Amendment #22 to H.4198
Representatives Jones of North Reading, Peterson of Grafton, Hill of Ipswich, Poirier of North Attleborough and deMacedo of Plymouth move that the bill be amended inserting after the enacting clause, the following new section:—
“SECTION 1. Chapter 21A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2010 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 23, the following new section:—
Section 24. (a) There shall be within the office an energy policy and electricity cost reduction commission, which shall be an independent public entity not subject to the supervision and control of the office or any other executive office, department, commission, board, bureau, agency or political subdivision of the commonwealth. The commission shall promote public transparency regarding the effectiveness and economic cost of energy and electricity policies and programs implemented in the commonwealth. The commission shall be charged with researching and reviewing the benefits and the economic and electricity cost implications of energy and electricity policies in the commonwealth, as well as the impact these policies have on electricity reliability. The commission shall report to the legislature, as prescribed in this section, with comprehensive recommendations for reforms the commonwealth can implement to simultaneously: (i) expand the commonwealth’s renewable energy portfolio and promote energy-efficiency; (ii) encourage business development and job creation; (iii) reduce the costs associated with energy programs funded, in whole or in part, by the commonwealth, particularly programs established pursuant to chapter 169 of the acts of 2008 while maximizing the benefit of these programs; (iv) reduce the cost of electricity for commercial, industrial, and residential customers; and (v) increase electricity reliability.
(b) (1) The commission shall consist of 15 persons, as follows: the secretary of energy and environmental affairs and the secretary of housing and economic development, both of whom shall serve as the co-chairs; the attorney general; the inspector general; the commissioner of the department of energy resources or his designee; the chair of the department of public utilities or her designee; 1 person appointed by ISO-New England; 1 person appointed by associated industries of Massachusetts; 4 persons who are experts in energy efficiency, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the speaker of the house, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the house, 1 of whom shall be appointed by the president of the senate, and 1 of whom shall be appointed by the minority leader of the senate; 3 persons appointed by the Governor, 1 of whom shall be a representative of a Massachusetts green business with 10 or fewer employees, 1 of whom shall be a representative of an institution of higher education and who is also an expert in the structure of the regional wholesale electricity market, and 1 of whom shall be a representative of an institution of higher education and who is also an expert in energy efficiency.
(2) The members of the commission shall receive no compensation for their services, but shall be reimbursed for any usual and customary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
(3) The powers of the commission shall include, but not be limited to: (i) using voluntary and uncompensated services of private individuals, agencies and organizations as may from time to time be offered or needed; (ii) competitively procuring an independent consultant, the cost of which may be assessed proportionately on each gas and electric company pursuant to section 11E of chapter 12 of the General Laws, to review and report the estimated or actual ratepayer cost and benefits of meeting legislative and administrative goals and requirements related to greenhouse gas reductions, energy efficiency, and renewable energy generation, particularly goals established pursuant to Chapter 169 of the Acts of 2008; (iii) recommending policies and making recommendations to agencies and officers of the state and local subdivisions of government to effectuate the changes outlined in section (a); (iv) enacting by-laws for the commission’s own governance; and (v) holding regular public meetings, fact-finding hearings, and other public forums as the commission deems necessary.
(4) The commission may request from all state agencies such information and assistance as the commission may require.
(5) The commission shall issue a report which shall include, at minimum an analysis of the estimated or actual benefits, as well as economic cost, electricity cost, and implication for electricity reliability of: (i) implementing administrative, regulatory, and legislative rulemaking as it pertains to electricity and the structure of the wholesale electricity market; and (ii) meeting legislative and administrative goals and requirements related to greenhouse gas reductions, energy efficiency, and renewable energy generation, particularly goals established pursuant to Chapter 169 of the Acts of 2008.
In so doing, the commission shall at minimum research, evaluate, consider and report on: (i) the accuracy of metrics used to assess the success of ratepayer and taxpayer funded, in whole or in part, programs established pursuant to Chapter 169 of the Acts of 2008; (ii) the accuracy of metrics used to assess the cost effectiveness of ratepayer and taxpayer funded, in whole or in part, programs established pursuant to Chapter 169 of the Acts of 2008; (iii) the cost impact of the mandatory renewable energy charge and the energy efficiency charge, established pursuant to Section 19 and 20 of Chapter 25 of the General Laws, on commercial, industrial, and residential electric service customers; (iv) the effectiveness and necessity of incentives awarded to electric distribution and gas distribution companies pursuant to Chapter 169 of the Acts of 2008; (v) the electricity cost implications and associated economic impact of scheduled and projected investments in smart meter technology and transmission infrastructure; (vi) the electricity cost implications and associated economic impact of scheduled increases in demand resources, aggregate net metering capacity, and renewable energy capacity, specifically scheduled and projected installations of wind and solar capacity; (vii) the structure of the regional wholesale electricity market and its impact on retail electricity costs; and (iix) the overall impact of the Commonwealth’s energy and electricity policies on economic growth in the Commonwealth, specifically net job creation and business development, establishment, and retention.
(c) (1) The commission shall consult with electric distribution companies, natural gas distribution companies, green businesses residing in the Commonwealth, and other interested parties, providing at least one opportunity for public comment, as well as the public review of the commission’s draft report prior to filing the report with the legislature.
(2) The commission shall convene its first meeting within 45 days of the passage of this Act and shall file its report, along with any recommendations for legislative or regulatory reforms deemed necessary to effectuate the changes outlined in subsection (a), with the clerk of the house and the clerk of the senate, and with the house and senate chairs of the joint committee on telecommunications, utilities and energy, by July 1, 2013.”.