Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

Amendment

 

February Session, 2012

LCO No. 5599

   
 

*HB0527105599SDO*

Offered by:

 

SEN. FONFARA, 1st Dist.

 

To: Subst. House Bill No. 5271

File No. 55

Cal. No. 459

After the last section, add the following and renumber sections and internal references accordingly:

"Sec. 501. Section 16a-46h of the 2012 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) Each electric, gas or heating fuel customer, regardless of heating source, shall be assessed [the same] fees, charges, co-pays or other similar terms to access any audits administered by the Home Energy Solutions program [, 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] that reflect the contributions made to the Energy Efficiency Fund by each such customer's respective customer type, provided such fees, charges, copays and other similar terms shall not exceed a total of ninety-nine dollars for any such audit.

(b) After August 1, 2013, 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.

Sec. 502. Section 16-243v of the general statutes is amended by adding subsection (k) as follows (Effective from passage):

(NEW) (k) (1) As used in this subsection:

(A) "Eligible residential customer" means any residential customer of an electric distribution company, as defined in section 16-1, with an ownership interest in such customer's dwelling; and

(B) "Program loan" means any loan approved by an electric distribution company pursuant to this subsection that is funded by the systems benefits charge as a program under the Connecticut electric efficiency partner program established pursuant to this section.

(2) On or before July 1, 2012, each electric distribution company shall establish and administer a residential customer heating furnace and boiler and electric heating system equipment replacement and augmentation program to assist eligible residential customers in financing the replacement or augmentation of any heating furnace or boiler or electric heating system equipment for any such customer's dwelling or dwelling unit. On or before July 1, 2012, each such company shall apply to the authority for initial funding of such program. Each such company shall establish program requirements necessary for approval of any loan issued pursuant to such program, including requirements that:

(A) The total projected direct cost savings to any eligible residential customer resulting from the replacement or augmentation of any heating furnace, boiler or electric heating system equipment, or any associated component of such electric heating system, including ductless heat pumps, which shall be calculated on an annual basis commencing from the month that such replacement or augmented furnace, boiler or electric heating system equipment is projected to be in service, shall be greater than the total cost of the financing over the term of the program loan;

(B) The program loan shall not exceed ninety per cent of the total installed cost of the replacement or augmented heating furnace, boiler or electric heating system equipment;

(C) The term of any program loan is the lesser of (i) the simple payback of the program loan plus two years, or (ii) twelve years, provided for any eligible residential customer converting from electric heating system equipment to a heating furnace or boiler the term of any program loan may be not more than twenty years if such conversion, as determined by such company, is more suitable than the installation of ductless heat pumps;

(D) The efficiency rating of any replacement furnace, boiler or electric heating system equipment financed pursuant to this subsection shall meet or exceed federal Energy Star standards and each such company shall inform each applicant of any incentive available to defray the cost of equipment that exceeds such standards;

(E) Any program loan to an eligible residential customer converting from electric heating equipment to a heating furnace or boiler may include the cost of any infrastructure upgrades necessary for use of such furnace or boiler, provided the total amount of such program loan does not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars;

(F) Each applicant shall have a Home Energy Solutions or Home Energy Solutions Income Eligible audit performed at such applicant's home not more than twenty-four months prior to the approval of any program loan, except such audit may be performed after the approval of such loan if such applicant's heating system is not operational. Any program loan may include the cost of the purchase and installation of insulation recommended in such audit but shall not cover the cost of any benefit or service available to such applicant for no charge through the Home Energy Solutions or Home Energy Solutions Income Eligible programs; and

(G) The total amount of new program loans and administrative costs of the program shall not exceed thirty million dollars in any calendar year.

(3) Any eligible residential customer may apply to the customer's electric distribution company to participate in such program. Such company shall only approve applications that meet the approved program requirements established pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection. Such company shall develop requirements for the credit worthiness and eligibility of applicants to such program and shall submit such requirements to the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection for approval prior to initiating any such program. Such company shall seek to maximize, to the extent practicable, participation in the program.

(4) Each eligible residential customer participating in such program shall enter into a contract to repay the program loan through a monthly charge on such customer's electric bill. Such program loan repayment shall include the principal payment and the loan carrying cost fee. Such carrying cost fee shall be one per cent of the total loan amount. Any program loan repayment shall be credited to the systems benefits charge. Any reasonable and prudent cost incurred by an electric distribution company administering such program shall be recovered through the systems benefits charge. The cost of covering any program loan that is not fully repaid by any such customer shall be considered a cost incurred by such company in administering such program.

(5) Each eligible residential retail end use customer participating in such program who defaults on any program loan shall be subject to termination of electric service by the electric distribution company administering the program, provided such termination of service does not violate any provision of section 16-262c, except such termination shall not apply to (1) any customer with a household member who is at least sixty years old and whose income and assets do not exceed the limits for eligibility in any energy assistance program administered pursuant to section 16-41a, or (2) any customer that rents such customer's dwelling.

(6) Any program loan shall be included in the program loan recipient's residential electric service account for the premises on which any replacement furnace, boiler or electric heating system component is located and shall be transferable to subsequent electric service account holders, provided any such subsequent electric service account holder, prior to contracting to acquire the premises, has written notice of such loan, in language such subsequent account holder understands, that meets the plain language standards of section 42-152, and includes the following information: (A) That such subsequent account holder is liable for the loan during such subsequent account holder's occupancy of the premises, (B) the amount of monthly loan payments, (C) that the loan shall be collected through a monthly electric bill specifying the month the loan is to be repaid, (D) that the loan payment is in addition to any charges for electric service, and (E) that failure to make any monthly loan payment may result in termination of electric service, except if (i) such subsequent account holder has a household member who is at least sixty years old and a household income and assets that do not exceed the limits for eligibility for any energy assistance program administered pursuant to section 16a-41a, or (ii) such subsequent account holder is renting the premises. Each electric distribution company shall be entitled to take such action as required to secure the amount of a program loan, including, but not limited to, attaching liens and requiring filings to be made on applicable land records or as otherwise necessary or required.

(7) For the purpose of any energy assistance program administered pursuant to section 16a-41a, a loan recipient's monthly loan obligations under the program administered pursuant to this subsection shall be considered (A) primary heat deliverable fuel costs if such recipient's household's primary heat source is a deliverable fuel, or (B) the cost of primary heat utility service if such recipient's household's primary heat source is provided by an electric distribution or gas company, and shall be eligible for benefit coverage. If such loan recipient's primary heating source is provided by a gas company or a deliverable fuel source, such loan recipient shall determine the portion of any energy assistance basic benefit to be applied to such loan recipient's electric bill for loan repayment and the portion to be applied to such loan recipient's primary heating source provider. If a loan recipient's primary heating source is provided by a gas company, the energy assistance program administrator shall notify such company of the amount of energy assistance basic benefit applied to such loan recipient's electric distribution company for loan repayment and such electric distribution company shall notify such gas company of any payment made by or on behalf of such gas customer that is applied to the loan repayment.

(8) For the purpose of any electric distribution company or gas company payment program deduction for any program administered pursuant to subdivision (4), (5) or (6) of subsection (b) of section 16-262c, any monthly loan payment made under the loan program established pursuant to this subsection shall be considered an energy assistance payment made to the company providing the primary heating source to such loan recipient. "

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

Sec. 501

from passage

16a-46h

Sec. 502

from passage

16-243v