Rep. Sonya M. Harper

Filed: 3/20/2019





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend House Bill 3328 by replacing
3everything after the enacting clause with the following:
4    "Section 1. Short title. This Act may be cited as the
5Equitable Energy Financing Act.
6    Section 5. Findings and purpose. The General Assembly finds
7that Illinois homes and businesses can contribute to the
8creation of a clean energy economy, conservation of natural
9resources, and reliability of the electricity grid through the
10installation of cost-effective renewable energy generation,
11energy efficiency, and energy storage systems. The General
12Assembly further finds that a large portion of Illinois
13residents and businesses that would benefit from the
14installation of energy efficiency, energy storage systems, and
15renewable energy generation systems are unable to purchase
16systems due to capital or credit barriers. The purpose of this



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1Act is to implement much needed modifications to the State's
2regulation of utilities that the General Assembly believes will
3enable many more Illinoisans to access the health,
4environmental, and financial benefits of new clean energy
6    Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
7    "Commission" means to the Illinois Commerce Commission.
8    "Energy project" means a renewable energy generation
9system, energy efficiency upgrades, energy storage systems, or
10any combination thereof.
11    "Program" refers to the Equitable Energy Financing Program
12established under this Act.
13    "Utility" means public utilities providing electric
14service to customers under the Public Utilities Act, as well as
15municipal electricity aggregators and electricity
17    Section 15. Equitable Energy Financing Program.
18    (a) The Illinois Commerce Commission shall establish a
19Program for all electric utilities in this State which permits
20customers to finance the construction of energy projects
21through an optional tariff payable directly through their
22utility bill, modeled after the Pay As You Save (PAYS) program
23design. The Program model shall make investments in energy
24projects for customer properties with low-cost capital and use



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1an opt-in tariff to recover the costs. This Program shall be
2referred to as the Equitable Energy Financing Program. The
3Program shall be designed to provide customers with financial
4savings if they choose to participate. The Program will allow
5residential electric utility customers that own the property,
6or renters that have a long-term lease on the property, for
7which they subscribe to utility service to purchase an energy
8project. The Program will ensure:
9        (1) that eligible projects do not require up-front
10    payments;
11        (2) that eligible projects have an estimated life cycle
12    savings that exceeds the cost of the project;
13        (3) that participants will finance the projects by
14    paying for the project through an optional tariff directly
15    through the participant's electricity bill, allowing
16    participants to invest in energy projects without
17    traditional loans;
18        (4) accessibility for lower income residents and
19    environmental justice community residents; and
20        (5) that administration is in coordination with the
21    energy efficiency on-bill financing program established in
22    the Public Utilities Act to maximize access and financial
23    savings by residents.
24    (b) In the design of the Equitable Energy Financing
25Program, the Commission shall:
26        (1) Within 60 days after the effective date of this



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1    Act, convene a workshop process during which interested
2    participants may discuss issues and submit comments
3    related to the Program.
4        (2) Establish Program guidelines that electric
5    utilities will abide by when designing their plan to
6    participate in the Program. Program guidelines established
7    by the Commission shall include the following elements:
8            (A) The Commission shall establish conditions
9        under which utilities secure capital to fund the energy
10        projects. The Commission may allow utilities to raise
11        capital independently, work with third party lenders
12        to secure the capital for participants, or a
13        combination thereof. Any process the Commission
14        approves must use a market mechanism to identify the
15        least costly sources of capital funds so as to pass on
16        maximum savings to participants. The State of Illinois
17        may also choose to provide capital for this Program.
18            (B) Customer protection guidelines should be
19        designed based on the principles established in
20        Section 20.
21            (C) The Commission shall establish conditions by
22        which utilities may connect Program participants to
23        energy project vendors. In setting conditions for
24        connection, the Commission may prioritize vendors that
25        have a history of good relations with the State,
26        including vendors which have hired participants from



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1        State-created job training programs.
2            (D) The guidelines established by the Commission
3        shall include a guarantee of anticipated financial
4        savings by Program participants.
5    (c) Within 60 days after the Commission releases the
6Program conditions established under this Section, each
7utility subject to the requirements of this Section shall
8submit an informational filing to the Commission that describes
9its plan for implementing the provisions of this Act. If the
10Commission finds that the submission does not properly comply
11with the statutory or regulatory requirements of the Program,
12the Commission may require that the utility make modifications
13to its filing.
14    (d) An independent evaluation of the Program shall be
15conducted after the Program has been operating for 2 years. An
16advisory council of stakeholders, including representatives of
17low income and environment justice community members assembled
18by the Commission shall make recommendations in response to the
19findings of the independent evaluation.
20    Section 20. Customer protections; cost-effectiveness.
21    (a) The Equitable Energy Financing Program shall be
22designed to be cost-effective for customers to realize
23guaranteed savings in their utility bills. Only projects that
24are deemed by the Commission to be cost-effective and can be
25reasonably expected to ensure customer savings are eligible for



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1funding through the Program. Projects shall only be considered
2cost-effective if they deliver savings to the customer.
3Anticipated savings must be expected to be present both (1) on
4a monthly or bill-cycle basis and (2) over the lifetime of the
5energy project.
6    (b) Eligible customers must be: (1) retail customers who
7are renters with long-term leases; or (2) property owners.
8    (c) The calculation of cost-effectiveness must be
9conducted by an objective process established by the
10Commission. Factors that may be used to establish whether a
11project is cost-effective include, but are not limited to, the
13        (1) estimated energy produced or conserved by a
14    potential energy project;
15        (2) historical and projected energy prices;
16        (3) participant access to net-metering rebates;
17        (4) a participant's ability to sell energy credits
18    created by the energy project in Illinois or other
19    jurisdictions; and
20        (5) a participant's history of energy use and bill
21    costs.
22    A project shall be considered cost-effective only if the
23projected customer reduces his or her payment amount by at
24least 5% over his or her projected costs without the energy
25project. The Commission may establish guidelines by which this
26required savings is measured.



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1    (d) The Equitable Energy Financing Program shall be modeled
2after the Pay As You Save (PAYS), system in which Program
3participants finance energy projects using the savings that the
4energy project creates with an on-bill financing program.
5Eligible projects shall not:
6        (1) create personal debt for the customer;
7        (2) result in a lien in the event of nonpayment by
8    customers; or
9        (3) require customers to pay for defective energy
10    projects.
11    (e) Any energy project that is defective or damaged must be
12either replaced or repaired with parts that meet industry
13standards. The Commission may establish, increase, or replace
14the requirements imposed by this subsection (e).
15    (f) The Commission shall establish conditions in the event
16of nonpayment by customers.
17    Section 25. Utility participation in the Program.
18    (a) All electric utilities in this State shall be required
19to participate in the Program. Utilities shall not discriminate
20against customers on the basis of their energy supplier.
21    (b) Utilities shall use reasonable efforts to inform
22customers about the availability of the Program, their
23potential eligibility for participation in the Program, as well
24as to whether they are likely to save money on the basis of an
25estimate conducted using variables consistent with the Program



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1that the utility has at its disposal. The Commission may
2establish guidelines by which utilities must abide by in
3fulfilling these requirements.
4    (c) Subject to Commission specifications established in
5Section 15, each utility shall work with certified project
6vendors selected under a request for proposal process to
7establish the terms and processes under which a participant can
8purchase eligible renewable energy generation and energy
9storage systems using the financing obtained from the lender
10through a program designed to fit the Equitable Energy
11Financing Program model. The certified project vendor shall
12explain and offer the approved financing packaging to customers
13and shall assist customers in applying for financing through
14the Equitable Energy Financing Program. As part of the process,
15vendors shall also provide participants with information about
16any other relevant incentives that may be available.
17    (d) An electric utility shall recover all of the prudently
18incurred costs of offering a program approved by the Commission
19under this Section.
20    (e) The Commission shall adopt all rules necessary for the
21administration of this Act.
22    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
23becoming law.".