Bill Text: NH SB286 | 2019 | Regular Session | Amended


Bill Title: Relative to aggregation of electric customers by municipalities and counties.

Spectrum: Moderate Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-1)

Status: (Enrolled) 2019-07-12 - Enrolled 06/27/2019 [SB286 Detail]

Download: New_Hampshire-2019-SB286-Amended.html

SB 286-FN-LOCAL - AS AMENDED BY THE HOUSE

 

03/14/2019   0866s

5Jun2019... 1946h

2019 SESSION

19-1078

06/04

 

SENATE BILL 286-FN-LOCAL

 

AN ACT relative to aggregation of electric customers by municipalities and counties.

 

SPONSORS: Sen. Feltes, Dist 15; Sen. Fuller Clark, Dist 21; Sen. Bradley, Dist 3; Rep. Cali-Pitts, Rock. 30; Rep. Klee, Hills. 30

 

COMMITTEE: Energy and Natural Resources

 

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ANALYSIS

 

This bill permits municipalities and counties to develop plans for  electric aggregation programs.

 

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Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

03/14/2019   0866s

5Jun2019... 1946h 19-1078

06/04

 

STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE

 

In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Nineteen

 

AN ACT relative to aggregation of electric customers by municipalities and counties.

 

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

 

1  Aggregation of Electric Customers; Definition; Aggregation.  Amend RSA 53-E:2, I to read as follows:

I.  "Aggregation" means the grouping of retail electric customers to provide, broker, or contract for electric power supply and energy services for such customers.

2  Aggregation of Electric Customers.  Amend RSA 53-E:3 and RSA 53-E:3-a to read as follows:

53-E:3  Municipal and County Authorities.  Any municipality or county may:

I.  Aggregate the retail electric customers within its boundaries who do not opt out of or who consent to being included in an aggregation program.

II.(a)  Enter into agreements and provide for:

(1)  The supply of electric power.

(2)  Demand side management.

(3)  Conservation.

(4)  Meter reading.

(5)  Customer service.

(6)  Other related services.

(7)  The operation of energy efficiency and clean energy districts adopted by a municipality pursuant to RSA 53-F and as approved by the municipality's governing body.

(b)  Such agreements may be entered into and such services may be provided by a single municipality or county, or by a group of such entities operating jointly pursuant to RSA 53-A.

53-E:3-a  Municipal Aggregators Authorized.  Municipal aggregators of electricity load under this chapter, and municipalities operating municipal electric utilities under RSA 38, are expressly authorized to aggregate other services commonly and regularly billed to customers.  Municipalities may operate approved aggregation programs as self-supporting enterprise funds  including the use of revenue bonds pursuant to RSA 33-B and RSA 374-D and loans from other municipal enterprise funds as may be approved by the governing body and the legislative body of the municipality.  Any such loans from other municipal enterprise funds shall be used for purposes that have a clear nexus to the primary purposes of such other funds, such as generation, storage, or sale of power generated from sites, facilities, or resources that might otherwise be operated or produced by the other enterprise fund.  Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to limit the capacity of customers to select any service or combination of services offered by such municipal aggregators or to limit the municipality from combining billing for any or all utility services.

3  New Section; Use of "Community Power" as a Name Reserved.  Amend RSA 53-E by inserting after section 3-a the following new section:

53-E:3-b  Use of “Community Power” as a Name Reserved.  The use of the term “Community Power” following the name of a municipality or county shall be reserved for the exclusive use by such entity as a name for proposed or approved municipal or county aggregations.  Aggregations operated jointly by a group of such entities pursuant to RSA 53-A may adopt an appropriate identifying name in conjunction with the term “Community Power” as a name.

4  Aggregation of Electric Customers by Municipalities and Counties; Regulation; Financial Responsibility; Electric Aggregation Plan; Aggregation Program Adopted.  RSA 53-E:4 through 53-E:7 are repealed and reenacted to read as follows:

53-E:4  Regulation.

I.  An aggregator operating under this chapter shall not be considered a utility engaging in the wholesale purchase and resale of electric power and shall not be considered a municipal utility under RSA 38.  Providing electric power or energy services to aggregated customers within a municipality or county shall not be considered a wholesale utility transaction.  However, a municipal or county aggregation may elect to participate in the ISO New England wholesale energy market as a load serving entity for the purpose of procuring or selling electrical energy or capacity on behalf of its participating retail electric customers, including itself.  

II.  The provision of aggregated electric power and energy services under this chapter shall be regulated by this chapter and any other applicable laws governing aggregated electric power and energy services in competitive electric markets.

III.  Transmission and distribution services shall remain with the transmission and distribution utilities, who shall be paid for such services according to rate schedules approved by the applicable regulatory authority, which may include optional time varying rates for transmission and distribution services that may be offered by distribution utilities on a pilot or regular basis.  An aggregator shall not be required to own any utility property or equipment to provide electric power and energy services to its customers.

IV.  For the purpose of obtaining interval meter data for load settlement, the provision of energy services, and near real-time customer access to such data, municipal and county aggregators may contribute to the cost of electric utility provided meter upgrades, jointly own revenue grade meters with an electric utility, or provide its own revenue grade electric meter, which would be in addition to a utility provided meter, subject to commission finding in the public good and approval of the terms and conditions for such arrangements, including sharing or transfer of meter data from and to the electric distribution utility.

V.  Municipal or county aggregations that supply power shall be treated as competitive electricity suppliers for the purpose of access to the electric distribution utility’s electronic data interface and for ceasing operations.

VI.  Municipal or county aggregations shall be subject to RSA 363:38 as service providers and individual customer data shall be treated as confidential private information and shall not be subject to public disclosure under RSA 91-A.  An approved aggregation may use individual customer data to comply with the provisions of RSA 53-E:7, II and for research and development of potential new energy services to offer to customer participants.

53-E:5  Financial Responsibility.  Retail electric customers who choose not to participate in an aggregation program adopted under RSA 53-E:7 shall not be responsible for, and no entity shall require them to pay, any costs associated with such program, through taxes or otherwise except for electric power supply or energy services consumed directly by the municipality or county, or incidental costs, which may include costs necessary to comply with the provisions of this chapter up to the time that the aggregation starts to produce revenue from participating customers.

53-E:6  Electric Aggregation Plan.

I.  The governing body of a municipality or county may form an electric aggregation committee to develop a plan for an aggregation program for its citizens.  A municipality or county may join other municipalities or counties in developing such plans.

II.  The plan shall provide universal access, reliability, and equitable treatment of all classes of customers subject to any differences arising from varying opportunities, tariffs, and arrangements between different electric distribution utilities in their respective franchise territories, and shall meet, at a minimum, the basic environmental and service standards established by the commission and other applicable agencies and laws concerning aggregated service.

III.  The plan shall detail:

(a)  The organizational structure of the program.

(b)  Operation and funding.

(c)  Rate setting and other costs to participants, including whether energy supply services are offered on an opt-in basis or on an opt-out basis as an alternative default service.

(d)  The methods for entering and terminating agreements with other entities.

(e)  The rights and responsibilities of program participants.  

(f)  How net metered electricity exported to the distribution grid by program participants, including for group net metering, will be compensated and accounted for.

(g)  How the program will ensure participants who are enrolled in the Electric Assistance Program administered by the commission will receive their discount.

(h)  Termination of the program.

IV.  The committee shall approve a final plan which the committee determines is in the best, long-term interest of the municipality or county and the ratepayers.

V.  The committee shall solicit public input in the planning process and shall hold public hearings.

53-E:7  Aggregation Program.

I.  The governing body of a municipality or county may submit to its legislative body for adoption a final plan for an aggregation program or any revision to include an opt-out default service program, to be approved by a majority of those present and voting.

II.  If the plan is adopted or once adopted is revised to include an opt-out alternative default service, the municipality or county shall mail written notification to each retail electric customer within the municipality or county.  To enable such mailed notification and notwithstanding RSA 363:38, after an aggregation plan is duly approved the electric distribution utility or utilities serving an adopting municipality or county shall provide to such municipality or county a current list of the names and mailing addresses of all their electric customers taking distribution service within the municipality or county.  Notification shall include a description of the aggregation program, the implications to the municipality or county, and the rights and responsibilities that the participants will have under the program, and if provided on an opt-out basis, the fixed rate or charges that will apply.  No retail electric customer shall be included in a program in which the customer does not know all of the rates or charges the customer may be subject to at least 30 days in advance of the customer's application and has the option, for a period of not less than 30 days from the date of the mailing, to opt out of being enrolled in such program, unless the customer affirmatively responds to the notification or requests in writing to be included in the program.

III.  Within 15 days after notification of the plan has been sent to retail electric customers in the service area, a public information meeting to answer questions on the program shall be held.

IV.  Services proposed to be offered by or through the aggregation shall be on an opt-in basis unless the approved aggregation plan explicitly creates an opt-out alternative default energy service program where the rate or price is known at least 30 days in advance of its application and, for a period of not less than 30 days from the date notification is mailed, the customer has the opportunity to opt out of being enrolled in such program, by return postcard, website, or such additional means as may be provided.  Customers who are on default service provided by an electric distribution utility shall be automatically enrolled in an aggregation provided alternative default service if they do not elect to opt out.  Customers opting out will instead remain on default service.  Customers taking energy service from a competitive electricity supplier shall not be automatically enrolled in any aggregation program, but may voluntarily opt in.  New customers to the electric distribution utility after the notification mailing required by paragraph II shall be given a choice of enrolling in utility provided default service or aggregation provided default service, where such exists.  New customers shall be informed of pricing for each when they apply for service.  Such new customers may also enroll with a competitive electricity supplier.  New customers who do not make such a choice shall be enrolled in the default service of any geographically appropriate approved aggregation, or, if none exists, the utility provided default service.  Municipal aggregations shall take priority or precedence over any county aggregations.  Customers automatically enrolled in a municipal or county provided default service shall be free to elect to return to utility provided default service or to transfer to a competitive electricity supplier with adequate notice in advance of the next regular meter reading by the distribution utility, in the same manner as if they were on utility provided default service or as approved by the commission.  

V.  Once adopted, an aggregation plan and program may be amended and modified from time to time as provided by the governing body of the municipality or county.  In all cases the establishment of an opt-out default service program shall be approved as provided in paragraph I.

VI.  The commission may adopt rules, under RSA 541-A, to implement this chapter, including but not limited to rules governing the relationship between municipal or county aggregators and distribution utilities, metering, notice of the commencement or termination of aggregation services and products, and the reestablishment of a municipal or county aggregation that has substantially ceased to provide services.  Where the commission has adopted rules in conformity with this chapter, complaints to and proceedings before the commission shall not be subject to RSA 541-A:29 or RSA 541-A:29-a.

5  Voluntary Corporations and Associations; Name.  Amend RSA 292:3, II(d) to read as follows:

(d)  The name of an agency or instrumentality of the United States or this state or a subdivision thereof, including names reserved pursuant to RSA 53-E.

6  Business Corporation Act; Corporate Name.  Amend RSA 293-A:4.01(b)(4) to read as follows:

(4)  The name of an agency or instrumentality of the United States or this state or a subdivision thereof, including names reserved pursuant to RSA 53-E;

7  New Hampshire Investment Trusts; Use of Name Regulated.  Amend RSA 293-B:17, I(b)(4) to read as follows:

(4)  The name of an agency or instrumentality of the United States or this state or a subdivision thereof, including names reserved pursuant to RSA 53-E.

8  Professional Corporations; Name.  Amend RSA 294-A:7, III(a)(4) to read as follows:

(4)  The name of an agency or instrumentality of the United States or this state or a subdivision thereof, including names reserved pursuant to RSA 53-E.

9  Uniform Partnership Act; Registered Limited Liability Partnerships; Name.  Amend RSA 304-A:45, II(d) to read as follows:

(d)  The name of an agency or instrumentality of the United States or this state or a subdivision thereof, including names reserved pursuant to RSA 53-E.

10  Uniform Limited Partnership Act; Name.  Amend RSA 304-B:2, III(d) to read as follows:

(d)  The name of an agency or instrumentality of the United States or this state or a subdivision thereof, including names reserved pursuant to RSA 53-E.

11  Limited Liability Companies; Name.  Amend RSA 304-C:32, III(d) to read as follows:

(d)  The name of an agency or instrumentality of the United States or this state or a subdivision of this state, including names reserved pursuant to RSA 53-E;

12  Foreign Limited Liability Companies; Name.  Amend RSA 304-C:177, I(e)(4) to read as follows:

(4)  The name of an agency or instrumentality of the United States or this state or a subdivision of the United States or of this state, including names reserved pursuant to RSA 53-E;

13  Registration of Foreign Partnerships; Name.  Amend RSA 305-A:2-e, I(d) to read as follows:

(d)  The name of an agency or instrumentality of the United States or this state or a subdivision thereof, including names reserved pursuant to RSA 53-E.

14  Cooperative Marketing and Rural Electrification Associations; Use of Name Regulated.  Amend RSA 301:43-a, II(d) to read as follows:

(d)  The name of an agency or instrumentality of the United States or this state or a subdivision thereof, including names reserved pursuant to RSA 53-E.

15  Trade Names.  Amend RSA 349:1, IV(a)(4) to read as follows:

(4)  The name of an agency or instrumentality of the United States or this state or a subdivision thereof, including names reserved pursuant to RSA 53-E.

16  Definitions in the Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard.  Amend RSA 362-F:2, XIV to read as follows:

XIV.  "Provider of electricity" means a distribution company providing default service or an electricity supplier as defined in RSA 374-F:2, II, but does not include municipal suppliers that are municipal utilities pursuant to RSA 38.

17  Definitions in the Electric Utility Restructuring Act.  Amend RSA 374-F:2, I-a to read as follows:

I-a.  "Default service" means electricity supply that is available to retail customers who are otherwise without an electricity supplier and are ineligible for transition service and is provided by electric distribution utilities under RSA 374-F:3, V or as an alterative, by municipal or county aggregators under RSA 53-E.

18  Competitive Electricity Supplier Requirements.  Amend RSA 374-F:7, II to read as follows:

II.  Aggregators of electricity load that do not take ownership of power or other services and do not represent any supplier interest are not public utilities pursuant to RSA 362:2, but shall notify the commission of their intent to do business.  Municipalities that aggregate electric power or energy services for their citizens pursuant to RSA 53-E are not public utilities pursuant to RSA 362:2 and are not subject to the provisions of paragraph III and RSA 374-F:4-b.

19  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect 60 days after its passage.

 

LBAO

19-1078

Revised 2/20/19

 

SB 286-FN-LOCAL- FISCAL NOTE

AS INTRODUCED

 

AN ACT relative to aggregation of electric customers by municipalities and counties.

 

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

 

 

 

Estimated Increase / (Decrease)

STATE:

FY 2020

FY 2021

FY 2022

FY 2023

   Appropriation

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Funding Source:

  [    ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other - PUC Assessment / Renewable Energy Fund

 

 

 

 

 

COUNTY:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

 

 

 

 

LOCAL:

 

 

 

 

   Revenue

$0

$0

$0

$0

   Expenditures

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

Indeterminable

 

METHODOLOGY:

This bill permits municipalities and counties to develop plans for electric aggregation programs.  The Public Utilities Commission indicates the services that counties and municipalities could provide include: the supply of electric power, demand side management, conservation, meter reading, customer service, other related services and operation of energy efficiency and clean energy districts.  The Commission states the cost of the bill to the State, counties and municipalities is indeterminable because the costs will depend on which services are provided either individually or as part of a group of counties or municipalities.  

 

The New Hampshire Association of Counties indicates the potential cost to the counties would depend on the size of a project and the agreement made with the utilities.  In addition, the Association indicates there could be savings from lower energy cost and/or additional revenue from selling power back into the grid.

 

The New Hampshire Municipal Association indicates any impact on municipal revenues or expenditures would depend on specific provision of any aggregation program developed; therefore it is not possible to estimate the finical impact.

 

AGENCIES CONTACTED:

Public Utilities Commission, New Hampshire Association of Counties and New Hampshire Municipal Association

 

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