Energy Efficiency Trust Statement

Energy Efficiency Trust Statement SSL Draft

Summary:

According to The Council of State Governments Eastern Regional Conference staff, this Act generally creates an "Efficiency Trust" to develop funding sources to pay to weatherize all residential buildings and half of commercial buildings in the state by 2030, which is in line with the state‘s greenhouse-gas reduction goals.

This trust will pay for programs to promote energy efficiency and increased use of alternative energy resources in the state. It defines"alternative energy resources" as "nonfossil fuel energy resources, including, but not limited to, biomass, wood, wood pellets and solar, wind or geothermal resources."

The Act directs the trust‘s governing board to deliver a detailed, triennial, energy efficiency, alternative energy resources, and conservation plan that includes the quantifiable measures of performance. The triennial plan must provide integrated planning, program design and implementation strategies for all energy efficiency, alternative energy resources, and conservation programs administered by the trust. It is an objective of the triennial plan to design, coordinate, and integrate sustained energy efficiency and weatherization programs that are available to all energy consumers in the state, regardless of fuel type, that advance the following targets:

  • weatherizing 100% of residences and 50% of businesses by 2030;
  • reducing peak-load electric energy consumption by 100 megawatts by 2020;
  • reducing the state's consumption of liquid fossil fuels by at least 30% by 2030;
  • by 2020, achieving electricity and natural gas savings of at least 30% and heating fuel savings of at least 20% as defined in and determined pursuant to the measures of performance ratified by the commission under section 10120;
  • capturing all cost-effective energy efficiency resources available for electric and natural gas utility ratepayers;
  • saving residential and commercial heating consumers not less than $3 for every $1 of program funds invested by 2020 in cost-effective heating and cooling measures that cost less than conventional energy supply;
  • building stable private sector jobs providing clean energy and energy efficiency products and services in the state by 2020; and
  • reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the heating and cooling of buildings in the state by amounts consistent with the state‘s goals.

The trust shall preserve when possible and appropriate the opportunity for carbon emission reductions to be monetized and sold into a voluntary carbon market. Any program of the trust that supports weatherization of buildings must be voluntary and may not constitute a mandate that would prevent the sale of emission reductions generated through weatherization measures into a voluntary carbon market.

The Act directs the trust board to develop quantifiable measures of performance for all programs it administers and to which it will hold accountable all recipients of funding from the trust and recipients of funds used to deliver energy efficiency and weatherization programs administered or funded by the trust. Such measures may include, but are not limited to, reduced energy consumption, increased use of alternative energy resources, reduced capacity demand for natural gas, electricity and fossil fuels, reduced carbon dioxide emissions, program and overhead costs and cost-effectiveness, the number of new jobs created by the award of trust funds, the number of energy efficiency trainings or certification courses completed and the amount of sales generated.

The Act directs the Efficiency Trust board to arrange for independent evaluations of each major program implemented under the Act at least once every 5 years. The evaluations must include an accounting audit of the program and an evaluation of the program's effectiveness in meeting the goals of this section. The evaluations must be conducted by a competent professional with expertise in energy efficiency matters, including the management of cost-effective energy efficiency programs. It defines"major programs" as programs with an annual budget of more than $500,000.

This Act establishes a Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Trust Fund to support the goals and implementation of a carbon dioxide cap-and-trade program established under other state law. The Act authorizes this Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Trust Fund to receive and spend revenue resulting from the sale of carbon dioxide allowances under state law and any forward capacity market or other capacity payments from the regional transmission organization that may be attributable to projects funded by the trust.

Submitted as:
Maine
Public Law, Chapter 372, LD 1485

Status: Enacted into law in 2009.

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