An Act To Improve the Laws Governing the Purchasing of Power
Sec. 1. 35-A MRSA §3203, sub-§4-B is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 35-A MRSA §3209, sub-§5 is enacted to read:
Sec. 3. 35-A MRSA §3212, sub-§1, as amended by PL 1999, c. 577, §3, is further amended to read:
The commission shall by rule establish a rate design for standard-offer service that provides a 40% rate discount for electricity consumed during off-peak periods from the rate for electricity consumed during on-peak periods. For purposes of this subsection, "off-peak periods" means between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. each weekday and between 6:00 p.m. Friday and 6:00 a.m. Monday. For purposes of this subsection, "on-peak periods" means between the hours of 6:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. each weekday. The commission shall adopt rules establishing terms and conditions for standard-offer service. Rules adopted under this subsection are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter II-A 2-A.
Sec. 4. Cost of Electricity Study Commission established. The Cost of Electricity Study Commission, referred to in this section as "the commission," is established.
1. Membership. The commission consists of 13 members appointed as follows:
2. Chairs. The first-named Senate member is the Senate chair and the first-named House of Representatives member is the House chair of the commission.
3. Appointments; convening. All appointments must be made no later than 30 days following the effective date of this section. The appointing authorities shall notify the Executive Director of the Legislative Council once all appointments have been completed. When the appointment of all members has been completed, the chairs shall call and convene the first meeting of the commission. If 30 days or more after the effective date of this section a majority of but not all appointments have been made, the chairs may request authority and the Legislative Council may grant authority for the commission to meet and conduct its business.
4. Duties. The commission shall study the sources and costs of electricity in the State, how costs in the State compare to those in other states and how the State can lower electricity prices. The commission shall also examine the level of profits earned by investor-owned transmission and distribution utilities over the last 10 years and the use made of those profits.
5. Staff assistance. The Legislative Council shall provide necessary staffing services to the commission.
6. Report. No later than December 2, 2015, the commission shall submit a report that includes its findings and recommendations, including suggested legislation, for presentation to the Second Regular Session of the 127th Legislature.
This bill provides for a 40% discount in the price of electricity for electricity consumed during off-peak periods. It also requires the Public Utilities Commission to establish a discount transmission and distribution rate for residential and small business customers who purchase electricity from resources that qualify as new renewable capacity resources.
It establishes a study commission to examine the sources and costs of electricity in Maine, how Maine costs compare to those in other states and how Maine can lower electricity prices. The commission is directed to report its findings and recommendations to the Legislature by December 2, 2015.