Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Committee Bill No. 570

January Session, 2015

 

LCO No. 5657

 

*05657SB00570ET_*

Referred to Committee on ENERGY AND TECHNOLOGY

 

Introduced by:

 

(ET)

 

AN ACT CONCERNING ELECTRIC FIXED BILL FEES AND GRID MODERNIZATION.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015) (a) As used in this section:

(1) "Residential fixed charge" means any (A) fixed charge for distribution basic service, (B) distribution customer service charge, (C) customer charge, (D) basic service fee, (E) demand charge, or (F) other fixed charge, which is separate and distinct from any distribution charge per kilowatt-hour.

(2) "Electric distribution company" has the same meaning as provided in section 16-1 of the general statutes, as amended by this act.

(b) The Public Utilities Regulatory Authority shall adjust each electric distribution company's residential fixed charge upon such company's filing with the authority an amendment of rate schedules pursuant to section 16-19 of the general statutes, to not more than ten dollars per monthly billing cycle. Once adjusted, the residential fixed charge shall not exceed ten dollars per billing cycle. The authority shall not adjust a company's residential fixed charge to an amount that exceeds ten dollars per billing cycle in any rate case thereafter.

(c) On or after October 1, 2025, the authority shall initiate a docket proceeding to investigate whether to eliminate the residential fixed charge or to adjust the residential fixed charge to an amount exceeding ten dollars per monthly billing cycle. On or before January 1, 2026, the authority shall report, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, the results of such proceeding to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 16-1 of the general statutes is amended by adding subdivisions (48) and (49) as follows (Effective July 1, 2015):

(NEW) (48) "Distributed energy resource" means any zero-emission customer-side distributed resource, demand response, end user energy efficiency and conservation measure, combined heat and power system, thermal energy generated by a thermal energy transportation company, distributed intelligence, microgrid or energy storage device, including but not limited to, a battery, flywheel or electric vehicle.

(NEW) (49) "Energy storage device" means any technology used to store electric energy including, but not limited to, a conventional battery, advanced battery, flywheel, electric vehicle, electrochemical capacitor, superconducting magnetic energy storage, power electronics or control system.

Sec. 3. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015) (a) Not later than August 1, 2015, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall conduct a public information meeting and hear public comments regarding methods to: (1) Analyze the costs and benefits that different distributed energy resources, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, provide to the electric distribution companies and ratepayers; (2) account for such costs and benefits; and (3) implement changes to the regulation of electric distribution companies that conform electric rate and revenue structures to state energy policy.

(b) The Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall submit a report, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes, to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy on the commissioner's findings from such public information meeting. The commissioner may initiate additional proceedings if the commissioner determines that substantial changes are necessary to properly account for the costs and benefits of distributed energy resources.

Sec. 4. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015) (a) Notwithstanding subsection (a) of section 16-244e of the general statutes, each electric distribution company, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, may, in consultation with the Connecticut Green Bank, submit a proposal to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection to build, own or operate facilities, devices, services or technologies, including, but not limited to, energy storage devices, as defined in section 16-1, of the general statutes, as amended by this act, for the purpose of demonstrating and investigating how distributed energy resources, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, can be reliably and efficiently integrated into the operation of the electric distribution system in a manner that maximizes the value provided to the electric distribution company, its ratepayers and society from such resources.

(b) The department shall, in consultation with the Connecticut Green Bank, evaluate such proposals and may approve such proposals, provided the net cost of all department approved proposals, in the aggregate, do not exceed five million dollars.

(c) Each electric distribution company may enter into joint ownership agreements, partnerships or other contractual agreements for services with private entities to carry out the provisions of this section.

(d) Not later than July 1, 2016, the department shall evaluate such approved proposals pursuant to this section and submit a report, in accordance with the provisions of 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 performance, costs and benefits associated with the facilities, devices, services or technologies procured pursuant to this section.

Sec. 5. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015) (a) Not later than August 1, 2015, each electric distribution company, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, shall submit to the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection a protocol for regularly disclosing to the public, electric distribution company circuit maps, based on season and time of day, information regarding areas of electric distribution system need, including locations of actual or projected conditions, including, but not limited to, congestion, increased demand or increased need for operational flexibility due to the interconnection of customer-side distributed resources, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and any other information deemed relevant by the commissioner. Such protocol shall include:

(1) Appropriate protections for consumer privacy and for safeguarding the security of electric distribution company assets; and

(2) A methodology to designate areas of electric distribution system need.

(b) Not later than December 1, 2015, the commissioner shall conduct a proceeding to review, approve or modify such protocol, providing opportunity for public review and comment on such protocol.

(c) Not later than January 1, 2016, and each successive year thereafter, each electric distribution company shall make available to the public, information regarding areas of electric distribution system need in accordance with the company's protocol approved by the commissioner pursuant to this section.

Sec. 6. Subsection (a) of section 16-244r of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(a) Commencing on January 1, 2012, and within the period established in subsection (a) of section 16-244s, each electric distribution company shall solicit and file with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority for its approval one or more long-term contracts with owners or developers of Class I generation projects that emit no pollutants and that are less than one thousand kilowatts in size, located on the customer side of the revenue meter and serve the distribution system of the electric distribution company. In conducting such solicitation, each electric distribution company shall give preference to projects located in areas of electric distribution system need, as designated by the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection pursuant to section 5 of this act. The authority may give a preference to contracts for technologies manufactured, researched or developed in the state.

Sec. 7. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2015) (a) Not later than October 1, 2015, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall initiate an uncontested proceeding or proceedings to (1) determine the net value that distributed energy resources, as defined in section 16-1 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, provide to electric distribution companies, ratepayers and society; and (2) consider whether to establish a methodology to credit the owners of such distributed energy resource.

(b) In determining the value of distributed energy resources in a proceeding initiated pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner shall consider the costs and benefits associated with the following factors: (1) Energy; (2) capacity; (3) grid support services; (4) financial risk; (5) reliability; (6) resiliency; (7) environmental attributes; (8) social values; and (9) any other factors deemed relevant by the commissioner.

(c) Not less than sixty days prior to convening an uncontested proceeding initiated pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner shall convene a meeting with interested stakeholders to determine the scope of distributed energy resources to be evaluated at such proceeding and any other issues the commissioner deems relevant. Prior to convening any uncontested proceeding initiated pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner shall conduct not less than one public meeting and one technical meeting where technical personnel shall be made available to respond to questions.

(1) Not less than fifteen days prior to convening a public or technical meeting, such commissioner shall publish notice of such meeting. Such notice shall disclose the commissioner's proposed recommendations regarding the net value of such distributed energy resource, time period for public comment and the time, date and location of such meeting.

(2) The commissioner shall make proposed recommendations available for public comment for a period of not less than thirty days prior to any proceeding conducted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section. The commissioner shall fully consider all oral and written public comments concerning the proposed valuation methodology for such distributed energy resource before issuing the final valuation methodology. The testimony, public comments and remarks made at such proceeding and at such public and technical meetings shall be transcribed and made available on the department's Internet web site.

(d) If at the conclusion of any proceeding conducted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section, the commissioner establishes a valuation methodology for a distributed energy resource, the commissioner may:

(1) Direct each electric distribution company to provide a tariff to owners of such distributed energy resource. Not later than the department publishes such final valuation methodology, each electric distribution company shall file such tariff for approval with the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. Such tariff shall include, but not be limited to, new qualifying facilities for virtual net metering pursuant to section 16-244u of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and net metering pursuant to section 16-243h of the general statutes, as amended by this act; and

(2) Update the final valuation methodology as needed and require each electric distribution company to revise such tariff in accordance with such update.

Sec. 8. Subsection (b) of section 16-244u of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

(b) Each electric distribution company shall provide virtual net metering to its municipal, state or agricultural customer hosts and shall make any necessary interconnections for a virtual net metering facility or an agricultural virtual net metering facility. Upon request by a municipal, state or agricultural customer host to implement the provisions of this section, an electric distribution company shall install metering equipment, if necessary. For each municipal, state or agricultural customer host, such metering equipment shall (1) measure electricity consumed from the electric distribution company's facilities; (2) deduct the amount of electricity produced but not consumed; and (3) register, for each monthly billing period, the net amount of electricity produced and, if applicable, consumed. If, in a given monthly billing period, a municipal, state or agricultural customer host supplies more electricity to the electric distribution system than the electric distribution company delivers to the municipal, state or agricultural customer host, the electric distribution company shall bill the municipal, state or agricultural customer host for zero kilowatt hours of generation and assign a virtual net metering credit to the municipal, state or agricultural customer host's beneficial accounts for the next monthly billing period. Such credit shall be applied against the generation service component and a declining percentage of the transmission and distribution charges billed to the beneficial accounts. Such credit shall be allocated among such accounts in proportion to their consumption for the previous twelve billing periods for a customer host implementing virtual net metering under this section on or before the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection establishes a final methodology and each electric distribution company implements a tariff pursuant to section 7 of this act. For any new customer host qualifying under this section, such virtual net metering credit shall be established by such commissioner pursuant to section 7 of this act.

Sec. 9. Section 16-243h of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective July 1, 2015):

On and after January 1, 2000, each electric supplier or any electric distribution company providing standard offer, transitional standard offer, standard service or back-up electric generation service, pursuant to section 16-244c, shall give a credit for any electricity generated by a customer from a Class I renewable energy source or a hydropower facility that has a nameplate capacity rating of two megawatts or less. The electric distribution company providing electric distribution services to such a customer shall make such interconnections necessary to accomplish such purpose. An electric distribution company, at the request of any residential customer served by such company and if necessary to implement the provisions of this section, shall provide for the installation of metering equipment that (1) measures electricity consumed by such customer from the facilities of the electric distribution company, (2) deducts from the measurement the amount of electricity produced by the customer and not consumed by the customer, and (3) registers, for each billing period, the net amount of electricity either (A) consumed and produced by the customer, or (B) the net amount of electricity produced by the customer. If, in a given monthly billing period, a customer-generator supplies more electricity to the electric distribution system than the electric distribution company or electric supplier delivers to the customer-generator, the electric distribution company or electric supplier shall credit the customer-generator for the excess by reducing the customer-generator's bill for the next monthly billing period to compensate for the excess electricity from the customer-generator in the previous billing period at a rate of one kilowatt-hour for one kilowatt-hour produced. The electric distribution company or electric supplier shall carry over the credits earned from monthly billing period to monthly billing period, and the credits shall accumulate until the end of the annualized period. At the end of each annualized period, the electric distribution company or electric supplier shall compensate the customer-generator for any excess kilowatt-hours generated, at the avoided cost of wholesale power for a customer implementing net metering under this section on or before the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection establishes a final valuation methodology and each electric distribution company implements a tariff pursuant to section 7 of this act. For any new source or facility qualifying under this section, the electric distribution company or electric supplier shall compensate the customer-generator at a rate established by the commissioner pursuant to section 7 of this act. A customer who generates electricity from a generating unit with a nameplate capacity of more than ten kilowatts of electricity pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be assessed for the competitive transition assessment, pursuant to section 16-245g and the systems benefits charge, pursuant to section 16-245l, based on the amount of electricity consumed by the customer from the facilities of the electric distribution company without netting any electricity produced by the customer. For purposes of this section, "residential customer" means a customer of a single-family dwelling or multifamily dwelling consisting of two to four units.

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

Section 1

July 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 2

July 1, 2015

16-1(a)

Sec. 3

July 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 4

July 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 5

July 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 6

July 1, 2015

16-244r(a)

Sec. 7

July 1, 2015

New section

Sec. 8

July 1, 2015

16-244u(b)

Sec. 9

July 1, 2015

16-243h

Statement of Purpose:

To modernize the electric grid, create a methodology to value distributed energy resources, initiate a distributed energy resource grid integration pilot program, compel the public disclosure of the circuit map of the electric distribution system, alleviate areas of electric distribution system congestion, promote and incentivize the conservation of electricity and provide associated savings to ratepayers by reducing and capping the electric distribution companies' residential fixed charge.

[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.]

Co-Sponsors:

SEN. LOONEY, 11th Dist.; SEN. DUFF, 25th Dist.

SEN. BARTOLOMEO, 13th Dist.; SEN. CASSANO, 4th Dist.

SEN. COLEMAN, 2nd Dist.; SEN. CRISCO, 17th Dist.

SEN. FLEXER, 29th Dist.; SEN. GERRATANA, 6th Dist.

SEN. MOORE, 22nd Dist.; SEN. OSTEN, 19th Dist.

SEN. WINFIELD, 10th Dist.; REP. WILLIS, 64th Dist.

REP. MILLER, 36th Dist.; REP. ZONI, 81st Dist.

REP. CONROY, 105th Dist.

S.B. 570