Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

File No. 450

    January Session, 2017

House Bill No. 6304

House of Representatives, April 6, 2017

The Committee on Energy and Technology reported through REP. REED of the 102nd Dist., Chairperson of the Committee on the part of the House, that the bill ought to pass.

AN ACT REQUIRING A STUDY OF THE VIABILITY OF NEW DISTRICT HEATING NETWORKS IN THE STATE.

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

Section 1. (NEW) (Effective July 1, 2017) (a) The Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection shall conduct a study regarding the viability of new district heating networks in the state.

(b) The study conducted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section shall include, but not be limited to, recommendations for financing new district heating networks in the state.

(c) Not later than July 1, 2018, the Commissioner of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, in accordance with section 11-4a of the general statutes, shall report the results of the study conducted pursuant to subsection (a) of this section to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to energy and technology.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 16a-3d of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(a) On or before October 1, 2016, and every three years thereafter, the Commissioner of Energy and Environmental Protection shall prepare a Comprehensive Energy Strategy. Said strategy shall reflect the legislative findings and policy stated in section 16a-35k and shall incorporate (1) an assessment and plan for all energy needs in the state, including, but not limited to, electricity, heating, cooling, and transportation, (2) the findings of the Integrated Resources Plan, (3) the findings of the plan for energy efficiency adopted pursuant to section 16-245m, (4) the findings of the plan for renewable energy adopted pursuant to section 16-245n, and (5) the Energy Assurance Plan developed for the state of Connecticut pursuant to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, P.L. 111-5, or any successor Energy Assurance Plan developed within a reasonable time prior to the preparation of any Comprehensive Energy Strategy. Said strategy shall further include, but not be limited to, (A) an assessment of current energy supplies, demand and costs, (B) identification and evaluation of the factors likely to affect future energy supplies, demand and costs, (C) a statement of progress made toward achieving the goals and milestones set in the preceding Comprehensive Energy Strategy, (D) a statement of energy policies and long-range energy planning objectives and strategies appropriate to achieve, among other things, a sound economy, the least-cost mix of energy supply sources and measures that reduce demand for energy, giving due regard to such factors as consumer price impacts, security and diversity of fuel supplies and energy generating methods, protection of public health and safety, environmental goals and standards, conservation of energy and energy resources and the ability of the state to compete economically, (E) recommendations for administrative and legislative actions to implement such policies, objectives and strategies, (F) an assessment of the potential costs savings and benefits to ratepayers, including, but not limited to, carbon dioxide emissions reductions or voluntary joint ventures to repower some or all of the state's coal-fired and oil-fired generation facilities built before 1990, [and] (G) the benefits, costs, obstacles and solutions related to the expansion and use and availability of natural gas in Connecticut, and (H) beginning with the strategy to be prepared on or before October 1, 2019, and strategies prepared thereafter, a study of the viability of new district heating networks in the state including, but not limited to, recommendations for financing such district heating networks. If the department finds that [such] expansion of the use of natural gas is in the public interest, it shall develop a plan to increase the use and availability of natural gas.

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

Section 1

July 1, 2017

New section

Sec. 2

October 1, 2017

16a-3d(a)

ET

Joint Favorable

 

The following Fiscal Impact Statement and Bill Analysis are prepared for the benefit of the members of the General Assembly, solely for purposes of information, summarization and explanation and do not represent the intent of the General Assembly or either chamber thereof for any purpose. In general, fiscal impacts are based upon a variety of informational sources, including the analyst's professional knowledge. Whenever applicable, agency data is consulted as part of the analysis, however final products do not necessarily reflect an assessment from any specific department.


OFA Fiscal Note

State Impact:

Agency Affected

Fund-Effect

FY 18 $

FY 19 $

Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

CC&PUCF - Cost

30,000

None

Note: CC&PUCF=Consumer Counsel and Public Utility Control Fund

Municipal Impact: None

Explanation

The bill requires the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to conduct a study on the viability of new district heating networks, including recommendations for their financing.

The bill results in a one-time cost estimated to be $30,000 in FY 18, as it is estimated that DEEP will need to hire an outside consultant to compete this study.

The Out Years

There are no ongoing costs, as DEEP must report the study's results to the Energy and Technology Committee by July 1, 2018.

OLR Bill Analysis

HB 6304

AN ACT REQUIRING A STUDY OF THE VIABILITY OF NEW DISTRICT HEATING NETWORKS IN THE STATE.

SUMMARY

This bill requires the energy and environmental protection commissioner to study the viability of new district heating networks in the state, including recommendations for financing them. In general, a district heating network is a network of pipes that carries thermal energy from a central facility (e.g., waste heat from an electric generation facility) to other client buildings. The commissioner must report the study's results to the Energy and Technology Committee by July 1, 2018.

The bill also requires future Comprehensive Energy Strategies (CES) to include studies on the viability of new district heating networks in the state, including recommendations for financing them. The law requires the commissioner to prepare a CES every three years, with the most recent one due by October 1, 2016. (The 2016 CES has not yet been completed). The bill's requirement applies beginning with the CES due by October 1, 2019.

EFFECTIVE DATE: July 1, 2017, except the requirement regarding the CES is effective October 1, 2017.

BACKGROUND

Related Bill

HB 7012, reported favorably by the Energy and Technology Committee, requires the CES to assess the state's progress in reducing energy costs relative to the other New England states, New York, and New Jersey.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Energy and Technology Committee

Joint Favorable

Yea

24

Nay

0

(03/21/2017)

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