An Act To Reduce Electric Rates for Maine Businesses
Emergency preamble. Whereas, acts and resolves of the Legislature do not become effective until 90 days after adjournment unless enacted as emergencies; and
Whereas, current law concerning the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Trust Fund provides for the trust funds to be allocated at a certain percentage up through this fiscal year; and
Whereas, in order to continue allocation for the next series of fiscal years and to modify the percentage to a more business-friendly rate, it is necessary to amend this section of law before the next fiscal year, which begins in July; and
Whereas, in the judgment of the Legislature, these facts create an emergency within the meaning of the Constitution of Maine and require the following legislation as immediately necessary for the preservation of the public peace, health and safety; now, therefore,
Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA §10109, sub-§4, ¶A, as amended by PL 2013, c. 369, Pt. A, §15, is further amended to read:
(1) Reliably reduce greenhouse gas production and heating energy costs by fossil fuel combustion in the State at the lowest cost in funds from the trust fund per unit of emissions; or
(2) Reliably reduce the consumption of electricity in the State at the lowest cost in funds from the trust fund per kilowatt-hour saved.
Emergency clause. In view of the emergency cited in the preamble, this legislation takes effect when approved.
This bill increases the amount of Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative Trust Fund revenue that is to be returned to business ratepayers. Currently 15% of the funds are returned to businesses, and this bill increases it to 55%. The bill adds loans and technical assistance to the required uses of the allocated funds, which also include measures, investments and arrangements that reduce electricity consumption or reduce greenhouse gas emissions and lower energy costs at commercial or industrial facilities. It changes the percent allocated for those measures from 50% to 10% and adds the fiscal years of 2016-17, 2017-18 and 2018-19 for funds to be allocated.