Bill S66004A-2009

Authorizes municipalities to create a municipal sustainable energy loan program

Authorizes municipalities to create a municipal sustainable energy loan program using federal grant assistance or federal credit support available for such purpose.

Details

Actions

  • Nov 19, 2009: SIGNED CHAP.497
  • Nov 17, 2009: DELIVERED TO GOVERNOR
  • Nov 16, 2009: returned to senate
  • Nov 16, 2009: passed assembly
  • Nov 16, 2009: message of necessity - 3 day message
  • Nov 16, 2009: ruling of chair on point of order
  • Nov 16, 2009: ordered to third reading rules cal.682
  • Nov 16, 2009: substituted for a40004a
  • Nov 16, 2009: referred to energy
  • Nov 16, 2009: DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • Nov 16, 2009: PASSED SENATE
  • Nov 16, 2009: MESSAGE OF NECESSITY - 3 DAY MESSAGE
  • Nov 16, 2009: ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.3
  • Nov 16, 2009: PRINT NUMBER 66004A
  • Nov 16, 2009: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO RULES
  • Nov 10, 2009: REFERRED TO RULES

Votes

Memo

 BILL NUMBER:  S66004A

TITLE OF BILL :

An act to amend the general municipal law, in relation to authorizing municipalities to create a municipal sustainable energy loan program

PURPOSE :

This legislation would authorize municipalities to create sustainable energy loan programs to provide loans to property owners for the installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency measures.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :

Section 1 of the bill would create a new Article 5-L of the General Municipal Law entitled, "Municipal Sustainable Energy Loan Program." The new article would consist of three new sections of the General Municipal Law.

A new section 119-ee would set forth legislative findings and declaration, including that it is the policy of New York State to achieve statewide energy efficiency and renewable energy goals, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate the effect of global climate change, and advance a clean energy economy. This section would provide further that to achieve such policy and goals the State must promote the deployment of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency measures throughout the state. In addition, it would provide that municipalities would fulfill an important public purpose by providing loans to property owners for the installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency measures that advance these policies and goals.

A new section 119-ff would define the following terms used in the article: authority, credit support, energy audit, energy efficiency improvement, municipal corporation, renewable energy system, and renewable energy system feasibility study.

A new section 119-gg would authorize any municipality to establish a new Sustainable Energy Loan Program using federal grant assistance or federal credit support. The municipality would be authorized to make a loan to a property owner to finance the installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements, related energy audits and renewable energy system feasibility studies, and the verification of the installation of such systems and improvements.

For purposes of energy audits and renewable energy system feasibility studies, the bill would allow municipalities to either (1) utilize lists of contractors certified by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority ("NYSERDA"), (2) utilize lists of contractors certified by an entity (including the municipality) approved by NYSERDA, or (3) adopt a local law providing for the certification of contractors based on criteria that are at least as stringent as the criteria adopted by NYSERDA. Similarly, nothing in the bill would prevent a municipality from adopting a local law providing for the certification of contractors that install renewable energy systems or energy efficiency improvements or, alternatively, from utilizing NYSERDA lists. However, the loan program would be required to utilize any lists of cost effective energy efficiency improvements for different building types that have been approved by NYSERDA, and to verify and report on the installation and performance of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements financed by the program.

Every loan under the program must be repaid over a term not to exceed the weighted average of the useful life of the renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements. The principal amount of the loan, excluding interest, would be limited to the lesser of (1) ten percent of the appraised real property value; or (2) the combined actual costs of (a) installing the renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvements (including the costs of necessary equipment, materials, and labor), (b) each related energy audit and renewable energy system feasibility study, and ( c) verification of such renewable energy system and energy efficiency improvements. The municipal corporation would set a fixed rate of interest for the repayment of the principal amount of the loan.

Energy efficiency improvements would qualify for a loan if they are identified in an energy audit and are cost effective. Renewable energy systems would qualify for a loan if they are determined to be feasible through a renewable energy system feasibility study.

The municipality would have a lien on the real property that is benefitted by such loan. The municipality would have the option, but would not be mandated to, require that the loan made under the sustainable energy program be repaid by the property owner through a charge on the real property benefitted by such loan. If the municipality so chooses, such charge would be levied and collected at the same time and in the same manner as municipal taxes. Such charge would be separately listed on the tax bill. If the property owner failed to pay the charge, the county would not be mandated to credit or otherwise guarantee the amount of such unpaid charge to the municipal corporation which authorized the loan.

Section 2 of the bill would provide for an immediate effective date.

EXISTING LAW :

Chapter 409 of the laws of 2009 authorizes town refuse and garbage districts to provide financing to residential property owners for energy audits and energy efficiency improvements. Chapter 344 of the laws of 2009 authorizes the City of Binghamton to create a sustainable energy loan program similar to this bill. Chapter 336 of the laws of 2009 authorizes the Town of Bedford to create a sustainable energy loan program similar to this bill. The General Municipal Law does not currently authorize municipalities to create programs similar to the program contained in this bill.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :

This is a new bill.

STATEMENT IN SUPPORT :

Governor Paterson's 2009 State of the State address outlined his aggressive plan to meet 45% of New York State's electricity needs through clean renewable energy and improved energy efficiency by 2015 ("45 by 15"). Enabling municipalities to promote and finance the installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency measures moves the State toward this important goal.

The Governor's "45 by 15" goal advances several policy objectives important to New Yorkers, including the need to lower energy costs, create jobs and stimulate the economy, improve energy reliability and security, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. By promoting and facilitating the installation of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements at residential and commercial properties all across the State, this bill will help the State achieve the "45 by 15" goal and will substantially advance our energy policy objectives.

Moreover, several municipalities have begun to implement or are seeking to implement sustainable energy loan programs. As local government officials and residents alike seek ways to advance the State's energy goals, several municipalities have launched programs similar to the sustainable energy loan program authorized by this bill. For example, the Town of Babylon has initiated a substantial program on Long Island, and the City of Binghamton and the Town of Bedford have obtained specific State legislation to initiate their programs. This bill would authorize any municipality to enact a local law to commence a program that advances the State's energy goals by making energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy systems more affordable to all property owners.

Finally, this bill would also assist local governments in applying for funding made available through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 ("ARRA"). The United States Department of Energy has competitive grant opportunities available to local governments that may be used to support sustainable energy loan programs. The State improves its chance of obtaining such federal assistance with passage of this bill because municipalities will be able to demonstrate that they can leverage the federal funds through use of the sustainable energy loan program, and maintain the program beyond the life of the ARRA funds.

BUDGET IMPLICATIONS :

This bill would not have State budget implications.

EFFECTIVE DATE : This bill would take effect immediately.

Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ S. 4-A A. 4-A Twentieth Extraordinary Session S E N A T E - A S S E M B L Y November 10, 2009 ___________
IN SENATE -- Introduced by Sens. THOMPSON, AUBERTINE, BRESLIN, STACHOW- SKI, VALESKY, C. JOHNSON, FOLEY, PARKER, ESPADA -- (at request of the Governor) -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit- tee IN ASSEMBLY -- Introduced by COMMITTEE ON RULES -- (at request of M. of A. Sweeney, Cahill, Englebright, Hevesi, Lupardo, Silver, Bradley, Weisenberg, DelMonte) -- (at request of the Governor) -- read once and referred to the Committee on Energy -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as amended and recommitted to said commit- tee AN ACT to amend the general municipal law, in relation to authorizing municipalities to create a municipal sustainable energy loan program THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The general municipal law is amended by adding a new arti- cle 5-L to read as follows: ARTICLE 5-L MUNICIPAL SUSTAINABLE ENERGY LOAN PROGRAM SECTION 119-EE. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND DECLARATION. 119-FF. DEFINITIONS. 119-GG. SUSTAINABLE ENERGY LOAN PROGRAM. S 119-EE. LEGISLATIVE FINDINGS AND DECLARATION. THE LEGISLATURE FINDS AND DECLARES THAT IT IS THE POLICY OF THE STATE TO ACHIEVE STATEWIDE ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENEWABLE ENERGY GOALS, REDUCE GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND MITIGATE THE EFFECT OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE, AND ADVANCE A CLEAN ENERGY ECONOMY; AND THAT TO ACHIEVE SUCH POLICY AND GOALS THE STATE MUST PROMOTE THE DEPLOYMENT OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY MEASURES THROUGHOUT THE STATE; AND THAT MUNICIPALITIES WOULD
FULFILL AN IMPORTANT PUBLIC PURPOSE BY PROVIDING LOANS TO PROPERTY OWNERS FOR THE INSTALLATION OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS AND ENERGY EFFI- CIENCY MEASURES. S 119-FF. DEFINITIONS. FOR PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE: 1. "AUTHORITY" MEANS THE NEW YORK STATE ENERGY RESEARCH AND DEVELOP- MENT AUTHORITY, AS DEFINED BY SUBDIVISION TWO OF SECTION EIGHTEEN HUNDRED FIFTY-ONE OF THE PUBLIC AUTHORITIES LAW, OR ITS SUCCESSOR. 2. "CREDIT SUPPORT" MEANS AND INCLUDES DIRECT LOANS, LETTERS OF CRED- IT, LOAN GUARANTEES, AND INSURANCE PRODUCTS; AND THE PURCHASE OF OR COMMITMENT TO PURCHASE, OR THE SALE OF OR COMMITMENT TO SELL, DEBT INSTRUMENTS, INCLUDING SUBORDINATED SECURITIES. 3. "ENERGY AUDIT" MEANS A FORMAL EVALUATION 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 PURPOSES OF THIS ARTI- CLE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF IDENTIFYING APPROPRIATE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS THAT COULD BE MADE TO THE PROPERTY. A MUNICIPAL CORPO- RATION MAY, BY LOCAL LAW, PROVIDE FOR THE CERTIFICATION OF SUCH CONTRAC- TORS BASED UPON CRITERIA AT LEAST AS STRINGENT AS THE STATE-WIDE CRITE- RIA FOR CERTIFICATION ADOPTED BY THE AUTHORITY FOR PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE. 4. "ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT" MEANS AND INCLUDES 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 SIMI- LAR IMPROVEMENTS, DETERMINED TO BE COST-EFFECTIVE PURSUANT TO CRITERIA ESTABLISHED BY THE AUTHORITY. HOWEVER, "ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENT" SHALL NOT INCLUDE LIGHTING MEASURES OR HOUSEHOLD APPLIANCES THAT ARE NOT PERMANENTLY FIXED TO REAL PROPERTY. 5. "MUNICIPAL CORPORATION" MEANS A COUNTY, TOWN, CITY OR VILLAGE. 6. "RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM" MEANS AN ENERGY GENERATING SYSTEM FOR THE GENERATION OF ELECTRIC OR THERMAL ENERGY, TO BE USED PRIMARILY AT SUCH PROPERTY, BY MEANS OF SOLAR THERMAL, SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC, WIND, GEOTHER- MAL, ANAEROBIC DIGESTER GAS-TO-ELECTRICITY SYSTEMS, FUEL CELL TECHNOLO- GIES, OR OTHER RENEWABLE ENERGY TECHNOLOGY APPROVED BY THE AUTHORITY NOT INCLUDING THE COMBUSTION OR PYROLYSIS OF SOLID WASTE. 7. "RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM FEASIBILITY STUDY" MEANS A WRITTEN STUDY, CONDUCTED BY A CONTRACTOR CERTIFIED BY THE AUTHORITY, OR CERTIFIED BY A CERTIFYING ENTITY APPROVED BY THE AUTHORITY FOR PURPOSES OF THIS ARTI- CLE, FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING THE FEASIBILITY OF INSTALLING A RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM. A MUNICIPAL CORPORATION MAY, BY LOCAL LAW, PROVIDE FOR THE CERTIFICATION OF SUCH CONTRACTORS BASED UPON CRITERIA AT LEAST AS STRINGENT AS THE STATE-WIDE CRITERIA FOR CERTIFICATION ADOPTED BY THE AUTHORITY FOR PURPOSES OF THIS ARTICLE. S 119-GG. SUSTAINABLE ENERGY LOAN PROGRAM. 1. THE LEGISLATIVE BODY OF ANY MUNICIPAL CORPORATION MAY, BY LOCAL LAW, ESTABLISH A SUSTAINABLE ENERGY LOAN PROGRAM USING FEDERAL GRANT ASSISTANCE OR FEDERAL CREDIT SUPPORT AVAILABLE FOR THIS PURPOSE. 2. SUCH PROGRAM MAY MAKE LOANS TO THE OWNERS OF REAL PROPERTY LOCATED WITHIN THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION TO FINANCE THE INSTALLATION OF RENEWA- BLE ENERGY SYSTEMS AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS, RELATED ENERGY AUDITS AND RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM FEASIBILITY STUDIES, AND THE VERIFI- CATION OF THE INSTALLATION OF SUCH SYSTEMS AND IMPROVEMENTS. NO MUNICI- PAL CORPORATION SHALL MAKE SUCH A LOAN TO AN OWNER OF PROPERTY THAT HAS RECEIVED A LOAN FROM ANOTHER MUNICIPAL CORPORATION PURSUANT TO THIS ARTICLE. S. 4-A 3 A. 4-A 3. EACH SUCH LOCAL LAW ESTABLISHING THE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY LOAN PROGRAM SHALL PROVIDE FOR THE CRITERIA FOR MAKING SUCH LOANS AND THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS FOR REPAYMENT OF SUCH LOANS. THE SUSTAINABLE ENER- GY LOAN PROGRAM SHALL USE SUCH LISTS OF COST EFFECTIVE ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS FOR DIFFERENT BUILDING TYPES AS ARE APPROVED BY THE AUTHOR- ITY. 4. THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION SHALL VERIFY AND REPORT ON THE INSTALLA- TION AND PERFORMANCE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEMS AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS FINANCED BY THE LOAN PROGRAM IN SUCH FORM AND MANNER AS THE AUTHORITY MAY ESTABLISH. 5. EVERY LOAN MADE UNDER THE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY LOAN PROGRAM SHALL BE REPAID OVER A TERM NOT TO EXCEED THE WEIGHTED AVERAGE OF THE USEFUL LIFE OF SUCH SYSTEMS AND IMPROVEMENTS AS DETERMINED BY THE MUNICIPAL CORPO- RATION. THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION SHALL SET A FIXED RATE OF INTEREST FOR THE REPAYMENT OF THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF EACH LOAN AT THE TIME THE LOAN IS MADE. 6. THE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT OF EACH SUCH LOAN, EXCLUDING INTEREST, SHALL NOT EXCEED THE LESSER OF TEN PERCENT OF THE APPRAISED REAL PROPERTY VALUE OR THE ACTUAL COST OF INSTALLING THE RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS, INCLUDING THE COSTS OF NECESSARY EQUIP- MENT, MATERIALS, AND LABOR, THE COSTS OF EACH RELATED ENERGY AUDIT AND RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM FEASIBILITY STUDY, AND THE COST OF VERIFICATION OF SUCH RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS. 7. NO SUCH LOAN SHALL BE MADE FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS UNLESS DETERMINED TO BE APPROPRIATE THROUGH AN ENERGY AUDIT, AND NO SUCH LOAN SHALL BE MADE FOR A RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM UNLESS DETERMINED TO BE FEASIBLE THROUGH A RENEWABLE ENERGY SYSTEM FEASIBILITY STUDY. 8. THE LOAN MADE UNDER THE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY LOAN PROGRAM SHALL CONSTITUTE A LIEN UPON THE REAL PROPERTY BENEFITTED BY SUCH LOAN. 9. THE MUNICIPAL CORPORATION MAY REQUIRE THE LOAN MADE UNDER THE SUSTAINABLE ENERGY LOAN PROGRAM TO BE REPAID BY THE PROPERTY OWNER THROUGH A CHARGE ON THE REAL PROPERTY BENEFITTED BY SUCH LOAN. SUCH CHARGE SHALL BE ON THE REAL PROPERTY AND SHALL BE LEVIED AND COLLECTED AT THE SAME TIME AND IN THE SAME MANNER AS MUNICIPAL TAXES, PROVIDED THAT SUCH CHARGE SHALL BE SEPARATELY LISTED ON THE TAX BILL, AND PROVIDED FURTHER THAT IN THE EVENT SUCH CHARGE SHOULD NOT BE PAID IN A TIMELY MANNER, NO OTHER MUNICIPAL CORPORATION SHALL BE REQUIRED TO CRED- IT OR OTHERWISE GUARANTEE THE AMOUNT OF SUCH UNPAID CHARGE TO THE MUNIC- IPAL CORPORATION WHICH AUTHORIZED THE LOAN, NOTWITHSTANDING ANY PROVISION OF LAW TO THE CONTRARY. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.

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