Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 1101

January Session, 2009

 

LCO No. 4483

 

*04483_______ET_*

Referred to Committee on Energy and Technology

 

Introduced by:

 

(ET)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING COORDINATION OF LOW-INCOME ENERGY PROGRAMS.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective from passage) (a) On or before June 30, 2010, the Department of Public Utility Control shall conduct a contested case proceeding regarding development of discounted rates for service provided by gas and electric distribution companies to low-income customers. Such proceeding shall include, but not be limited to, review of the current and future availability of rate discounts for individuals who receive means-tested assistance administered by the state or federal government through any electricity purchasing pool operated by the Office of Policy and Management pursuant to section 16a-14e of the general statutes, energy assistance benefits available through any plan adopted pursuant to section 16a-41a of the general statutes or through state funded or administered programs, conservation assistance available pursuant to sections 16-245m and 16-32f of the general statutes, assistance funded or administered by the Department of Social Services or the Office of Policy and Management, renewable energy resource assistance available pursuant to section 16-245n of the general statutes, or matching payment program benefits available pursuant to subsection (b) of section 16-262c of the general statutes. The department shall (1) coordinate resources and programs, to the extent practicable; (2) develop rates that take into account the indigency of persons of poverty status and allow such households to meet the costs of essential energy needs; and (3) prepare an analysis of the benefits and anticipated costs of such discounted rates.

(b) The department shall order filing by each gas or electric company of proposed rates consistent with its decision pursuant to subsection (a) of this section not later than sixty days after its issuance and appropriate modification of existing low-income programs, including the matching payment program. Each company shall conduct outreach to make its low-income discounted rates available to eligible customers and report to the department at least annually regarding its outreach activities and the results of such activities.

(c) The cost of discounted rates and related outreach activities pursuant to this section shall be included in the rates charged to all other customers as follows: (1) An electric distribution company shall recover such costs through the systems benefits charge on a semiannual basis, and (2) a gas company shall recover such costs on a semiannual basis through a public benefits charge developed and approved by the department.

(d) On or before July 1, 2011, the department shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy regarding the benefits and costs of the discounted rates established pursuant to subsection (a) of this section and any recommended modifications.

(e) The department shall adopt regulations, in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54 of the general statutes, to implement the provisions of this section.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

from passage

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To establish a low-income discount rate for gas and electric customers.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]