Energy Efficiency Financing Act Details

Senate Bill 6656 • House Bill 2853

Prime Sponsors:

Representative Rolfes • Senator Murray

Sec. 1: Intent

This bill will allow local governments to expand and improve existing energy conservation and energy efficiency loan programs to finance energy efficiency retrofits in residential, commercial and industrial buildings in both the private and nonprofit sectors.

Expanding current programs will reduce household energy bills; provide incentives for creating new family-wage jobs in construction, manufacturing and installation of energy-saving products; encourage utility investments in a cleaner environment; decrease the need for building new power plants and increase our energy security.

Sec. 2: Energy conservation services

This section allows municipalities to provide conservation services the same way they provide other governmental services, through a “utility.” The services provided by the municipality cannot duplicate other energy conservation services provided in the area.

Municipalities may issue general obligation or revenue bonds, notes, warrants, etc., in order to provide energy conservation services. Also, a municipality may form a local improvement district and issue assessment bonds, notes, warrants, etc., to finance conservation services.

Secs. 3, 4 and 5: Additional and enhanced conservation services to cities, towns, districts and counties

These sections add the conservation services allowed in Sec. 2 to the existing statute that allows cities/towns, districts and counties to provide energy services through consumer-owned utilities (COU). They broaden the conservation programs COUs may provide. They allow cities/towns, districts, and counties to secure energy conservation loans through a property lien. It allows municipalities to set up revolving loan funds for energy conservation services, and allows repayment of the loans through utility bills.

Secs. 6 and 7: Greenhouse gas emission reductions

These sections add to existing statute the ability of cities/towns and counties to create and publish plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or achieve no net emissions from governmental activities. The city or town may enter into an agreement with its local electric or natural gas utility for services that reduce emissions.

Sec. 8: Removing privately owned utilities’ disincentive to invest in conservation

This section allows privately owned utilities to fully recover all prudently incurred, cost-effective expenditures for conservation and for lost revenue.