Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 7
152nd General Assembly (Present)
Becomes effective upon date of signature of the Governor or upon date specified
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 29 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE STATE ENERGY OFFICE.
This Bill amends the Delaware Energy Act, Title 29 of the Delaware Code, Chapter 80, Subchapter II, by updating and expanding upon the duties of the State Energy Office (located in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control’s Division of Climate, Coastal and Energy). In Section 1 of the Bill, the General Assembly finds and declares that: (a) Planning for Delaware's energy future is vitally important to Delaware’s economy and all of its citizens; (b) Developments in the energy sector of the economy are proceeding at a fast pace, and devoting state resources to the energy sector will be beneficial; and (c) Transforming the delivery of energy to end users is expected to require new programs, planning, and workforce training. Section 1 of the Bill also declares the intent of the General Assembly to provide for the development and implementation of State energy policy and programs in accordance with the State Energy Plan, the State Climate Action Plan, and other documents developed by the Governor's Energy Advisor Council and adopted by the State Energy Office. Section 2 of the Bill commits the State Energy Office to coordinate and partner with state, local, regional, and federal agencies, energy-related boards and councils, energy utilities, and other stakeholders in carrying out its duties under Subchapter II of Chapter 80. The Bill requires the State Energy Office to develop and update, at least every five years, a comprehensive State Energy Plan and to support the State's Climate Action Plan. Among other things, the Bill also requires the State Energy Office to do the following: (a) Provide technical and administrative support to the Governor’s Energy Advisory Council; (b) Assist the State, energy utilities, and private citizens to secure federal funds made available to states and energy utilities to support emerging energy technologies, energy workforce development, and renewable energy and decarbonization programs; (c) Serve as a liaison between State and federal agencies and energy agencies in other states and regions on energy programs and policy matters; and (d) Monitor and act in a coordinating capacity to promote the planning and buildout of the statewide energy grid to optimize resources, including in coordination the Public Service Commission. The Bill expressly authorizes the State Energy Office, through the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, to intervene in dockets before the Public Service Commission in proceedings arising directly from the matters enumerated Subchapter II, Chapter 80, Title 29 of the Delaware Code. This provision is being added to Title 29, Section 8053 of the Delaware Code, and is not intended to limit or restrict, in any way, the Department’s rights or ability to intervene in any other proceedings of the Public Service Commission. Rather, the provision is intended to emphasize the importance of the Department’s input in Public Service Commission proceedings that arise directly from matters falling within Subchapter II, Chapter 80 of Title 29 of the Delaware Code. This is a Substitute Bill that incorporates a number of proposed changes to Senate Bill No. 7, including those contained in Senate Amendment No. 1 to Senate Bill No. 7, and are summarized as follows: (a) On lines 6 to 10, the addition of a "Whereas clause" stating that State Energy Policy should consider the costs and benefits of energy policy options for all Delawareans, including utility ratepayers, and the health and environmental impacts on existing overburdened and underserved communities; (b) On lines 55 to 59, the addition of language the it is the intent of the General Assembly to provide for the development and implementation of State energy policy and programs in accordance with the State Energy Plan, the Climate Action Plan, and other documents adopted by the State Energy Office as recommended by the Governor’s Energy Advisory Council; (c) On lines 75 to 80, the addition of language about the State Energy Office partnering with local and regional energy agencies, the Delaware Division of the Public Advocate, and the Delaware Department of Transportation in carrying out its duties under the Delaware Energy Act; (d) On lines 82 and 83, the addition of the reference to "energy utilities" as entities that the State Energy Office will assist in securing federal funding for Delaware renewable energy and decarbonization programs; and (e) On lines 123 to 128, the addition of a provision authorizing the State Energy Office, through the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, to intervene in Public Service Commission proceedings involving the Delaware Energy Act.
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