|Senate Counsel & Research||State of Minnesota|
|S.F. No. 2798 - Omnibus Energy Bill (first engrossment)|
|Author:||Senator Ellen R. Anderson|
|Prepared by:||Matthew S. Grosser, Senate Research (651/296-1890)|
|Date:||April 7, 2006|
Section 1 requires each natural gas and electric public utility to submit a monthly report to
the Public Utilities Commission containing aggregated residential customer account information
related to service disconnections. This section also requires the PUC to issue an annual report
summarizing this data.
Section 2 requires the Commissioner of Commerce to operate, or contract to operate, a prepurchase program for delivered home heating fuels.
Section 3 requires utilities providing gas or electric service for residential heat to attempt to contact, beginning no later than September 15 of each year, customers whose service was disconnected the previous heating season to establish payment arrangements or a reconnection plan in order to restore service. The utilities are required to maintain a record of all contacts and attempted contacts, and file an annual report by November 1 of each year with the PUC specifying the number of residential heating customers who remain without service.
Section 4 requires the PUC to establish programs for low-income residential ratepayers. Requires public utilities that serve low-income natural gas heating customers to file an affordability program with the PUC by September 16, 2006.
Sections 5 and 6 specify that the percentage of gross operating revenue utilities, cooperative electrical associations, and municipalities providing electrical service are required to spend on conservation improvements is based upon revenue for the year preceding the filing of a conservation improvement plan with the PUC.
Section 7 changes the energy savings goals into statewide energy savings objectives for all gas and electric energy conservation expenditures, and requires the Commissioner of Commerce to monitor energy conservation programs for success in meeting the objectives and report to the legislature by January 15, 2007. This section requires the Commissioner of Commerce, beginning with calendar year 2008, to establish annual statewide electric and natural gas capacity and energy savings objectives for conservation investment programs in the public interest.
Section 8 modifies provisions for conservation improvement program expenditures for low-income persons, and specifies that utilities providing natural gas service must spend 0.2 percent of their gross operating revenues from residential customers on low-income conservation improvement programs.
Section 9 repeals a current two percent cap on conservation improvement expenditures to accommodate changes made in Section 7.
Section 10 makes renewable energy measures eligible for conservation investment loans, which are made available through the Commissioner of Commerce to municipalities for energy conservation investments.
Section 11 prohibits dealers or distributors of delivered home heating fuels from refusing delivery of available fuel within their normal delivery area to any person who receives low-income home energy assistance grants, is capable of making full payment, and is not in arrears for previous fuel purchases from the dealer or distributor.
Section 12 exempts a 15-megawatt or smaller biomass-fueled electric generation facility in Scott County from the exclusive service right in Minnesota Statutes, section 216B.40, if the facility is located adjacent to an agricultural product processing plant that uses heat from the biomass facility in its production process and if the electricity generated by the biomass facility is primarily used for the operations of the owners of the biomass facility.
Section 13 exempts two wind turbines adjacent to an ethanol plant in Faribault County from the exclusive service right in Minnesota Statutes, section 216B.40, if the electricity generated by the turbines is primarily used for the operations of the ethanol plant. The exclusive service right provides that each electric utility shall have the exclusive right to provide retail electric service to each and every present and future customer in the utility's assigned service territory.
Section 14 permits funds from state energy loan programs for schools, hospitals, and public buildings to be used for energy grants for those entities.
Section 15 requires the Legislative Electric Energy Task Force to study the use of utility rates, including the separation of utility revenues from sales, as an incentive toward conservation.
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