Energy and Technology Committee
JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT
AN ACT CONCERNING THE OPERATIONS OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION, THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A COMMERCIAL PROPERTY ASSESSED CLEAN ENERGY PROGRAM, WATER CONSERVATION AND THE OPERATIONS OF THE CLEAN ENERGY FINANCE AND INVESTMENT AUTHORITY.
Joint Favorable Substitute
SPONSORS OF BILL:
Energy and Technology Committee
Rep Mary Mushinsky
REASONS FOR BILL:
To implement the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's recommended revisions to Connecticut's energy statutes, to establish a commercial property assessed clean energy program, to promote water conservation, to clarify the quasi-public status of the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority and to change the name of said authority to the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority, to authorize the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority to issue its own bonds and establish capital reserve funds, and to implement the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority's recommended revisions to the utility statutes.
Amendment B is a language change in Section 19, removed brackets to return language to requiring a public hearing.
Amendment A adds to Section 77 “eligible projects” means those water company plant projects not previously included in the water company's rate base in its most recent general rate case and that are intended to improve or protect the quality and reliability of service to customers – add purchase of energy efficient equipment or investment in renewable energy supplies and F Capital improvements necessary to comply with flow regulations adopted pursuant to section 26-141b.
Section 1 adds “or the commissioner's designee” to the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection.
Section 2 defines procedures for organization of PURA and their responsibilities.
Section 3 concerns any director vacancy in PURA and how replacements are selected if the vacancy is filled when the legislature is not in session.
Section 4 is concerned with adopting regulations for rates and charges, services, accounting practices, safety and the conduct of operations of public service companies in accordance with the department's policies.
Section 5 removes “employees of the department assigned to” and adds “their designees” of PURA while engaged in performing their duties with any public service company or electric supplier.
Section 6 describes the parameters of hearings and changes “department” to “authority” and includes that reports and audits “may be submitted electronically” (to the Committee of cognizance).
Section 7 (b) directs the PURA to do a separate general investigation and hold at least one public hearing on pricing principles and rate structures for electric and gas companies while adding 'the goals of the Dept of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP), etc,.
Section 8 indicates the Commissioner of DEEP, the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development and the Connecticut Siting Council may be made parties to gas, electric or electric distribution company rate proceeding and shall participate is such proceedings.
Section 9 changes the issuer of a certificate of video franchise from DEEP to PURA.
Section 10 (d)(1) directs electric distribution and gas companies to submit to the commissioner a plan to implement cost-effective energy conservation programs and market transformation initiatives on 10/1/12 and every 2 years thereafter. (2) deletes “Finance and Investment” from the name of the CT Clean Energy Authority and in (5) directs the Energy Conservation management Board to conduct periodic reviews of contractors to determine whether they are qualified to conduct work relate to programs that should include steps that would be needed to achieve the goal of weatherization of eighty percent of the state's residential units by 2030.
Section 11 directs the (Connecticut) Clean Energy Authority to submit a report no later than 12/31/2006 and no later than 12/31 every five years thereafter evaluating the performance of the programs and activities to the committee of cognizance over the matters relating to energy.
Section 12 tells each electric company and electric distribution company to report annually their system average interruption duration index (SAIDI) to PURA.
Section 13 changes from DEEP to PURA and that they shall report annually the number of applicants licensed by PURA and the average period of time taken to process a license application and that the report may be submitted electronically.
Section 14 directs the DEEP to report to the General Assembly on the status of the comprehensive energy plan.
Section 15a, B, 1, 2, 3 and 4 and 4c indicates that PURA oversee the integrated resources plan and its implementation.
Section 16 indicates that if PURA does not receive and approve proposals sufficient to reach the goal set by the integrated resources plan approved, the Authority may order an electric distribution company to submit, in a contested case, a proposal to build and operate an electric generation facility in the state.
Section 17 says that no municipality other than a municipality operating a plant may take an action to condemn or restrict the operation of any existing and currently operating energy facility. Unless the municipality has written approval from the DEEP and the CT Siting Council that such a taking would not have a detrimental impact on the state's ability to provide energy resources, it would not be permitted.
Section 18 directs DEEP and the Connecticut Energy Advisory Board to prepare a comprehensive energy plan and describes procedures, content and methodology to be used to complete the plan.
Section 19 describes a review of the states energy and capacity resource assessment and adopts an integrated resource plan and describes the process of the review which would include an uncontested proceeding that will include a public meeting. It also specifies that the Commissioner may modify the plan to correct clerical errors at any time. It also states that the reports can be submitted electronically. Amendment B removed the brackets and returned the language requiring a public hearing in lines 885 to 888 rather than a public meeting.
Section 20 adds language that that allows any interested person, including, but not limited to the Consumer Counsel and the Commissioner of DEEP to be a participant in the standard service contract public hearing.
Section 21 changes the name of the Clean Energy and Finance and Investment Authority to the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority.
Section 22 deletes DEEP and adds PURA in consultation with the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection and others in developing a plan for the procurement of electric generation and related wholesale electricity market products.
Section 23 deletes the DEEP and inserts the PURA in it place directing them to conduct an uncontested proceeding to approve a procurement plan and to complete an annual report to the ET committee and that the report may be submitted electronically.
Section 24 changes DEEP to PURA when an electric distribution company requests a docket to consider the buy down of an electric distribution company's current standard service contract.
Section 25 (d) (1) (A) establishes a Connecticut Clean Energy Authority as a body politic and corporate, constituting a public instrument and political subdivision of the state of Connecticut established and created for the performance of an essential public and governmental function. The Authority shall not be construed to be a department, institution or agency of the state. The section further describes the focus and scope of the Authority in developing programs, administering the Clean Energy Fund, issuing bonds, loans, loan guarantees, earnings and interest and fees. It also establishes and describes the board of directors, who is eligible for appointment and the process for selecting members and identifies the members elect the president.
Section 26 states that a municipal electric energy cooperative shall submit a report on their activity regarding the promotion of renewable energy resources to the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority.
Section 27 in this section “renewable” energy projects is changed to “clean” energy projects and the “department” is changed to the commissioner as well as an indication that any report may be submitted electronically.
Section 28 directs the Commissioner DEEP to adopt regulations concerning minimum energy efficiency standards for commercial appliances, illuminated exit signs, large air-conditioning equipment, low voltage dry-type transformers, torchiere lighting fixtures, traffic signals, unit heaters, residential gas and oil furnaces and boilers etc. The language change directs the commissioner rather than the DEEP to adopt these regulations.
Section 29 deletes “department” and inserts “commissioner”.
Section 30 deletes “department” and inserts “commissioner”
Section 31 deletes “department” and inserts “commissioner”
Section 32 adds “on or after July 1, 2012” the licensee shall offer a time-of-use price option to customers.
Section 33 and 34 changes the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority to the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority and directs the Authority to establish a three-year pilot program to promote the development of new combined heat and power projects that are below 5 megawatts. (Changed from two megawatts.)
Section 35 and 36 indicates that “the electric distribution company shall be entitled to recover the reasonable costs and fees incurred in connection with soliciting and filing long-tern contracts with the authority through a reconciling component of electric rate as determined by the authority, until such company's next scheduled rate case.”
Section 37 deletes the phrase “that have no emissions of no more than 0.07 pounds per megawatt-hour of nitrogen oxides, 0.10 pounds per megawatt-hour of carbon monoxide, 0.02 pounds per megawatt-hour of volatile organic compounds, and one grain per one hundred standard cubic feet.”
Section 38 indicates that “the electric distribution company shall be entitled to recover reasonable costs ------” (as mentioned in Sections 35 and 36.)
Section 39 establishes a program to be known as the “condominium renewable energy grant program” that provides grants to residential condominiums and residential condominium owners within available funds, for purchasing clean energy sources including: solar energy, geothermal energy, fuel cells or other energy-efficient hydrogen-fueled energy.
Section 40 directs the Commissioner of DEEP rather then the department to conduct a proceeding regarding development of low-income discounted rates for service and PURA rather than the department to consider the costs of the out reach activities through the normal rate making processes. It also changes the date for the report to the Energy Committee to October 1, 2012 (from February 1, 2012) and that the report can be submitted electronically.
Section 41 Changes DEEP to PURA on the approval of the form that allows the customers to opt-out of unwanted solicitation from electric suppliers.
Section 42 directs PURA rather than the DEEP to develop a standard billing format that enables customers to compare pricing policies and charges among electric suppliers.
Section 43 includes in the residential heating equipment financing program “ductless heat pumps”
Section 44 this changes from 1 megawatt to 5 megawatts of power for applications for financial incentives for combined heat and power systems.
Section 45 this charges the commissioner of DEEP with the responsibility of planning and managing energy use in state owned and leased building and adds “in consultation with the Secretary of OPM.”
Section 46 adds to the definitions outlined “governmental customer” or “governmental customer host”. It also replaces municipal with governmental in sub b, c, and d. In sub e the DEEP is replaced with PURA.
Section 47 indicates that the amount of a fee paid for an energy audit can be added to the amount of the loan for the audit and changes “funds” to “Green Connecticut Loan Guaranty Fund.”
Section 48 this eliminates the phrase “that emits no pollutants” and includes the phrase “as amended by this act.”
Section 49 eliminates the statement “provided the costs of subsidizing such audits to ratepayers whose primary source of heat is not electricity or natural gas shall not exceed five hundred thousand dollars per year” and is replaced with, “that reflect the contributions made to the Energy Efficiency Fund by each such customer's respective customer type, provided such fee, charge, co-pay or other similar term shall not exceed seventy-five dollars for any such audit.”
Section 50 substitutes the Commissioner of DEEP for PURA and directs him to analyze the costs and benefits of allowing an electric distribution company to earn a rate of return. Also adds that a stakeholder may submit to the commissioner any information relevant to the Commissioner's analysis and is directed to consult with PURA and the Office of Consumer Council. It also directs the Commissioner to complete his analysis on or before October 1, 2012.
Section 51 this deletes the “department” and inserts the “Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection.”
Section 52 in sub a (8) the “Secretary of OPM” is deleted and replaced with the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection.” In sub a (11) Commissioner is defined as the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection. In the balance of the section the Secretary is deleted and commissioner replaces it.
Section 53 indicates that to the extent that any provision of title 16 or 16a of the CTGS authorizes the DEEP to adopt regulations the authority to adopt such regulations shall be exercised by the Commissioner of DEEP or his designee.
Section 54 this is a new section that allows a municipality to establish a commercial sustainable energy program to facilitate energy improvements within the municipality. It establishes deifications, provisions for public hearings, issuing municipal bonds, agreements with other municipalities, notices to the electric distribution company, adoption of standards that ensure the energy savings costs exceed the costs of the improvements, a levy of benefit assessment of the qualifying commercial real property, imposition of requirements and conditions and that the area encompassing the commercial sustainable energy program in a municipality may be the entire municipal jurisdiction or a subset of it.
Section 55 changes the definition of “qualifying real property” from a nonresidential building to “containing less than five dwelling units.”
Section 56 this adds to the Consumer Counsel the ability to apply for a public hearing and increases the frequency to no less than 12 months.
Section 57 adds a new subsection to 16-18a that allows the authority to retain consultants for proceeding before the FERC, US Dept of Energy, US Nuclear Regulatory Comm., the US Securities and Exchange Comm., the Federal Trade Commission, the US Department of Justice or the FCC to assist its staff. It limits the cost to $250,000 per proceeding and allows such expenses as proper business expenses of the utilities for ratemaking purposes.
Section 58 This adds subsection ( c) to 16-35 that says,” Notwithstanding any provision of titles 16 and 16a proceedings in which the PURA conducts a request for proposals or any other procurement process for the purpose of acquiring electricity products or services for the benefits of ratepayers shall be uncontested.”
Section 60 this changes the number of days from thirty to ninety after receipt of a written complaint by an employee alleging retaliation by an employer in which the authority shall make a preliminary finding.
Section 61 this eliminates subsection “i” and replaces it with (j).
Section 62 this eliminates “15 USC 79z-5a” and replaces it with the United States Code or the Code of Federal Regulations.
Section 63 this makes the same change that occurred in Section 62
Sections 64, 65 and 66 these are new sections that authorizes the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority to issue negotiable bonds for any corporate purposes. The language describes the parameters and the procedures that must be followed and in sub (i) it does say that bonds issued shall not be deemed to constitute a debt or liability of the state other then the authority. The state does agree in sub (j) that it will not limit the rights vested in the authority until obligations and interest are fully met and discharged etc.
Sections 67 this section limits the total amount of private activity bonds which may be issue by state issuers to 27 ½ % and adds the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority to the language.
Sections 68 and 69 adds the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority to the list of “Quasi-public agencies.”
Section 70 this prohibits the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority from borrowing any money or issuing any bonds or notes that are guaranteed by the state of Connecticut or for which there is a capital reserve fund of any kind which is in any way contributed to or guaranteed by the state of Connecticut until and unless such borrowing or issuance is approved by the State Treasurer.
Section 71 includes the directors, officers and employees of the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority and indicates that they will not be liable personally on such bonds or notes issued by the Authority.
Section 72 changes the name of the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority to the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority.
Section 73 deletes “Finance and Investment” and adds “Connecticut” to the name of the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority.
Sections 74, 75 and 76 have the name changed to Connecticut Clean Energy Authority
Section 77 directs PURA to initiate a docket to identify measures to promote water conservation in the state and that on or before January 1, 2013 to submit a report to the Energy Committee including any recommended changes. Amendment A added language that would include the purchase of energy efficient equipment or investment in renewable energy supplies; and capital improvements necessary to comply with flow regulations adopted pursuant to section 26-141b in the rate base and it increased the amount from 7 ½% to 10% for a general rate case filing.
Section 78 includes the repeal of subdivision (41) Federally mandated congestion charges mean any cost approve by FERC as part of New England Standard Market Design to reduce federally mandated congestion changes in accordance with section 7-233y, this section, sections 16-19ss (deletes 16-32f) 15-50i, 16-50k, 16-50 x, 16-243 to 16-243q, inclusive, 16-244c as amended by this act, 16-244e, 16245m, amended by this act, 16-245, as amended by this act, and 16-245z, and section 21 of Public Act 05-1 of the June special session and reliability must run contracts.
Section 79 includes the repeal of sub k of section 16-243m with the new (k) the authority may order an electric distribution company to submit a proposal pursuant to the provisions of this section and may approve such a proposal under this section. Nothing in sections 16-1, as amended by this act, 16-19ss, (deletes 16-32f), 16-50i, 16-50k, 16-50x, 16-243i to 16-243q, inclusive, 16-244c, as amended by this act, 16-244e, 16-245d, 16-245m, as amended by this act, 16-245n, as amended by this act, and 16-245z, and section 21 of public act 05-1 of the June special session shall limit the Authority's ability to conduct requests for proposals, in addition to that in subsection ( c ) of this section, to reduce federally mandated congestion charges and to approve such proposals or otherwise to meet its responsibility under this title.
Section 80 repeals 16-243r and includes a number of sections that are amended by this act.
Section 81 identifies where the words “Dept of Public Utility Control” are used in statute and substitute the words “Public Utilities Regulatory Authority”.
Section 82 indicates that 16-2c, 16-32f and 16a-41i of the 2012 supplement to the GS are repealed.
RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:
Commissioner Daniel Esty – Department of Energy and Environmental Protection:
The bill is strongly supported by DEEP. The bill has a number of technical revisions to PA 11-80 that assign certain responsibilities to PURA rather than DEEP and updates the statutory language governing PURA's purview. It also includes a provision for property assessed clean energy financing for commercial entities and grants new bonding authority to the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority as well as changing its name to Connecticut Clean Energy Authority.
Section 2 the substitute language did not bracket lines 104 through lines 141 which would have repealed changes in DEEP's adjudications language that the Department favored.
Section 5 of the substitute language is not changed from the language in the raised bill. DEEP employees would not have access to public service companies
Section 7 of the Substitute Language is not altered from the original language in the raised bill as was supported by the DEEP in their testimony.
Section 11 of the Substitute Language changes the evaluation and report the Energy Conservation Management Board shall be 5 years after 12/31/2006 which is different from what the DEEP had requested in their testimony.
Section 15 in the Substitute Language indicates that PURA oversee the integrated resources plan and its implementation and is not related to the language in the raised bill which is different language than DEEP testified in support of. The language in the Substitute Bill Section 16 reflects DEEP's testimony.
Section 19 the department's testimony speaks to developing a comprehensive energy plan as outlined in the raised bill. The Substitute Language directs the Commissioner to adopt a integrated resources plan for the procurement of energy resources including but, not limited to conventional and renewable generating facilities, energy efficiency, load management, demand response, combined heat and power facilities, distributed generation and other emerging energy technologies to meet the projected requirement of customers that minimizes the cost to customers over time and maximizes consumer benefits consistent with the states' goals and standards. In adopting the integrated resources plan the Substitute Language directs the Commissioner to conduct an uncontested proceeding that shall include not less than one public meeting with at least a 15 day notice to the public.
Section 20 in the Substitute Language is changed to allow any interested person, including, but not limited to the OCC and the Commissioner of DEEP to participate in the standard service contract public hearing which is different than the language testified to in the raised bill language. (Section 19 of the Substitute Language addresses the integrated resources plan.)
Section 22 in the Substitute Language deletes DEEP and adds PURA in consultation with the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection and others in developing a plan for the procurement of electric generation and related wholesale electricity market products. This is different from the language they testified in favor of in the raised bill.
Section 24 the Substitute Language changes DEEP to PURA when an electric distribution company requests a docket to consider the buy down of an electric distribution company's current standard service contract. (The Department testified in favor of this which was section 22 of the raised bill language.)
Section 26 the Substitute Language states that a municipal electric energy cooperative shall submit a report on their activity regarding the promotion of renewable energy resources to the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority. This is significantly different than section 26 in the raised bill which will appear in later sections of the substitute language.
Section 33 in the Substitute Language changes the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority to the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund and directs the Authority to establish a three-year pilot program to promote the development of new combined heat and power projects that are below 5 megawatts which was reduced from two megawatts. (This is different from the raised bill language that DEEP testified on.)
Sections 35, 36, 37, 38 in the Substitute Language allows for the electric distribution company to recover their costs and fees in connection with soliciting and filing long-term contracts with the authority through a reconciling component of the electric rate as determined by the authority.
Section 39 of the Substitute Language is establishes a “condominium renewable energy grant program” which is different than the language in the raised bill.
Section 42 the Substitute Language directs PURA rather than DEEP to develop a standard billing format that enables customers to compare pricing policies and charges among electric suppliers. (This is different than the language of the original raised bill that was mentioned in DEEP's testimony.)
Section 45 in the raised bill that was testified to by the DEEP is included in the Substitute Language in Section 43 is concerned with “ductless heat pumps” and Section 45 charges the Commissioner of DEEP with the responsibility of planning and managing energy use in state owned and leased buildings and adds “in consultation with the “Secretary of OPM.”
Section 48 in the Substitute Language eliminates the phrase “that emits no pollutants” and includes the phrase “as amended by this act.” (The Substitute Language was not concerned with “virtual net metering”.)
Section 50 of the Substitute Language directs the Commissioner of DEEP to analyze the costs and benefits of allowing an electric distribution company to earn a rate of return. (The Substitute Language does not make the change that deletes the reference to “projects that emit no pollutants which was done in Section 48 of the Substitute Language.)
DEEP testified in opposition to Section 51 in the raised bill and Section 51 in the Substitute Language was changed to delete the “department” and inserts the “Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection” which removed the language contained in the raised bill.
Section 52 The Substitute Language in this section deletes the “Secretary of OPM” and replaces it with the “Commissioner of DEEP” and concerns tax credits for taxpayers against any tax due for the construction or renovation of an eligible project that meets certain requirements. (The language in the raised bill extended the timeframe for the Department to analyze benefits of allowing utilities a rate of return on investments in energy efficiency not originally included).
Section 54 is a new section in the Substitute Language that allows a municipality to establish a commercial sustainable energy program and provisions and directions to implement and facilitate energy improvements with the municipality. (The language in the raised bill pertained to a tax credit for a maximum amount of $25,000,000 with the tax value for any one project limited to $8,000,000 certified by the Leed Building Rating System which was not included in the Substitute Language.)
Section 56 of the Substitute Language was changed to allow the OCC the ability to apply for a public hearing. (The original language of the bill concerns CEFIA and the authorization to develop a property assessed clean energy financing program for commercial properties (PACE).)
Section 58, 59, 61 and 62 of the Substitute Language was changed to show that PURA's request for proposals shall be uncontested etc., establishing an interest rate for security deposits determined by the Banking Commissioner, an investigation into the relationship between a company's volume of sales and its earnings and for “public service company” change to the United States Code or the Code of Federal Regulations. (The raised bill language had to do with water issues and not the items mentioned in the DEEP testimony.)
Section 60 in the Substitute Language allows 90 days (rather than 60 days) to investigate a complaint by an employee and make a preliminary finding. (The language in the raised bill concerns rates for water and defines how rates are calculated.)
Section 63 of the Substitute Language mirrors the language in Section 61 as it pertains to “electric company”. (The raised bill language was concerning natural gas customer's base rate and the purchase gas adjustment clause (PGA) that was not included in these sections.)
Section 64 through Section 73 of the Substitute Language pertain to the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority's that would allow them to issue negotiable bonds for any corporate purposes and establishes the parameters and guidelines that must be followed by the authority. It also specifically states that bonds issued shall not be deemed a debt or liability to the state of Connecticut. (The original raised bill that DEEP testified to allowed PURA to retain non-legal consultants to assist PURA staff in proceeding before various federal agencies in Section 64 and the language for this was included in the Substitute Language in section 57.)
Section 58 of the Substitute Language provides that all PURA procurements are uncontested proceedings. (DEEP testimony in favor of section 64 of the raised bill contained this language.)
Section 66 in the raised bill referred to language that adds the Department of Banking at places in the statute that state the basis upon which interest of utility customer security deposits is to be calculated. (This is in Section 59 of the Substitute Language.)
Section 67 in the raised bill is Section 60 in the Substitute Language.
Section 68, 69 and 70 in the raised bill were referred to as technical in DEEP's testimony. (The Substitute Language contained wording concerning Connecticut Clean Energy Authority's ability to issue bonds etc. – Sections 64 through 74.)
Sections 71, 72 and 73 in the raised bill concerning the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority's bonding authority were contained in the Substitute Language Sections 64 through 74.
Sections 74 to 83 in the raised bill defined as technical by DEEP were altered in the Substitute Language. 72 through 76 of the Substitute Language changes the name of CEFIA to CCEA, 77 directs PURA to initiate a docket to identify measures to promote water conservation and to submit a report to the Energy and Technology Committee on or before January 1, 2013. Section 78 and 79 repeals subdivision 41 federally mandated congestion charges.
Sections 80, 81 and 82 represent technical changes.
Elin Swanson Katz – Office of the Consumer Counsel:
The OCC testified on this bill expressing the need to adjust PA 11-80 in certain areas since PA 11-80 was a major piece of legislation and one could not be expected to recognize every issue that could come up. They pointed out some areas of concern that they had in the language of the raised bill.
Section 11 of the bill having to do with the DEEP holding a public hearing on the Conservation and Load Management Plan. (The Substitute Language in Section 11 was changed to direct the Clean Energy Authority to submit a report evaluating the performance of the program and activities to the Energy and Technology Committee. (This was changed to Section 10 in the Substitute Language and it was not altered from the original language.)
Section 19 they also expressed a concern that this section changes public hearings to public meetings and by removing PURA's role in the process. (This is Section 18 in the Substitute Language and it appears the same as the language in the raised bill.) (Note that Amendment B removed the brackets and returned the language to requiring a public hearing which addressed the OCC's concern.)
Section 58 and 59 were other areas of concern for the OCC. This requires decoupling for water utilities in the form of a sales adjustment clause that would make water companies whole between rate cases for any decreases in usage. (The Substitute Language for Sections 58 and 59 are not connected with water utilities. Section 77 directs the PURA to initiate a docket to identify measures to promote water conservation in the state and submit a report to the Energy and Technology Committee.)
Section 1 they question why some conflict-of-interest protections were deleted. (The Substitute Language did not change the language in the raised bill.)
NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:
Senator Donald Williams:
Senator Williams testified in support of the bill making specific reference to Section 56 in the raised bill which established a Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy Program. This is included in Section 54 of the Substitute Language.
Representative Mary Mushinsky:
The Representative testified in favor of the bill and referenced the sections pertaining to sustainable water resources and the Commercial Properties and Homeowners with Paid Mortgages with an expansion to residential properties. Sections she referenced in her testimony were included in Section 77 of the Substitute Language concerning water issues and Property Assessed Clean Energy Program issue were in section 54 of the Substitute Language.
Clean energy Finance and Investment Authority:
They testified in favor of all the sections that pertained to the Clean Energy Finance and Investment Authority including the name change to the Connecticut Clean Energy Authority. They referenced sections that were in the original raised bill that were changed in the Substitute Language. (There are a number of sections that are concerning the name change, Sections 25, 26, 33, 34, and 64, through 76 were sections of the Substitute Language that they supported.)
Kathy O'Neil - Clean Energy Finance Center:
They testified in favor of the bill specifically the sections concerning PACE programs. They offered suggestions in the bill. They asked for the deletion of section (h) lines 3031- 3032 in the raised bill because it is overly prescriptive. (The language was not deleted from the Substitute Language in Section 54 that the line stating “total amount of any benefit assessment may not exceed twenty per cent of the fair market value of the qualified real property.” (The language was not deleted from sub sec f 3 in the Substitute Language in Section 54.)
Moses Boone –Colored Planet Inc:
Testified in support of the bill and the language as it related to Property Assessed Clean Energy Programs.
Kathy Hall (former member of the South Windsor Town Council and South Windsor Clean Energy Taskforce):
David Gabrielson – PACENow:
They testified in support of this bill in general and specifically concerning Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) programs. This was language was included in Section 54 of the Substitute Language.
Greg Hale – Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC):
They testified in support of this bill and specifically concerning Section 54 of the Substitute Language that pertained to Property Assessed Clean Energy programs.
Peter Govert – East Haddam Board of Selectman:
Testified in support of the bill and the language concerning PACE programs in particular. (Section 54 of the Substitute Language.)
Brian McCarter – Sustainable Real Estate Solutions:
They testified in favor of the bill and specifically about Section 54 of the Substitute Language concerning PACE.
Frank Kuchinski – PoulsenHybrid:
They testified in favor of the bill specifically the PACE program provisions which were also included in the Substitute Language.
Peter Rothstein – New England Clean Energy Council:
They testified in favor of the PACE program provisions in this bill which were included in the Substitute Language.
Maryellen Donnelly – Secretary of the Hampton Green energy Committee:
Their testimony was in favor of the bill specifically for the PACE program provisions which were included in the Substitute Language.
They testified in support of the raised bill but pointed out that in Section 48 of the raised bill which is Section 46 of the Substitute Language that the indication that both “customer hosts” and “governmental customer hosts” may participate but in subsection (b) mandates VMN for “Governmental Customers Hosts” only with their recommendation that “customer host” be deleted. (The Substitute Language did not change the language from the raised bill.) They also they recommend that the bill be amended to clarify the intent of the virtual net metering program in Section 48 of the raised bill to ensure that this program remains a governmental customer program. Regarding Sections 58 through 62 concerning water issues the Supplemental Language directed the PURA to initiate a docket to promote water conservation in the state with Sections 58 through 62 being eliminated.
Stephanie Weiner, The New England Smart Energy, LLC supports the bill. Indicates that oil heating customers should be entitled to funding for energy upgrades as other homeowners.
Richard Soderman, Director of Legislative Policy and Strategy for Northeast Utilities Service Company, CL&P and Yankee Gas supports the bill with regards to aligning DEEP and PURA. Also recommends a change to existing language to “All electric distribution companies' reasonable costs associated with the development of the plan shall be recovered through the systems benefit charge.” Section 22 recommends that an agreement be made between parties rather than a “unilateral acceptance.” In Section 50 indicates need to clarify that there are two processes depending on the type of project, whether it is a utility or non-utility project and that it is necessary to make a change because fuel cell is smaller than one megawatt. Discusses (Section b) the sale of energy or renewable energy credit and (Section b) how proposals are handled including when customers switch suppliers and (Section c) the reporting requirements.
Alan Trotta, Manager of Wholesale Power, UIL Holding Corporation overall supports the bill with some modifications. Proposes same change to Section 19 (e) and 20(g), which clarifies that costs and fees are recoverable through “non-passable reconciling of electric rates or natural gas rates as determined by the Authority.” Also, clarifies criteria to receive low renewable energy credits (LREC) and requests technical clarification of Section 39 reference whether it is “no” or “low” emissions standards as this would impact competition and thee LREC. Also, if it is not clarified could lead to litigation.
Douglas R. Cahill, Vice President, Marketing, Competitive Resources supports Section 11 but wants Section 51 revised to remove the dollar cap for serving oil and propane users.
Dwayne Escola, Northeast Smart Energy, LLC. supports the bill with changes provided the PACE assessment is given the same status as other municipal assessments. Also, making Connecticut the friendliest state when it comes to electric vehicles (EV) by having consumers buy energy for the life of the car when they purchase their car and when they purchase solar panels for the home.
Gulick Building and Development, LLC. supports the bill with a change to Section 51 removing the cap because it would enable gas and oil customers to receive assistance through the Home Energy Solutions program and also allow for continued job growth.
South Central Regional Water Authority (SCCRWA) provides approximately 50 million gallons of water per day to over 425,000 consumers. SCCRWA supports the bill but wants the provision broadened to include “governmental customer as it has in lines 2587 through 2589 of the bill will enable SCCRWA to benefit as it is a “political subdivision of the State.”
Raquel Kennedy, Principal, Victory Energy Solutions supports the bill but needs cap for oil and propane consumers to be removed as it will have a negative affect leading to a series of problems including job lay-offs.
The South Central Connecticut Regional Water Authority, is a non-profit, public corporation providing approximately 50 million gallons per day to more than 425,000 consumers in the region.
Roger Smith, Program Director, Clean Water Action Connecticut is a national environmental non-profit serving 15,000 Connecticut members. Section 26 identifies the qualifications of board members as having a financial focus however, it draws the attention away from “developing a strategy needed to bring renewable energy to scale.” They are against the cap for Home Energy Solutions oil and propane consumers. Also, states that there should be more flexible financing options. Requests clarification of Section 58-60 and that utilities coordinate their delivery with CT Energy Efficiency Fund. Strongly supports rate design.
Connecticut Water (CW) is a private water company with nearly 90,000 customers. CW supports the legislation as it addresses the relationship between conservation and ratemaking. The two items are intertwined. This bill reflects several 2011 water studies that address a broad range of water utility and water resource programs and policies that consider the environmental, economic and public health” impact.”
Charles J. Rothenberger, Staff Attorney, Connecticut Fund for the Environment is a non-profit organization with a membership of 5400 in existence for over twenty-five years. Supports Section 11, Section 56 with the addition including adding language to clarify ambiguity and creation of statewide PACE program and deleting lines 3031-3032 regarding prepayment penalties, Section 57 in support of PACE enabling legislation also wants “subordinating lien deleted from this section. Disagrees with Section 54 as this unfairly penalizes developers projects completed or those that are underway.” Fully supports Section 72 as this would give the Clean Energy Authority the ability to achieve its mission.
Jaime Howland, Policy Analyst, Environment Northeast (ENE) supports the bill as it changes the planning process move from one year to three years. Recommends changes to Section 51 as the cap ought to be removed. Generally supports Section 56 but has some specific recommendations for changes such as using a statewide system. Supports Section 58-62 as a uniform statewide program is more advantageous than a patchwork approach.
Bruce Redman Becker, President, Becker and Becker Associates he is the architect and developer of 360 State Street in New Haven the largest residential building in the State, as well as the largest LEED Platinum building in Connecticut. He supports the bill with the following modifications removal of cap in Section 54 and adding a provision for sub-metering that would include apartments to be added as part of sub-metering under section 16-19ff Connecticut General Statues.
Don Morrissey, EVP and CFO, Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut, the largest investor-owned water utility in New England serving over 600,000 in 45 cities and towns. Supports the bill. “Authorizing rates for water companies that promote conservation, support investments in infrastructure and decouple authorized revenues from sales volume is preferred approach to the existing model which results in insufficient revenues and is a disincentive to promote conservation.”
UTC Power employs 430 people, design and develop fuel cells for stationary, transportation, space and defense applications. Support the bill Section 34 which increases the project size limit megawatts to 5 megawatts. Recommend eliminating 50MW capacity limitation in the pilot program. “Section 48 includes government buildings enabling virtual net metering increasing Class I energy generation and includes leased facilities but the number of account the host can designate is not productive.” Recommends clarification in Section 48(e) regarding $1MM cap for each EDC rather than the potential amount of credits.
Robert Wesnieski, Avon Water Company supports the bill. This provides incentives for water conversation and generates opportunities for revenue for the company.
Ryan J. Bingham, Mayor, City of Torrington supports the bill with two changes in Section 48 “Customer host means an in-state retail end user of an electric distribution company that owns, leases, or contracts with a third party that owns a virtual net metering facility and participates in virtual metering. They recommend adding “leases, or contracts with a third party that owns for consideration. Also, adding “governmental customer host” to Line #4.
Susan M. Suhanovsky, President of the Torrington Water Company is a private company with approximately 40,000 in five towns. They support Sections 58 to 62. This provides for water companies to provide information regarding rate changes to consumers in a more timely manner, provide information on multi-year rate plans and reducing system water losses.
Elizabeth Gara, Executive Director, Connecticut Water Works Association (CWWA) serves 500,000 and strongly supports Sections 58-62 but does recommend deleting the reference dealing with water conservation because it is duplicative, as it is all ready required by the Department of Public Health.
Robert Neal, President and CEO, Energy PRZ, is a four year old Energy Management and Home Performance Company supports the bill with reservation regarding Section 51 this cap should be removed.
Michael Silvestrini, President, Greenskies Renewable Energy (GRE) is a Middletown based company that has been in existence for four years which develops solar generating facilities. GRE proposes making three amendments to the bill: “1) property and/or generating facility can be owned by a private third-party so long as the beneficial account is a municipal/government account, 2) VNM facilities should be facilities that are part of the SERC/LREC programs, 3) credit valuation to include transmission, delivery and generation charges; the same methodology for calculated conventional net metering.”
Northeast Energy Efficiency Council (NEEC), a business association of the energy efficiency industry supports this bill particularly sections 56 and 57. NEEC still has concern that even with the financing that is available companies will still have a difficult time coming up with their share of the capital for projects.
Martin W. Gitlin, Structured Finance Associates (SFA), LLC is a originator of commercial PACE assessments. SFA is active across the United States including California and Ohio. They are in support of the bill but have the following concerns: 1) that a senior lien is needed otherwise there would be “No PACE Program,” 2) that financiers be allowed to charge a prepayment penalty, and 3) that the program be operated on a system-wide basis than using a decentralized approach.
Eric Brown, Associate Counsel, Connecticut Business & Industry Association (CBIA) serves over 10,000 large and small companies. CBIA supports the bill. They are concerned that water rates are being “arbitrarily” set and that this is an “over manipulation of the marketplace. Enclosed is a report of “Connecticut Utilities – Water Consumption Trends” of four water utilities in Connecticut.
NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:
Brian Misenheimer, Plant Manager, Coca-Cola Refreshments opposes Section 60 as this provides for adjustable water rates based on certain conditions because it would increase production costs and cause the factory to shift production out of state and reduce the number of employees.
Stephen Pelton, Ecosmart Home Services which helped to establish Home Performance Alliance of Connecticut, also serve as training facility. They do not support the section of the bill that deals with the cap, as this restricts revenue and does not promote job creation.
AARP serves individuals age 50 and older with a membership of 600,000. They do not support the bill. AARP is concerned with Section 2 as it eliminates a number of ethics provisions and poses conflict of interest. Also concerned with responsibilities of procurement manager and believes they should be solely to secure electricity. Supports policy division, but believes that PURA “get recommendations from the policy division of DEEP and weigh those recommendations when making a ruling not being bound by the policy division.” Disagrees with Sections 19 & 20 because it shortens the period of time for public comment and changes “hearing” to “meeting”.
Reported by: Richard Ferrari and Laurel Coleman
Date: April 20, 2012