[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Beacon as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 7-6-2015 by L.L. No. 5-2015; amended in its entirety 3-5-2018 by L.L. No. 6-2018]
It is the policy of both the City of Beacon and the State of New York to achieve energy efficiency and renewable energy goals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, mitigate the effect of global climate change, and advance a clean energy economy. The City of Beacon finds that it can fulfill this policy by providing property assessed clean energy financing to property owners for the installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency measures. This chapter establishes a program that will allow the Energy Improvement Corporation ("EIC"), a local development corporation, acting on behalf of the City of Beacon pursuant to the municipal agreement to be entered into between the City of Beacon and EIC pursuant to Article 5-G of the New York General Municipal Law (the "Municipal Agreement"), to make funds available to qualified property owners that will be repaid by such property owners through charges on the real properties benefited by such funds, thereby fulfilling the purposes of this article and fulfilling an important public purpose.
The City of Beacon is authorized to implement this Energize NY Benefit Financing Program pursuant to the Municipal Home Rule Law and Article 5-L of the New York General Municipal Law.
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Energize NY Benefit Financing Program Law of the City of Beacon."
For purposes of this article, and unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context requires, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, as defined by Subdivision 2 of § 1851 of the Public Authorities Law, or its successor.
- The Energy Improvement Corporation, a local development corporation, duly organized under § 1411 of the Not-For-Profit Corporation Law, authorized hereby on behalf of the City of Beacon to implement the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program by providing funds to qualified property owners (as defined in this article) and providing for repayment of such funds from monies collected by the City of Beacon tax collecting officer as a charge to be levied on the real property and collected in the same manner and same form as the City of Beacon taxes.
- ENERGY AUDIT
- A formal evaluation or "assessment" of the energy consumption of a permanent building or structural improvement to real property, conducted by a contractor certified by the Authority, or certified by a certifying entity approved by the Authority, for the purpose of identifying appropriate energy efficiency improvements that could be made to the property.
- ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT
- Any renovation or retrofitting of a building to reduce energy consumption, such as window and door replacement, lighting, caulking, weatherstripping, air sealing, insulation, and heating and cooling system upgrades, and similar improvements, determined to be cost-effective pursuant to criteria established by the Authority, not including lighting measures or household appliances that are not permanently fixed to real property.
- QUALIFIED PROPERTY OWNER
- An owner of residential or commercial real property located within the boundaries of the City of Beacon that is determined to be eligible to participate in the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program under the procedures for eligibility set forth under this article.
- RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM
- An energy generating system for the generation of electric or thermal energy, to be used primarily at such property, except when the qualified property owner is a commercial entity in which case the system may be used for other properties in addition to the subject property, by means of solar thermal, solar photovoltaic, wind, geothermal, anaerobic digester gas-to-electricity systems, fuel cell technologies, or other renewable energy technology approved by the Authority not including the combustion or pyrolysis of solid waste.
- RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM FEASIBILITY STUDY
- A written study, conducted by a contractor certified by the Authority, or certified by a certifying entity approved by the Authority, for the purpose of determining the feasibility of installing a renewable energy system.
An Energize NY Benefit Financing Program is hereby established by the City of Beacon, whereby EIC acting on its behalf pursuant to the municipal agreement, may provide funds to qualified property owners in accordance with the procedures set forth under this article, to finance the acquisition, construction and installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements and the verification of the installation of such systems and improvements.
For funds provided to a qualified property owner which is a commercial entity, not-for-profit organization, or entity other than an individual, EIC shall have the authority to impose requirements on the maximum amount of funds to be provided, which may consider factors including but not limited to the property value, projected savings, project cost, and existing indebtedness secured by such property.
For financings made to a qualified property owner who is an individual, the funds provided shall not exceed the lesser of:
Ten percent of the appraised value of the real property where the renewable energy systems and/or energy efficiency improvements will be located; or
The actual cost of installing the renewable energy systems and/or energy efficiency improvements, including the costs of necessary equipment, materials, and labor and the cost of verification of such systems and improvements.
Any property owner in the City of Beacon may submit an application to EIC on such forms as have been prepared by EIC and made available to property owners on the website of EIC and at the City of Beacon offices.
Every application submitted by a property owner shall be reviewed by EIC acting on behalf of the City of Beacon, which shall make a positive or negative determination on such application based upon the criteria for making a financing enumerated in § 106-5 of this article. EIC may also request further information from the property owner where necessary to aid in its determination.
If a positive determination on an application is made by EIC acting on behalf of the City of Beacon, the property owner shall be deemed a qualified property owner and shall be eligible to participate in the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program in accordance with the procedure set forth under § 106-6 of this article; provided that in no case shall a property owner that has received funds from another municipal corporation for the acquisition, construction and installation of energy efficiency improvements and/or renewable energy systems be deemed a qualified property owner.
Upon the submission of an application, EIC acting on behalf of the City of Beacon, shall make a positive or negative determination on such application based upon the following criteria for the making of a financing:
The proposed energy efficiency improvements and/or renewable energy systems are determined to be cost effective based on guidelines issued by the Authority;
The property owner may not be in bankruptcy and the property may not constitute property subject to any pending bankruptcy proceeding;
The amount financed under the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program shall be repaid over a term not to exceed the weighted average of the useful life of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements to be installed on the property as determined by EIC;
Sufficient funds are available from EIC to provide financing to the property owner;
The property owner is current in payments on any existing mortgage;
The property owner is current in payments on any existing real property taxes and has been current on real property taxes for the previous three years; and
Such additional criteria, not inconsistent with the criteria set forth above, as the City of Beacon, or EIC acting on its behalf, may set from time to time.
A qualified property owner may participate in the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program through the execution of an Energize NY finance agreement made by and between the qualified property owner and EIC, acting on the behalf of the City of Beacon (the "Energize NY finance agreement").
Upon execution of the Energize NY finance agreement, the qualified property owner shall be eligible to receive funds from EIC acting on behalf of City of Beacon, for the acquisition, construction, and installation of qualifying renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements, provided the requirements of § 106-7 of this article have been met.
No funds shall be made available for energy efficiency improvements unless determined to be appropriate through an energy audit as defined in § 106-2.
No funds shall be made available for a renewable energy system unless determined to be feasible through a renewable energy system feasibility study as defined in § 106-2.
The cost of such energy audit and/or renewable energy system feasibility study shall be borne solely by the property owner but may be included in the financed amount if the work is approved.
The Energize NY finance agreement between the qualified property owner and EIC acting on behalf of the City of Beacon, shall set forth the terms and conditions of repayment in accordance with the following:
The principal amount of the funds paid to the qualified property owner hereunder, together with the interest thereon, shall be paid by the property owner as a charge on their City of Beacon tax bill and shall be levied and collected at the same time and in the same manner as City of Beacon property taxes, provided that such charge shall be separately listed on the tax bill. The City of Beacon shall make payment to EIC or its designee in the amount of all such separately listed charges within 30 days of the date the payment is due to be made to the City of Beacon.
The term of such repayment shall be determined at the time the Energize NY finance agreement is executed by the property owner and EIC, provided that in no case shall the term exceed the weighted average of the useful life of the systems and improvements as determined by EIC acting on behalf of the City of Beacon.
The rate of interest for the charge shall be fixed by EIC acting on behalf of the City of Beacon at the time the Energize NY finance agreement is executed by the property owner and EIC.
The charge shall constitute a lien upon the real property benefited by the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program as set forth in Article 5-L of the General Municipal Law and shall run with the land. A transferee of title to the benefited real property shall be required to pay any future installments, including interest thereon.
EIC shall be responsible for verifying and reporting to the City of Beacon on the installation and performance of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements financed by such program.
The City of Beacon shall verify and report on the installation and performance of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements financed by the Energize NY Benefit Financing Program in such form and manner as the Authority may establish.
[Adopted 1-17-2017 by L.L. No. 1-2017]
It is the policy of both the City of Beacon and the State of York to reduce costs and provide price certainty for the purpose of consumer protection and economic development, to expand access and opportunities for consumers in retail energy markets, as well as to promote the sustainability and resilience of energy systems through the proliferation of renewable energy, energy efficiency, and distributed energy resources (DER, as defined below). Among the initiatives that may advance these objectives in New York is community choice aggregation (CCA), a policy that empowers local governments to determine the source of electricity and/or natural gas supply on behalf of its residents and small businesses, reflecting local resources, priorities, and challenges. Energy delivery remains the responsibility of the distribution utility.
This article establishes the authority for the City of Beacon, in connection with the implementation of a CCA program, to acquire utility data, to select, through competitive solicitation, energy supplier(s) on behalf of default consumers within the jurisdictional boundaries of the City of Beacon, and to maximize value for participating consumers through enhanced services related to DER. The municipality may choose to collaborate with other local governments to form an intermunicipal program. As a result, consumers will have the opportunity to lower and stabilize their energy costs, to spur local clean energy innovation and investment, and to reduce their environmental impact; thereby, fulfilling the purposes of this article and fulfilling an important public purpose.
The City of Beacon is authorized to implement this community choice aggregation program pursuant to § 10(1)(ii)(a)(12) of the New York Municipal Home Rule Law; and consistent with State of New York Public Service Commission Case No. 14-M-0224, Proceeding on Motion of the Commission to Enable Community Choice Aggregation Programs (issued April 21, 2017) as may be amended, including subsequent orders of the Public Service Commission issued in connection with or related to Case No. 14-M-0224, to the extent that orders related to Case No. 14-M-0224 enable actions by the municipality.
This article shall be known and may be cited as the "Community Choice Aggregation Program Law of the City of Beacon."
For purposes of this article, and unless otherwise expressly stated or unless the context otherwise requires, the terms in this article shall have the meanings employed in the State of New York Public Service Commission's Uniform Business Practices or, if not so defined there, as indicated below:
- AGGREGATED DATA
- Aggregated and anonymized information including, but not limited to, the number of consumers by service and rate class, the aggregated peak demand (kW) (for electricity) by month for the past 12 months by service and rate class, and the aggregated energy (kWh) for electricity or volumetric consumption for gas by month for the past 12 months by service and rate class.
- CCA ADMINISTRATOR
- The City of Beacon or third-party CCA administrator, duly authorized to request aggregated and customer-specific data, competitively solicit suppliers for the aggregated demand for electricity and/or natural gas on behalf of default consumers, and to offer participating consumers additional opportunities to participate or enroll in programs or projects related to distributed energy resources. CCA administrator is responsible for program organization, administration, procurement, communications, and for meeting all requirements for program implementation specified in the PSC CCA order, unless otherwise specified.
- CUSTOMER-SPECIFIC DATA
- Customer-specific information, personal data and utility data for all default consumers including the customer of record's name, mailing address, telephone number, account number, and primary language, if available, and any customer-specific alternate billing name, address, and phone number.
- DEFAULT CONSUMERS
- Customers of electricity and/or natural gas within opt-out eligible service classes (as delineated in the PSC CCA order), who receive supply service from the distribution utility as of the date the supply contract goes into effect, or consumers within these service classes that subsequently become eligible to participate in the program including those that have terminated a supply contract with an ESCO, removed a freeze or block on their account, have voluntarily suspended service pursuant to a special rate, or are new residents of the municipality. Consumers within opt-out eligible service classes, as of the date the supply contract goes into effect, taking service from an ESCO, those that have placed a freeze or block on their account, and those for whom enrollment in the CCA program would interfere with a choice they have already made to take service pursuant to a special rate are not considered default consumers and will not be enrolled on an opt-out basis. For the avoidance of doubt, all default consumers must reside or be otherwise located at one or more locations within the geographic boundaries of the municipality, as such boundaries exist as of the date the supply contract with them goes into effect.
- DISTRIBUTED ENERGY RESOURCES (DER)
- Local renewable energy projects, community distributed generation (e.g., shared solar), peak demand management, energy efficiency, demand response, energy storage, community resilience microgrid projects, and other innovative Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiatives that further engage and/or reduce cost of service for participating consumers, optimize system benefits, and/or address infrastructure and demand challenges within geography of the CCA.
- DISTRIBUTION UTILITY
- Owner or controller of the means of distribution of the natural gas or electricity in the municipality. The distribution utility also serves as the default supplier of electricity and natural gas preceding the establishment of a CCA program.
- ESCO or ENERGY SERVICES COMPANY
- An entity duly authorized to conduct business in the State of New York as an ESCO.
- PARTICIPATING CONSUMERS
- Default consumers who have not opted out, and non-default consumers of any service class that have voluntarily enrolled in the program.
- PSC CCA ORDER
- The PSC's Order Authorizing Framework for Community Choice Aggregation Opt-Out Program, issued on April 21, 2017, in Case 14-M-0224, "Proceeding on Motion of the Commission to Enable Community Choice Aggregation Programs."
- PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION or PSC
- New York State Public Service Commission.
- An ESCO that procures electric power and natural gas for participating consumers in connection with this article or, alternatively, generators of electricity and natural gas or other entities who procure and resell electricity or natural gas.
Community choice aggregation program is hereby authorized by the municipality, whereby the municipality may implement a CCA program to the full extent permitted by the PSC CCA order, as set forth more fully herein.
The municipality may enter into contracts with one or more suppliers for electric and/or natural gas supply and other services on behalf of default consumers.
The municipality may enter into agreements and contracts with other municipalities, nonprofits, consultants, and/or other third parties to:
The operation and ownership of the utility service shall remain with the distribution utility. The municipality's participation in a CCA program constitutes neither the purchase of a public utility system, nor the furnishing of utility service. The municipality shall not take over any part of the electric or gas transmission or distribution system and will not furnish any type of utility service, but will instead negotiate with suppliers on behalf of participating consumers.
The Public Service Commission supervises retail markets and participants in these markets through legislative and regulatory authority and the uniform business practices, which includes rules relating to the eligibility of participating ESCOs, the operation by which ESCOs provide energy services, and the terms on which customers may be enrolled with ESCOs.
All default consumers shall be enrolled on an opt-out basis. Default consumers will have the right to opt out before the supply contract goes into effect, or disenroll any time thereafter with no penalty. Those that do not opt out before the supply contract goes into effect will be enrolled automatically.
All non-default consumers within the municipality, regardless of service class, shall be eligible to participate in the CCA program on an opt-in basis.
CCA administrator, on behalf of the City of Beacon, shall issue one or more requests for proposals to suppliers to provide energy to participants and may then award a contract in accordance with the CCA program.
A program notification letter, printed on municipal letterhead, shall be mailed to default consumers at least 30 days prior to customer enrollment. The letter shall include information on the CCA program and the contract signed with the selected supplier(s) including specific details on rates, services, contract term, cancellation fee, and methods for opting out of the CCA program. The letter shall explain that consumers that do not opt out will be enrolled in the program under the contract terms and that information on those consumers, including energy usage data and APP status, will be provided to the ESCO.
After the thirty-day opt-out period, all consumers shall have the option to disenroll from the CCA program at any time without penalty.
The municipality, or CCA administrator on its behalf, may request aggregated data and customer-specific data from the distribution utility.
Customer-specific data shall be protected in a manner compliant with, collectively:
All national, state and local laws, regulations or other government standards relating to the protection of information that identifies or can be used to identify an individual that apply with respect to the municipality or its representative's processing of confidential utility information;
The utility's internal requirements and procedures relating to the protection of information that identifies or can be used to identify an individual that apply with respect to the municipality or its representative's processing of confidential utility information; and
The PSC CCA order and PSC rules, regulations and guidelines relating to confidential data.
For the purpose of protecting customer data, the municipality must enter into an agreement with the distribution utility that obligates each party to meet, collectively:
All national, state and local laws, regulations or other government standards relating to the protection of information that identifies or can be used to identify an individual default consumer or participating consumer with respect to the CCA administrator or its representative's processing of confidential utility information;
The distribution utility's internal requirements and procedures relating to the protection of information that identifies or can be used to identify individual default consumer or participating consumer with respect to the CCA administrator or its representative's processing of confidential utility information; and
The PSC CCA order and PSC rules, regulations and guidelines relating to confidential data.
The municipality or CCA administrator may collect, or cause to be collected, funds from customer payments to pay for administrative costs associated with running the CCA program.
Annual reports shall be filed with the City Clerk by March 31 of each year and cover the previous calendar year.
Annual reports shall include, at a minimum: number of consumers served; number of consumers cancelling during the year; number of complaints received; commodity prices paid; value-added services provided during the year (e.g., installation of DER or other clean energy services); and administrative costs collected. The first report shall also include the number of consumers who opted-out in response to the initial opt-out letter or letters.
If a CCA supply contract will expire less than one year following the filing of the annual report, the report must identify current plans for soliciting a new contract, negotiating an extension, or ending the CCA program.
This article shall be effective immediately upon passage.
The invalidity or unenforceability of any section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, provision, or phrase of the aforementioned sections, as declared by the valid judgment of any court of competent jurisdiction to be unconstitutional, shall not affect the validity or enforceability of any other section, subsection, paragraph, sentence, clause, provision, or phrase, which shall remain in full force and effect.