OLR Bill Analysis

sSB 334

AN ACT CONCERNING MUNICIPAL AND STATE COMPETITIVE PROCUREMENT OF ELECTRICITY, NATURAL GAS, RENEWABLE ENERGY AND OTHER ENERGY-RELATED PRODUCTS BY NONPROFIT ENERGY BUYING CONSORTIA.

SUMMARY

This bill generally allows governmental entities to participate in a competitively procured program to purchase energy-related products (e.g., electricity, natural gas, solar, and renewable energy) through a nonprofit energy buying consortium, or its subsidiaries.

Under the bill, a consortium is a 501(c) tax-exempt nonprofit organization that aggregates participating buyers and procures energy-related products on their behalf. Participating buyers may include various governmental entities, such as state or municipal agencies and the executive, legislative, and judicial branches, among others. But the bill prohibits participating buyers located in communities served by a municipal electric utility from purchasing electricity, electricity-related products, or renewable energy (presumably, through the program).

Additionally, the bill:

1. establishes requirements for competitively procured programs;

2. exempts procurements made through these programs from municipal and state competitive bidding requirements; and

3. specifies that its provisions supersede any municipal ordinance or general or special law that would otherwise preclude a participating buyer from participating in or becoming a member of such a program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2018

COMPETITIVELY PROCURED PROGRAMS

Participating Buyers

The bill permits the following entities to participate in or become a member of a competitively procured program:

1. state or municipal agencies, executive offices, departments, boards, commissions, bureaus, divisions, or authorities;

2. the state's executive, legislative, or judicial branches and its political subdivisions; or

3. any authority the legislature established to serve a public purpose.

Notification Requirements

Under the bill, a nonprofit energy buying consortium must publish notice of any procurement that is part of a competitively procured program, and may do so in a newspaper with general circulation in Connecticut. The consortium must publish the notice:

1. at least 15 days before the procurement,

2. in a display form that notifies the public of the procurement in print no smaller than 10 point type size, and

3. on its website.

Evaluation Criteria and Best Value Standards

The bill requires competitively procured programs to contain clear evaluation criteria and meet a best value standard, which may include considering factors other than price that have a significant impact on cost, including:

1. provisions regarding change in use or change in law,

2. the supplier's financial strength,

3. customer service availability, and

4. the supplier's ability to serve the customer base.

COMMITTEE ACTION

Energy and Technology Committee

Joint Favorable Substitute

Yea

21

Nay

4

(03/29/2018)