Bill Text: TX HB775 | 2013-2014 | 83rd Legislature | Introduced


Bill Title: Relating to using the system benefit fund for the support of certain programs for low-income electric customers.

Status: (Introduced - Dead) 2013-03-11 - Left pending in subcommittee [HB775 Detail]

Download: Texas-2013-HB775-Introduced.html
  83R2307 JJT-D
 
  By: Guillen H.B. No. 775
 
 
 
A BILL TO BE ENTITLED
 
AN ACT
  relating to using the system benefit fund for the support of certain
  programs for low-income electric customers.
         BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS:
         SECTION 1.  Section 39.903, Utilities Code, is amended by
  amending Subsections (e) and (f) and adding Subsection (e-1) to
  read as follows:
         (e)  Money in the system benefit fund may be appropriated to
  provide funding [solely] for the following regulatory purposes[, in
  the following order of priority]:
               (1)  programs to:
                     (A)  assist low-income electric customers by
  providing the 10 percent reduced rate prescribed by Subsection (h);
  and
                     (B)  provide one-time bill payment assistance to
  electric customers who are or who have in their households one or
  more seriously ill or disabled low-income persons and who have been
  threatened with disconnection for nonpayment;
               (2)  customer education programs, administrative
  expenses incurred by the commission in implementing and
  administering this chapter, and expenses incurred by the office
  under this chapter;
               (3)  programs to assist low-income electric customers
  by providing the targeted energy efficiency programs described by
  Subsection (f)(2);
               (4)  programs to assist low-income electric customers
  by providing the 20 percent reduced rate prescribed by Subsection
  (h); and
               (5)  reimbursement to the commission and the Health and
  Human Services Commission for expenses incurred in the
  implementation and administration of an integrated eligibility
  process created under Section 17.007 for customer service discounts
  relating to retail electric service, including outreach expenses
  the commission determines are reasonable and necessary.
         (e-1)  After deducting amounts allocated to pay for
  activities under Subsection (e)(2), the remaining appropriations
  to the commission from the system benefit fund must be allocated so
  that:
               (1)  75 percent is used for the purposes of Subsections
  (e)(1)(A) and (e)(4);
               (2)  at least 20 percent is used for the purposes of
  Subsection (e)(3); and
               (3)  not more than 5 percent is used for the purposes of
  Subsection (e)(1)(B).
         (f)  Notwithstanding Section 39.106(b), the commission shall
  adopt rules regarding programs to assist low-income electric
  customers on the introduction of customer choice. The programs may
  not be targeted to areas served by municipally owned utilities or
  electric cooperatives that have not adopted customer choice. The
  programs shall include:
               (1)  reduced electric rates as provided by Subsections
  (h)-(l); and
               (2)  targeted [energy efficiency] programs to be
  administered by the Texas Department of Housing and Community
  Affairs in coordination with existing weatherization programs,
  including energy efficiency programs, insulation programs, home
  energy audit programs, modifications to home appliances or heating
  or cooling systems, and programs described by Section 2306.0975,
  Government Code.
         SECTION 2.  Subchapter E, Chapter 2306, Government Code, is
  amended by adding Section 2306.0975 to read as follows:
         Sec. 2306.0975.  CREDIT-ENHANCED LOANS TO BENEFIT
  LOW-INCOME ELECTRIC CUSTOMERS.  (a)  The department shall establish
  one or more credit-enhanced loan programs to assist low-income
  electric customers in paying for energy efficiency projects or
  renewable energy projects designed to benefit those electric
  customers.  The department shall fund the programs using money
  received by the department under Section 39.903(f)(2), Utilities
  Code, and other money appropriated for that purpose, including
  money appropriated under Subsection (d).
         (b)  A credit-enhanced loan under a program may be directed
  for individual product installations or whole-building upgrades
  and may be given to a low-income electric customer, an owner of
  housing for low-income persons, a local government, a private
  developer, or a nonprofit or other entity that constructs or
  conducts major renovations of housing for low-income populations.
         (c)  A program established under this section may take the
  form of:
               (1)  a loan loss reserve set aside to offset potential
  losses as a result of repayment defaults;
               (2)  a loan guarantee to cover a lender's potential
  losses on loans;
               (3)  a debt service reserve set aside to offset
  potential delayed or defaulted loan payments; or
               (4)  a reduced interest loan program.
         (d)  The legislature may appropriate money to the department
  from the system benefit fund for the purposes of a program
  established under this section.
         SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2013.
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