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2.5.21 - MN PAYS® Round 2 & Structural Upgrades

Updated: Feb 5, 2021

Minneapolis and CenterPoint PAYS - Round 2 Begins

  • The MNPSC closed the first round of deliberations on the City of Minneapolis' request to consider a Tariffed-On-Bill-Financing pilot proposal on CenterPoint Energy (the investor-owned gas utility serving Minneapolis, though based in Houston, TX). The PAYS proposal was introduced in July of 2019 in a CenterPoint Rate Case in which the utility proposed to increase residential customers' monthly base charge by 26% and overall price per therm by 6-9%. After much back and forth and a stipulation agreement the Commission voted in a 5-0 vote that:

    • CenterPoint should return with a proposal to expand Low-Income CIP ("Conservation Improvement Program," the state's energy efficiency incentive program run by Commerce, local non-profits, and utilities)

    • CenterPoint + the City of Minneapolis should return with a detailed TOB proposal outlining all consumer protections, operational questions, and administrative costs within 90 days

    • Additionally, the PUC staff and Chair offered an amendment that would direct staff to help with transferring over the unprecedented-level of public testimony and comments on this docket about the rate increase and TOB into the next docket on TOB

Analysis in Connecticut Points the Way on Dealing with Health and Safety Deferrals (Part I)

  • PAYS deferred homes are a problem we will have to solve in order to upgrade all homes. It would be good to know how prevalent and how costly that might be. A recent study of Weatherization barriered homes by the Energy Futures Group prepared for E4TheFuture summarizes ways to overcome these barriers. For those who want to dig in now, here’s the Paper, Slide deck, and solution Matrix.

  • EFG catalogued common weatherization barriers including Asbestos, Knob and tube wiring, Vermiculite insulation, Mold, Lead,Structural concerns, Venting and combustion safety, Gas leaks, and Carbon monoxide in CT. They report the following:

    • The average cost of remediating the health and safety issues is nearly $21,000 with the cost for Asbestos, Mold, and Pests rising as high as $58,000. (source: Richard Faesy CT Weatherization Barriers Workshop, November 18, 2020)

  • Nearly a quarter (23%) of Home Energy Solutions - Income Eligible (HES-IE) homes were barriered from Weatherization in CT (2017-2019)

  • Just 9% of market rate Home Energy Solutions (HES) homes were barriered

  • Extrapolated to the whole of CT’s 1.38 million housing units barriered (67,000 IE-Eligible homes and 98,000 market rate barriered homes)

  • The cost of remedying the IE homes in CT aone would be $1.34B

  • In a subsequent PAYS Pals we’ll look at the second half of the paper which provided an overview of programs in the Northeast that provide funding and other services to mitigate barriers to home weatherization projects and steps that would improve their effectiveness.

Tune in Next Week for the PAYS Pals Video Festival Featuring highlights from:

  • CA Clean Energy Financing Rulemaking Workshop

  • LibertyHomes presentation to the KS House Committee on Energy, Utilities, and Telecommunications on behalf of Climate and Energy Group

  • Solar United Neighbors PAYS Webinar

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