, or [(B)] (ii) the closing of a Title IV source or an exempt wholesale generator, as defined in 15 USC 79z-5a, on or after January 1, 2004, as a result of such source's failure to meet requirements imposed as a result of sections 22a-197 and 22a-198, as amended, and this section or those Regulations of Connecticut State Agencies adopted by the Department of Environmental Protection, as amended from time to time, in accordance with Executive Order Number 19, issued on May 17, 2000, [; ] and provided further such costs result from either the execution of agreements reached through collective bargaining for union employees or from the company's or entity's or affiliate's programs and policies for nonunion employees, and (B) by an electric distribution company or an exempt wholesale generator arising from the retraining of a former employee of an unaffiliated exempt wholesale generator, which employee was involuntary dislocated on or after January 1, 2004, from such wholesale generator, except for cause. "Displaced worker protection costs" includes costs incurred or projected for severance, retraining, early retirement, outplacement, coverage for surviving spouse insurance benefits and related expenses. "Displaced worker protection costs" does not include those costs included in determining a tax credit pursuant to section 12-217bb.

Sec. 2. Subdivision (2) of subsection (j) of section 16-244c of the general statutes, as amended by section 4 of public act 03-135, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2004):

(2) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (d) of this section regarding an alternative transitional standard offer option or an alternative standard service option, an electric distribution company providing transitional standard offer service, standard service, supplier of last resort service or back-up electric generation service in accordance with this section shall, not later than July 1, 2007, file with the Department of Public Utility Control for its approval one or more long-term power purchase contracts from Class I renewable energy source projects that receive funding from the Renewable Energy Investment Fund and that are not less than one megawatt in size, at a price that is not more than the total of the comparable wholesale market price for generation plus five and one-half cents per kilowatt hour. In its approval of such contracts, the department shall give preference to purchase contracts from those projects that would provide a financial benefit to ratepayers or would enhance the reliability of the electric transmission system of the state. Such contracts shall be comprised of not less than a total, apportioned among each electric distribution company, of one hundred megawatts. The cost of such contracts and the administrative costs for the procurement of such contracts directly incurred shall be eligible for inclusion in the generation services charge component of rates, provided that such contracts are for a period of time sufficient to provide financing for such projects, but not less than ten years and are for projects which began operation on or after July 1, 2003. The amount from Class I renewable energy sources contracted under such contracts shall be applied to reduce the applicable Class I renewable energy source portfolio standards. For purposes of this subdivision, the department's determination of the comparable wholesale market price for generation shall be based upon a reasonable estimate.

Sec. 3. Subdivision (2) of subsection (d) of section 16-245m of the general statutes, as amended by section 9 of public act 03-135, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2004):

(2) Programs included in the plan shall be screened through cost-effectiveness testing which compares the value and payback period of program benefits to program costs to ensure that programs are designed to obtain energy savings whose value is greater than the costs of the programs. Cost-effectiveness testing shall utilize available information obtained from real-time monitoring systems to ensure accurate validation and verification of energy use. Program cost-effectiveness shall be reviewed annually, or otherwise as is practicable. If a program is determined to fail the cost-effectiveness test as part of the review process, it shall either be modified to meet the test or shall be terminated. On or before [January 31, 2001, and annually thereafter until January 31, 2006] March 1, 2005, and March 1, 2006, the board shall provide a report to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy and the environment which documents expenditures, fund balances and evaluates the cost-effectiveness of such programs conducted in the preceding year.

Approved June 3, 2004