Bill S7067-2013

Relates to requiring periodic construction audits for certain private sector contractors

Relates to requiring periodic construction audits for certain private sector contractors.

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  • Apr 23, 2014: REFERRED TO ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7067

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public authorities law, in relation to bi-annual construction audits

PURPOSE:

To evaluate the contractors which NYSERDA has hired to fulfill building performance improvements for certain projects which were financed using ratepayer funds.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1:This section describes the legislative intent of the bill, which is to ensure that electric ratepayer funds are used effectively.

Section 2:This section implements the audit program whereby the Authority reviews the completed work performed by private sector contractors.

Section 3:This section sets a January 1, 2015 effective date.

JUSTIFICATION:

New York State, through the New York State Energy and Research Development Authority (the authority), has provided an array of financing incentives to building owners and contractors for energy efficiency. These incentives are financed via ratepayer funds and were offered in order to create cleaner, more efficient building structures that will provide environmental benefits as compared to conventional building and construction practices. Since the incentives operate on the exchange of tax credits for environmental benefits, it is only fair that those contractors who have received ratepayer funds be required to demonstrate the satisfactory performance of their work.

This bill requires the authority to audit, on a bi-annual basis beginning in January, 2015, no less than 25% of all construction work performed which was financed via ratepayer funds. The audits must determine whether the construction performed has lived up to its expectations.

The authority will audit no less than 25% of the work which was financed via ratepayer funds and was also performed under any of the following state programs: Systems Benefit Charge (SBC), Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (EEPS), the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). All audits will be funded by the program that originally captured the project, such as the SBC, the EEPS, the RPS, and the RGGI.

NYSERDA programs that rely on ratepayer funds supplied by the SBC, the RPS, the EEPS, or RGGI, include but are not limited to: the Energy Smart New Construction Program; the Existing Facilities Program; the Energy Star Home Builders Program; the Fuel Cell Rebate and Performance Incentive; the Customer-Sited Tier Regional Program; Assisted Home Performance Grants; EmPower New York; the Agricultural Energy Efficiency Program; the Energy smart Multifamily Performance Program; the Industrial and Process Efficiency Performance Incentives;

the Solar Thermal Incentive Program; the Electric Commercial and Industrial Efficiency Programs; the residential efficiency Programs; and the Commercial and Industrial Efficiency Programs.

Within six months of completing any audit the authority shall be required to publish the results and rate the contractors who performed the work on whether or not the work performed resulted in any actual energy efficiency improvements or other environmental benefits. Each contractor shall be given a "score" and all such "scores" shall be made available on the authority's website.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

This is a new bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

None.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

January 1, 2015


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7067 IN SENATE April 23, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sen. MAZIARZ -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Energy and Telecommuni- cations AN ACT to amend the public authorities law, in relation to bi-annual construction audits THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Legislative intent. It is the intent of the legislature of the state of New York to ensure that electric ratepayer funds are used effectively by evaluating the completed work that has been funded by ratepayer funds under programs overseen and operated by the New York state energy research and development authority. S 2. The public authorities law is amended by adding a new section 1874 to read as follows: S 1874. BI-ANNUAL CONSTRUCTION AUDITS. 1. THE AUTHORITY SHALL AUDIT, ON A BI-ANNUAL BASIS, NO LESS THAN TWENTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE CONSTRUCTION, RENOVATION, RETROFIT, RENEWABLE ENERGY, DISTRIBUTED GENER- ATION, OR ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECTS WHICH WERE PERFORMED BY A PRIVATE SECTOR CONTRACTOR AS UNDER A BENEFIT OR INCENTIVE PROGRAM WHICH IS OPER- ATED BY THE AUTHORITY AND IS BACKED BY RATEPAYER FUNDS, FOR THE PURPOSE OF DETERMINING WHETHER SUCH CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS ARE FUNCTIONING PROP- ERLY. THE TYPE OF AUDIT WILL VARY ON A CASE-BY-CASE BASIS DEPENDING ON WHICH AUTHORITY PROGRAM FUNDED THE PROJECT, THE TECHNOLOGY INVOLVED, AND THE TYPE OF BENEFIT THE PROJECT IS SUPPOSED TO PROVIDE. BENEFIT AND INCENTIVE PROGRAMS THAT ARE FUNDED USING RATEPAYER FUNDS INCLUDE BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO PROJECTS FUNDED BY THE RENEWABLE PORTFOLIO STANDARD (RPS), THE SYSTEMS BENEFIT CHARGE (SBC), THE REGIONAL GREENHOUSE GAS INITIATIVE (RGGI), AND THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY PORTFOLIO STANDARD (EEPS). 2. THE AUTHORITY SHALL BE REQUIRED TO ISSUE A REPORT CONTAINING ITS FINDINGS NO LATER THAN SIX MONTHS AFTER IT COMPLETES AN AUDIT TO THE TEMPORARY PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, THE SPEAKER OF THE ASSEMBLY, THE CHAIR OF THE SENATE ENERGY AND TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMMITTEE, THE CHAIR OF THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION, AND THE CHAIR OF THE ASSEMBLY ENERGY
COMMITTEE. THE REPORT SHALL ALSO BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE PUBLIC ON THE AUTHORITY'S WEBSITE. 3. THE AUTHORITY SHALL DEVELOP A SCORING SYSTEM AND ASSIGN EACH CONTRACTOR AUDITED A "SCORE" INDICATING THE RELATIVE PERFORMANCE OF CONSTRUCTION WORK AS COMPARED TO ITS PURPOSE AT THE TIME OF CONSTRUCTION. SUCH SCORE SHALL TAKE INTO ACCOUNT, AMONG OTHER CRITERIA THAT THE AUTHORITY DEEMS RELEVANT; THE TECHNOLOGY INVOLVED AND THE TYPE OF BENEFIT THE PROJECT IS SUPPOSED TO PROVIDE; THE AGE OF THE PROJECT; WHETHER TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENTS ARE AVAILABLE TO IMPROVE THE PROJECT'S PERFORMANCE AS IT RELATES TO ENERGY EFFICIENCY; WHETHER THE PROJECT IS OPERATING SAFELY; WHETHER THE PROJECT PRESENTS A SAFETY THREAT TO SUBSEQUENT OWNERS, OPERATORS, AND THIRD PARTIES; IF A STRUC- TURE, THE STRUCTURAL INTEGRITY THEREOF; THE OVERALL FUNCTIONING OF THE PROJECT; AND ANYTHING ELSE THAT THE AUTHORITY DEEMS NECESSARY AND APPRO- PRIATE. 4. THE OWNERS OR OPERATORS OF EACH BUILDING, STRUCTURE, OR OTHER ENTI- TY TO WHICH CONSTRUCTION OR RENOVATIONS WERE PERFORMED USING RATEPAYER FUNDS IS HEREBY DIRECTED TO COOPERATE FULLY WITH THE AUDIT REQUIRED BY THIS SECTION, AND TO PROVIDE ACCESS TO THE PREMISES UPON REASONABLE NOTICE. 5. THE AUTHORITY SHALL CONSIDER THE RESULTS OF EACH AUDIT AND THE RELATIVE PERFORMANCE OF EACH CONTRACTOR EXAMINED, AND SHALL USE SUCH INFORMATION AS A DETERMINING FACTOR AS TO EACH CONTRACTOR'S CONTINUED PARTICIPATION IN ANY RATEPAYER-FUNDED PROGRAM. IN PREPARING ITS REPORT, THE AUTHORITY SHALL LIST ANY AND ALL CONTRACTORS WHO HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM ITS PROGRAM DUE TO SUB-STANDARD PERFORMANCE. S 3. This act shall take effect January 1, 2015.

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