Sen. Robert Peters

Filed: 4/5/2019





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2    AMENDMENT NO. ______. Amend Senate Bill 2123 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 3. Applicability. This Act shall apply to utilities
7as defined in this Act.
8    Section 5. Findings and purpose. The General Assembly finds
9that Illinois homes and businesses can contribute to the
10creation of a clean energy economy, conservation of natural
11resources, and reliability of the electricity grid through the
12installation of cost-effective renewable energy generation,
13energy efficiency, and energy storage systems. The General
14Assembly further finds that a large portion of Illinois
15residents and businesses that would benefit from the



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1installation of energy efficiency, energy storage systems, and
2renewable energy generation systems are unable to purchase
3systems due to capital or credit barriers. The purpose of this
4Act is to implement much needed modifications to the State's
5regulation of utilities that the General Assembly believes will
6enable many more Illinoisans to access the health,
7environmental, and financial benefits of new clean energy
9    Section 10. Definitions. As used in this Act:
10    "Commission" means to the Illinois Commerce Commission.
11    "Energy project" means a renewable energy generation
12systems, solar projects, energy efficiency upgrades, energy
13storage systems, or any combination thereof.
14    "Program" means the Equitable Energy Financing Program
15established under this Act.
16    "Utility" means public utilities providing electric
17service to customers as provided under the Public Utilities
18Act, including Commonwealth Edison and Ameren.
19    Section 15. Equitable Energy Financing Program.
20    (a) The Illinois Commerce Commission shall establish a
21Program for all electric utilities in this State which permits
22customers to finance the construction of energy projects
23through an optional tariff payable directly through their
24utility bill, modeled after the PAYS or Pay as You Save program



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



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1        (1) The Program shall begin for the first year as a
2    pilot program. During the first year of operation, each
3    utility is required to provide financing for energy
4    projects at a total project cost of $20,000,000 annually.
5        (2) Beginning in the second year, each utility is
6    required to provide systems for a total project cost of
7    $40,000,000 annually.
8        (3) Beginning in the third year of programming, each
9    utility shall be required to provide as many systems as
10    customers demand, subject to available capital provided by
11    the utility, State, or other lenders.
12        (4) The Commission shall establish Program guidelines
13    with the anticipated schedule of Program availability.
14    (c) In the design of the Equitable Energy Financing
15Program, the Commission shall:
16        (1) Within 90 days after the effective date of this
17    Act, convene a workshop process during which interested
18    participants may discuss issues and submit comments
19    related to the Program.
20        (2) Establish PAYS program guidelines that electric
21    utilities will abide by when designing their plan to
22    participate in the Program. Program guidelines established
23    by the Commission shall include the following elements:
24            (A) Capital funds. The Commission shall establish
25        conditions under which utilities secure capital to
26        fund the energy projects. The Commission may allow



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1        utilities to raise capital independently, work with
2        third party lenders to secure the capital for
3        participants, or a combination thereof. Any process
4        the Commission approves must use a market mechanism to
5        identify the least costly sources of capital funds so
6        as to pass on maximum savings to participants. The
7        State of Illinois may also choose to provide capital
8        for this Program.
9            (B) Customer protections. Customer protection
10        guidelines should be designed based on the principles
11        established in Section 20, subject to PAYS program
12        design requirements..
13            (C) Energy project vendors. The Commission shall
14        establish conditions by which utilities may connect
15        Program participants to energy project vendors. In
16        setting conditions for connection, the Commission may
17        prioritize vendors that have a history of good
18        relations with the State, including vendors which have
19        hired participants from State-created job training
20        programs.
21            (D) Financial savings guarantee. The guidelines
22        established by the Commission shall include a
23        reasonable guarantee of anticipated financial savings
24        by Program participants.
25    (d) Within 120 days after the Commission releases the
26Program conditions established under this Section, each



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1utility subject to the requirements of this Section shall
2submit an informational filing to the Commission that describes
3its plan for implementing the provisions of this Act. If the
4Commission finds that the submission does not properly comply
5with the statutory or regulatory requirements of the Program,
6the Commission may require that the utility make modifications
7to their filing.
8    (e) An independent evaluation of the Program shall be
9conducted after 2 years of the Program's operation. The
10Illinois Commerce Commission shall convene an advisory council
11of stakeholders, including representation of low income and
12environment justice Community members, to make recommendations
13in response to the findings of the independent evaluation.
14    (f) Participation in the Program by utilities shall be
15mandatory from Program launch through January 1, 2031. After
16January 1, 2031, participation in the Program by utilities is
18    Section 20. Customer protections; cost-effectiveness.
19    (a) The Equitable Energy Financing Program shall be
20designed using PAYS program guidelines to be cost-effective for
21customers. Only projects that are deemed to be cost-effective
22and can be reasonably expected to ensure customer savings are
23eligible for funding through the Program.
24    (b) Eligible customers must be: (1) property renters with
25permission of the property owner; or (2) property owners.



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1    (c) The calculation of cost-effectiveness must be
2conducted by an objective process established by the Illinois
3Commerce Commission. Except as otherwise provided under this
4subsection (c), the calculation of cost-effectiveness shall be
5based upon PAYS program requirements.
6    Calculations of cost effectiveness based upon utility
7provider shall be as follows:
8        (1) For Commonwealth Edison, the cost-effectiveness
9    calculation is not required to include financial savings
10    from sources other than electricity. However, if projects
11    provide a financial benefit beyond electricity savings,
12    such as an expected natural gas use reduction, utilities
13    and vendors are permitted to include this in the
14    cost-benefit calculation.
15        (2) For Ameren, the cost-effectiveness calculation
16    must include financial savings from both electricity and
17    natural gas reduction.
18    A project shall be considered cost-effective only if the
19projected customer reduces his or her payment amount by at
20least 5% over his or her projected costs without the energy
21project. The Commission may establish guidelines by which this
22required savings is measured.
23    (d) The Equitable Energy Financing Program should be
24modeled after the PAYS, or Pay As You Save, style system by
25which Program participants finance energy projects using the
26savings that the energy project creates with an on-bill



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1financing program. Eligible projects shall not:
2        (1) create personal debt for the customer;
3        (2) result in a lien in the event of nonpayment by
4    customers; or
5        (3) require customers to pay for defective energy
6    projects.
7    (e) Any energy project that is defective or damaged due to
8no fault of the participant must be either replaced or repaired
9with parts that meet industry standards. The Commission may
10establish, increase, or replace the requirements imposed by
11this subsection (e). The Illinois Commerce Commission may
12determine that this responsibility is best handled by
13participating project vendors in the form of insurance,
14contractual guarantees, or other mechanisms, and issue rules
15detailing this requirement.
16    (f) In the event of nonpayment, the remaining balance due
17to pay off the system shall remain with the utility meter. The
18Commission shall otherwise establish conditions in the event of
19nonpayment by customers, subject to the requirements of this
20subsection (f).
21    Section 25. Utility participation in the Program.
22    (a) All electric utilities in this State shall be required
23to participate in the Program established under this Act.
24Utilities shall not discriminate against customers on the basis
25of their energy supplier.



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1    (b) If the demand by utility customers exceeds the Program
2capital supply in a given year, utilities shall ensure 50% of
3participants are:
4        (1) members of households that make 150% or less of
5    area median income; or
6        (2) residents of environmental justice communities.
7    (c) Utilities shall endeavor to inform customers about the
8availability of the Program, their potential eligibility for
9participation in the Program, as well as to whether they are
10likely to save money on the basis of an estimate conducted
11using variables consistent with the Program that the utility
12has at its disposal. The Commission may establish guidelines by
13which utilities must abide by this directive.
14    (d) Subject to Commission specifications established in
15Section 15, each utility shall work with certified project
16vendors selected under a request for proposal process to
17establish the terms and processes under which a participant can
18purchase eligible renewable energy generation and energy
19storage systems using the financing obtained from the lender
20through a program designed to fit the Equitable Energy
21Financing Program model. The certified project vendor shall
22explain and offer the approved financing packaging to customers
23and shall assist customers in applying for financing through
24the Equitable Energy Financing Program. As part of the process,
25vendors shall also provide participants with information about
26any other relevant incentives that may be available.



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1    (e) An electric utility shall recover all of the prudently
2incurred costs of offering a program approved by the Commission
3under this Section.
4    (f) The Illinois Commerce Commission shall adopt all rules
5necessary for the administration of this Section.
6    Section 99. Effective date. This Act takes effect upon
7becoming law.".