Maine LD 1651: An Act To Exempt Certain Natural Gas Consumers from an Assessment and To Extend a Moratorium on Assessments for Other Large-volume Consumers of Natural Gas

LD 1651 (subjects: GAS UTILITIES , NATURAL GAS )

Official bill page at mainelegislature.org: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?ld=1651&PID=1456&snum=127


Sponsors | Actions | Bill Text | Patterns of Support


Sponsors

Principal Sponsor: Rep. Mark Dion of Portland: (D – District 43) — e-mail | Twitter

0 Cosponsors:

Actions

Chamber

Action
3/15/2016 House Reported by Representative DION for the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology pursuant to Resolve 2015, chapter 39, section 2.
Report was READ and ACCEPTED.
The Bill was READ ONCE.
Under suspension of the rules, the Bill was given its SECOND READING without REFERENCE to the Committee on Bills in the Second Reading.
The Bill was PASSED TO BE ENGROSSED.
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
3/16/2016 Senate Report READ and ACCEPTED, in concurrence.
READ ONCE.
Under suspension of the Rules, READ TWICE and PASSED TO BE ENGROSSED in concurrence
3/17/2016 House PASSED TO BE ENACTED.
Sent for concurrence. ORDERED SENT FORTHWITH.
3/22/2016 Senate PASSED TO BE ENACTED, in concurrence.

Bill Text

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An Act To Exempt Certain Natural Gas Consumers from an Assessment and To Extend a Moratorium on Assessments for Other Large-volume Consumers of Natural Gas

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA 10111, sub- 2, as amended by PL 2013, c. 369, Pt. A, 25, is further amended to read:

2. Funding level. The natural gas conservation fund, which is a nonlapsing fund, is established to carry out the purposes of this section. The commission shall assess each gas utility, in accordance with the triennial plan, an amount necessary to capture all cost-effective energy efficiency that is achievable and reliable for those consumers who are eligible to receive funds from the natural gas conservation fund. All amounts collected under this subsection must be transferred to the natural gas conservation fund. Any interest on funds in the fund must be credited to the fund. Funds not spent in any fiscal year remain in the fund to be used for the purposes of this section.

The assessments charged to gas utilities under this section are just and reasonable costs for rate-making purposes and must be reflected in the rates of gas utilities.

All funds collected pursuant to this section are collected under the authority and for the purposes of this section and are deemed to be held in trust for the purposes of benefiting natural gas consumers served by the gas utilities assessed under this subsection. In the event funds are not expended or contracted for expenditure within 2 years of being collected from consumers, the commission shall ensure that the value of those funds is returned to consumers.

Rules adopted by the commission under this subsection are routine technical rules as defined in Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A.

Sec. 2. 35-A MRSA 10111, sub- 2-A is enacted to read:

2-A. Exemption. A wholesale electricity-generating facility that has a nameplate capacity of 3 megawatts or greater is not eligible to participate in any natural gas conservation program under this section. The commission may not allow a gas utility to collect an assessment under this section through its rates from a wholesale electricity-generating facility that has a nameplate capacity of 3 megawatts or greater.

Sec. 3. Moratorium on assessments by gas utilities on large-volume consumers. Notwithstanding the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 10111, until 90 days after the adjournment of the First Regular Session of the 128th Legislature:

1. Large-volume consumers of a gas utility are not eligible to participate in any Efficiency Maine Trust natural gas conservation programs;

2. The Public Utilities Commission may not allow a gas utility to collect an assessment under Title 35-A, section 10111 through its rates from large-volume consumers and may not make a final decision regarding the appropriateness of or size of such collections from large-volume consumers; and

3. The Public Utilities Commission may not order or authorize a gas utility assessed under Title 35-A, section 10111 to exempt any consumers other than large-volume consumers and those consumers exempted under Title 35-A, section 10111, subsection 2-A from the collection of that assessment through its rates.

Prior to 90 days after the adjournment of the First Regular Session of the 128th Legislature, any assessment by the Public Utilities Commission under Title 35-A, section 10111 must be in an amount necessary to capture all cost-effective energy efficiency that is achievable and reliable only for consumers who are not exempt under Title 35-A, section 10111, subsection 2-A or under this section.

For the purposes of this section, “large-volume consumer” means a consumer of a gas utility that uses 1,000,000 centum cubic feet or more of natural gas per year.

SUMMARY

This bill is reported out by the Joint Standing Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology pursuant to Resolve 2015, chapter 39, section 2. It prohibits the Public Utilities Commission from allowing a gas utility to collect an assessment under the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 35-A, section 10111 through its rates from a wholesale electricity-generating facility that has a nameplate capacity of 3 megawatts or more and prohibits such a facility from participating in any natural gas conservation program. The bill also establishes a moratorium on assessments for large-volume consumers by gas utilities until 90 days after the adjournment of the First Regular Session of the 128th Legislature. This bill specifies that the Public Utilities Commission may not allow a natural gas utility to collect an assessment under Title 35-A, section 10111 through its rates from large-volume consumers and may not make a final decision regarding the appropriateness of or size of such collections from large-volume consumers. The bill specifies that the Public Utilities Commission may not order or authorize a natural gas utility to exempt from collection of an assessment through its rates any consumers other than large-volume consumers. The bill specifies that, during this same time period, large-volume consumers are not eligible to participate in any Efficiency Maine Trust natural gas conservation programs. This bill also ensures that any assessment by the commission under Title 35-A, section 10111 must be in an amount necessary to capture all cost-effective energy efficiency that is achievable and reliable only for consumers who are not exempt under Title 35-A, section 10111, subsection 2-A, or who are not large-volume consumers, until 90 days after adjournment of the First Regular Session of the 128th Legislature.

This bill defines “large-volume consumer” as a consumer using 1,000,000 centum cubic feet or more of natural gas per year.

Patterns of Support

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Region:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Gender:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Party:

Pattern of Cosponsorship by Campaign Finance Classification:

Note: Maine Clean Elections Act (MCEA) Qualified candidates only accept a small dollar value of initial contributions early in their campaigns, pledge not to accept further campaign contributions from private sources, and receive public funding for their campaigns. MCEA Non-Qualified candidates choose not to obtain public funding and instead are free to accept campaign contributions from individuals, party committees, political action committees and business sources.


This information about LD 1651 was last updated on 2016-05-13.
The Open Maine Politics website is in a beta release and results should not be taken as definitive. Please visit the official website of the Maine State Legislature for entirely verifiable information.

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