Bill Text: NH SB269 | 2022 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Establishing a commission to study energy saving weatherization programs.

Spectrum: Slight Partisan Bill (Democrat 5-3)

Status: (Engrossed) 2022-05-11 - Interim Study Work Session Work Session: 05/24/2022 10:00 am Legislative Office Building 306-308 [SB269 Detail]

Download: New_Hampshire-2022-SB269-Amended.html

SB 269-FN - AS AMENDED BY THE SENATE

 

02/24/2022   0750s

2022 SESSION

22-3024

07/11

 

SENATE BILL 269-FN

 

AN ACT establishing a commission to study energy saving weatherization programs.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Avard, Dist 12; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Sen. Carson, Dist 14; Sen. Perkins Kwoka, Dist 21; Sen. Watters, Dist 4; Sen. Rosenwald, Dist 13; Sen. Soucy, Dist 18; Sen. Prentiss, Dist 5

 

COMMITTEE: Energy and Natural Resources

 

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AMENDED ANALYSIS

 

This bill establishes a commission to study methods of participation for maintaining an energy saving weatherization program to assist in lowering the overall energy consumption for New Hampshire families.

 

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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

02/24/2022   0750s 22-3024

07/11

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Two

 

AN ACT establishing a commission to study energy saving weatherization programs.

 

Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:

 

1  Declaration of Purpose.  Participation and administration of the New Hampshire weatherization and energy efficiency programs, as authorized for funding by the New Hampshire legislature for programs approved by the public utilities commission and as administered by the utility companies of New Hampshire, is essential for the growing number of elders caring for a third generation while living on social security.  The energy weatherization program serves us all as citizens of New Hampshire.  We build strength by standing together and, with these programs, we will raise our next generation with the proper tools to maintain our way of life.

2  New Section; Commission to Study Energy Saving Weatherization Programs Established.  Amend RSA 12-P by inserting after section 7-b the following new section:

12-P:7-c  Commission to Study Energy Saving Weatherization Programs Established.

I.  The commission duties shall be as follows:

(a)  The commission shall identify policy and funding opportunities to support weatherization of buildings heated with fuels including, but not limited to, electricity, natural gas, oil, propane, kerosene and wood, including, but not limited to, the following avenues:

(1)  Policy direction to further prioritize weatherization within the existing NHSaves programs;

(2)  Research to explore expanding the fiscal participation of propane and oil users in New Hampshire in the same manner as electric and natural gas; and

(3)  Use of other funding sources such as grant funds.

(b)  The commission shall also explore the fiscal feasibility of double or triple pane replacement of windows, insulated doors, and water heaters in residential duplexes, quadplexes, and multi-residential buildings with units falling under the definition of workforce housing in RSA 674:58, IV.

II.(a)  The commission shall be comprised of the following members:

(1)  One member of the senate, appointed by the senate president;

(2)  Three members of the house of representatives, appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives;

(3)  One representative each from an electric provider, a natural gas provider, a propane supplier and an oil supplier, appointed by the governor;

(4)  One representative from Clean Energy NH, appointed by such organization;

(5)  One representative from the New Hampshire Home Builders Association, appointed by such organization;

(6)  One New Hampshire representative from the Association of Builders and Contractors of New Hampshire and Vermont, appointed by such organization;

(7)  The consumer advocate, or designee;

(8)  One member of the New Hampshire Building Officials Association, appointed by such organization;

(9)  One member of the public employed in the weatherization and energy efficiency field, appointed by the governor;

(10)  One member of the public not employed in the construction nor weatherization or energy efficiency fields, appointed by the governor; and

(11)  Two members from the New Hampshire Community Action Partnerships, one of whom shall be from the community action partnership with the largest population served, appointed by the New Hampshire Community Action Association.

(b)  Legislative members of the commission shall receive mileage at the legislative rate when attending to the duties of the commission.

(c)  The members of the commission shall elect a chairperson from among the members.  The first meeting of the commission shall be called by the first-named senate member.  The first meeting of the commission shall be held within 45 days of the effective date of this section.  The commission shall meet at least monthly.  Eight members of the commission shall constitute a quorum.

III.  The minutes of each meeting shall be provided to the governor, president of the senate, speaker of the house of representatives, and the commissioner of the department of energy within the first week of every month.

IV.  The commission shall provide any findings or solutions suitable for legislation no later than December 15, 2022.

3  Prospective Repeal.  RSA 12-P:7-c, relative to the commission to study energy saving weatherization programs, is repealed.

4  Effective Date.  

I.  Section 3 of this act shall take effect December 16, 2022.

II.  The remainder of this act shall take effect upon its passage.

 

 

LBA

22-3024

12/7/21

 

SB 269-FN- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to the New Hampshire weatherization program.

 

FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2022

FY 2023

FY 2024

FY 2025

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

   Expenditures

$0

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Indeterminable Decrease

Funding Source:

  [    ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other - Federal Funds

 

 

 

 

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill reduces the contractor pre-qualifications for contracts pertaining to the New Hampshire

weatherization assistance program and calls for the weatherization of re-purposed buildings such as mill buildings.

 

The Department of Energy indicates there are two possible meanings of “prequalification” as it relates to the New Hampshire Weatherization Assistance Program, both of which have cost implications.

  • Prequalification relates to required “fair and open” competition in the Uniform Guidance 2 CFR 200.319.  A contractor can be “prequalified” by responding to a request for qualifications from the Community Action Program (CAP).  Their qualifications are evaluated and if they meet the requirements, the contractor is placed on a “prequalified” list of contractors.  This process allows for federally required fair and open competition and eliminates the need to go out with an RFP for each contractor, saving time. Eliminating pre-qualification requirements would require each CAP to issue an RFP or go through another allowable procurement process for every weatherization service.  This would increase administrative costs for the CAPs and reduce the amount of funding available for weatherization projects.
  • If “pre-qualification” is referring to the certifications weatherization contractors must have to work within the Weatherization Program, those requirements come directly from the U.S. Department of Energy, contained in the WPN 15-4: Quality Work Plan Requirement Update.  This requirement is still in effect and if the bill becomes law, it is likely that the next Work Plan submitted to the US DOE would not be approved since it would be out of compliance and the State would not be awarded federal funding.

 

The Department indicates noncompliance with federal regulations in the middle of a program year would result in "questioned costs" which the State would either have to pay back to the federal government from general funds or receive reductions in future federal funds.  The program receives federal funds of approximately $1.9 million each year and an additional $18.5 million in one time money from the federal infrastructure bill.  Noncompliance with the U.S. Department of Energy regulations would result in federal funds not being awarded to the State.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Department of Energy

 

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