Nrs: Chapter 702 - Energy Assistance

Link to law: https://www.leg.state.nv.us/NRS/NRS-702.html
Published: 2015

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[Rev. 11/21/2013 1:22:13

PM--2013]



CHAPTER 702 - ENERGY ASSISTANCE

GENERAL PROVISIONS

NRS 702.010           Definitions.

NRS 702.020           “Calendar

quarter” defined.

NRS 702.030           “Commission”

defined.

NRS 702.035           “Division

of Welfare and Supportive Services” defined.

NRS 702.040           “Fund”

defined.

NRS 702.050           “Housing

Division” defined.

NRS 702.060           “Municipal

utility” defined.

NRS 702.070           “Person”

defined.

NRS 702.080           “Public

utility” defined.

NRS 702.090           “Retail

customer” defined.

NRS 702.100           “Universal

energy charge” defined.

UNIVERSAL ENERGY CHARGE

NRS 702.150           Applicability;

exemptions for certain retail customers; limitations on receipt of assistance

by certain retail customers.

NRS 702.160           Amount

of charge; duty to pay; exemptions for certain activities; collection; duties

of public utilities and municipal utilities; duties of certain retail customers;

cap; refunds.

NRS 702.170           Powers

and duties of Commission; regulations and enforcement; reports; audits and

investigations; administrative charge; deposit of money; civil action for

recovery of money.

PROGRAMS OF ENERGY ASSISTANCE

NRS 702.250           Fund

for Energy Assistance and Conservation: Creation; administration of Fund by

Division of Welfare and Supportive Services; distribution of money in Fund.

NRS 702.260           Programs

to assist eligible households in paying for natural gas and electricity; powers

and duties of Division of Welfare and Supportive Services; administrative

expenses; criteria for eligibility; emergency assistance; regulations.

NRS 702.270           Programs

of energy conservation, weatherization and energy efficiency for eligible

households; powers and duties of Housing Division; administrative expenses;

criteria for eligibility; emergency assistance; regulations.

NRS 702.275           Reports

on unspent and unencumbered money in Fund; distribution of portion of such

money for programs of energy conservation, weatherization and energy efficiency

for eligible households; administrative expenses.

NRS 702.280           Coordination

and evaluation of programs; duties of Division of Welfare and Supportive

Services and Housing Division; submission of report to Governor, Legislative

Commission and Interim Finance Committee.

_________

GENERAL PROVISIONS

      NRS 702.010  Definitions.  As

used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise requires, the words and

terms defined in NRS 702.020 to 702.100, inclusive, have the meanings ascribed to them

in those sections.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3231)

      NRS 702.020  “Calendar quarter” defined.  “Calendar

quarter” means each period of 3 consecutive calendar months ending on March 31,

June 30, September 30 and December 31 in each calendar year.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3231)

      NRS 702.030  “Commission” defined.  “Commission”

means the Public Utilities Commission of Nevada.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3231)

      NRS 702.035  “Division of Welfare and Supportive Services” defined.  “Division of Welfare and Supportive Services”

means the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services of the Department of

Health and Human Services.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3232)—(Substituted

in revision for NRS 702.110)

      NRS 702.040  “Fund” defined.  “Fund”

means the Fund for Energy Assistance and Conservation created by NRS 702.250.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3231)

      NRS 702.050  “Housing Division” defined.  “Housing

Division” means the Housing Division of the Department of Business and

Industry.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3231)

      NRS 702.060  “Municipal utility” defined.  “Municipal

utility” includes, without limitation:

      1.  A utility established pursuant to chapter 709 or 710

of NRS.

      2.  Any other utility that is owned,

operated or controlled by a county, city or other local governmental entity.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3231)

      NRS 702.070  “Person” defined.  “Person”

means:

      1.  A natural person;

      2.  Any form of business or social

organization and any other nongovernmental legal entity, including, without

limitation, a corporation, partnership, association, trust or unincorporated

organization;

      3.  A government or an agency or

instrumentality of a government, including, without limitation, this state or

an agency or instrumentality of this state; and

      4.  A political subdivision of this state

or of any other government or an agency or instrumentality of a political

subdivision of this state or of any other government.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3231)

      NRS 702.080  “Public utility” defined.  “Public

utility” has the meaning ascribed to it in NRS

704.020 and 704.021.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3231)

      NRS 702.090  “Retail customer” defined.

      1.  “Retail customer” means an end-use

customer that purchases natural gas or electricity for consumption in this

state.

      2.  The term includes, without limitation:

      (a) A residential, commercial or industrial end-use

customer that purchases natural gas or electricity for consumption in this

state, including, without limitation, an eligible customer that purchases

electricity for consumption in this state from a provider of new electric

resources pursuant to the provisions of chapter

704B of NRS.

      (b) A landlord of a mobile home park or owner of

a company town who is subject to any of the provisions of NRS 704.905 to 704.960, inclusive.

      (c) A landlord who pays for natural gas or

electricity that is delivered through a master meter and who distributes or

resells the natural gas or electricity to one or more tenants for consumption

in this state.

      3.  The term does not include this state, a

political subdivision of this state or an agency or instrumentality of this

state or political subdivision of this state when it is an end-use customer

that purchases natural gas or electricity for consumption in this state,

including, without limitation, when it is an eligible customer that purchases

electricity for consumption in this state from a provider of new electric

resources pursuant to the provisions of chapter

704B of NRS.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3231)

      NRS 702.100  “Universal energy charge” defined.  “Universal

energy charge” means the charge imposed pursuant to NRS

702.160.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3232)

UNIVERSAL ENERGY CHARGE

      NRS 702.150  Applicability; exemptions for certain retail customers;

limitations on receipt of assistance by certain retail customers.

      1.  The provisions of NRS 702.160 do not apply to any therm of natural gas

or any kilowatt-hour of electricity that a retail customer purchases from:

      (a) A rural electric cooperative established

pursuant to chapter 81 of NRS.

      (b) A general improvement district established

pursuant to chapter 318 of NRS.

      (c) A cooperative association, nonprofit

corporation, nonprofit association or provider of service which is declared to

be a public utility pursuant to NRS 704.673

and which provides service only to its members.

      2.  If a retail customer is exempted from

paying the universal energy charge pursuant to subsection 1, the retail customer

may not receive money or other assistance from:

      (a) The Division of Welfare and Supportive

Services pursuant to NRS 702.260 for any utility

service for which the retail customer is exempted from paying the universal

energy charge; or

      (b) The Housing Division pursuant to NRS 702.270.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3232)

      NRS 702.160  Amount of charge; duty to pay; exemptions for certain

activities; collection; duties of public utilities and municipal utilities;

duties of certain retail customers; cap; refunds.

      1.  Except as otherwise provided in this

section and NRS 702.150, each retail customer shall

pay:

      (a) A universal energy charge of 3.30 mills on

each therm of natural gas that the retail customer purchases from another

person for consumption in this State; and

      (b) A universal energy charge of 0.39 mills on

each kilowatt-hour of electricity that the retail customer purchases from

another person for consumption in this State.

      2.  The provisions of subsection 1 do not

apply to:

      (a) Any therm of natural gas used as a source of

energy to generate electricity.

      (b) Any kilowatt-hour of electricity used in

industries utilizing electrolytic-manufacturing processes.

      3.  If a retail customer uses the

distribution services of a public utility or municipal utility to acquire

natural gas or electricity that is subject to the universal energy charge, the

public utility or municipal utility providing the distribution services shall:

      (a) Collect the universal energy charge from each

such retail customer;

      (b) Ensure that the universal energy charge is

set forth as a separate item or entry on the bill of each such retail customer;

and

      (c) Not later than 30 days after the end of each

calendar quarter, remit to the Commission the total amount of money collected

by the public utility or municipal utility for the universal energy charge for

the immediately preceding calendar quarter.

      4.  If a retail customer does not use the

distribution services of a public utility or municipal utility to acquire

natural gas or electricity that is subject to the universal energy charge, not

later than 30 days after the end of each calendar quarter, the retail customer

shall remit to the Commission the total amount of money owed by the retail

customer for the universal energy charge for the immediately preceding calendar

quarter.

      5.  If, during a calendar quarter, a single

retail customer or multiple retail customers under common ownership and control

pay, in the aggregate, a universal energy charge of more than $25,000 for all

consumption of natural gas and electricity during the calendar quarter, such

retail customers are entitled to a refund, for that calendar quarter, of the

amount of the universal energy charge that exceeds $25,000. To receive a refund

pursuant to this section, not later than 90 days after the end of the calendar

quarter for which the refund is requested, such retail customers must file with

the Commission a request for a refund. If a request for a refund is filed with

the Commission:

      (a) The Commission shall determine and certify

the amount of the refund; and

      (b) The refund must be paid as other claims

against the State are paid from money in the Fund.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3232)

      NRS 702.170  Powers and duties of Commission; regulations and enforcement;

reports; audits and investigations; administrative charge; deposit of money;

civil action for recovery of money.

      1.  The Commission shall adopt regulations

to carry out and enforce the provisions of NRS 702.160.

Such regulations may require public utilities, municipal utilities and retail

customers that are required to collect or remit money for the universal energy

charge to file reports and to provide the Commission with information relating

to compliance with the requirements of the universal energy charge.

      2.  In carrying out the provisions of NRS 702.160, the Commission shall solicit advice from

the Consumer’s Advocate of the Bureau of Consumer Protection in the Office of

the Attorney General, public utilities and municipal utilities and other

knowledgeable persons.

      3.  The Commission may conduct audits and

investigations of public utilities, municipal utilities and retail customers

that are required to collect or remit money for the universal energy charge, if

the Commission determines that such audits and investigations are necessary to

verify compliance with the requirements of the universal energy charge. In

conducting such audits and investigations, the Commission may exercise any of

the investigative powers granted to the Commission pursuant to chapter 703 of NRS, including, without

limitation, the power to issue orders to compel the appearance of witnesses and

the production of books, accounts, papers and records.

      4.  To carry out its powers and duties

pursuant to this chapter, the Commission is entitled to an administrative

charge of not more than 3 percent of the money collected for the universal

energy charge. After deduction of its administrative charge, the Commission

shall deposit the remaining money collected for the universal energy charge in

the State Treasury for credit to the Fund.

      5.  The Commission may bring an appropriate

action in its own name for recovery of any money that a person fails to pay,

collect or remit in violation of the requirements of the universal energy

charge.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3233)

PROGRAMS OF ENERGY ASSISTANCE

      NRS 702.250  Fund for Energy Assistance and Conservation: Creation;

administration of Fund by Division of Welfare and Supportive Services;

distribution of money in Fund.

      1.  There is hereby created as a special

revenue fund in the State Treasury the Fund for Energy Assistance and

Conservation. The Division of Welfare and Supportive Services shall administer

the Fund.

      2.  In addition to the money that must be

credited to the Fund from the universal energy charge, all money received from

private or public sources to carry out the purposes of this chapter must be

deposited in the State Treasury for credit to the Fund.

      3.  The Division shall, to the extent

practicable, ensure that the money in the Fund is administered in a manner

which is coordinated with all other sources of money that are available for

energy assistance and conservation, including, without limitation, money

contributed from private sources, money obtained from the Federal Government

and money obtained from any agency or instrumentality of this State or

political subdivision of this State.

      4.  The interest and income earned on the

money in the Fund, after deducting any applicable charges, must be credited to

the Fund. All claims against the Fund must be paid as other claims against the

State are paid.

      5.  After deduction of any refunds paid from

the Fund pursuant to NRS 702.160, the money in the

Fund must be distributed pursuant to NRS 702.260, 702.270 and 702.275.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3233; A 2007, 2975)

      NRS 702.260  Programs to assist eligible households in paying for natural gas

and electricity; powers and duties of Division of Welfare and Supportive

Services; administrative expenses; criteria for eligibility; emergency

assistance; regulations.

      1.  Seventy-five percent of the money in

the Fund must be distributed to the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services

for programs to assist eligible households in paying for natural gas and

electricity. The Division may use not more than 5 percent of the money

distributed to it pursuant to this section for its administrative expenses.

      2.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 702.150, after deduction for its administrative

expenses, the Division may use the money distributed to it pursuant to this

section only to:

      (a) Assist eligible households in paying for

natural gas and electricity.

      (b) Carry out activities related to consumer

outreach.

      (c) Pay for program design.

      (d) Pay for the annual evaluations conducted

pursuant to NRS 702.280.

      3.  Except as otherwise provided in

subsection 4, to be eligible to receive assistance from the Division pursuant

to this section, a household must have a household income that is not more than

150 percent of the federally designated level signifying poverty, as determined

by the Division.

      4.  The Division is authorized to render

emergency assistance to a household if an emergency related to the cost or

availability of natural gas or electricity threatens the health or safety of

one or more of the members of the household. Such emergency assistance may be

rendered upon the good faith belief that the household is otherwise eligible to

receive assistance pursuant to this section.

      5.  Before July 1, 2002, if a household is

eligible to receive assistance pursuant to this section, the Division shall

determine the amount of assistance that the household will receive by using the

existing formulas set forth in the state plan for low-income home energy

assistance.

      6.  On or after July 1, 2002, if a

household is eligible to receive assistance pursuant to this section, the

Division:

      (a) Shall, to the extent practicable, determine

the amount of assistance that the household will receive by determining the

amount of assistance that is sufficient to reduce the percentage of the

household’s income that is spent on natural gas and electricity to the median

percentage of household income spent on natural gas and electricity statewide.

      (b) May adjust the amount of assistance that the

household will receive based upon such factors as:

             (1) The income of the household;

             (2) The size of the household;

             (3) The type of energy that the household

uses; and

             (4) Any other factor which, in the

determination of the Division, may make the household particularly vulnerable

to increases in the cost of natural gas or electricity.

      7.  The Division shall adopt regulations to

carry out and enforce the provisions of this section and NRS

702.250.

      8.  In carrying out the provisions of this

section, the Division shall:

      (a) Solicit advice from the Housing Division and

from other knowledgeable persons;

      (b) Identify and implement appropriate delivery

systems to distribute money from the Fund and to provide other assistance

pursuant to this section;

      (c) Coordinate with other federal, state and

local agencies that provide energy assistance or conservation services to

low-income persons and, to the extent allowed by federal law and to the extent

practicable, use the same simplified application forms as those other agencies;

      (d) Establish a process for evaluating the

programs conducted pursuant to this section;

      (e) Develop a process for making changes to such

programs; and

      (f) Engage in annual planning and evaluation

processes with the Housing Division as required by NRS

702.280.

      9.  For the purposes of this section,

“eligible household” includes, without limitation:

      (a) A tenant of a mobile home park subject to the

provisions of NRS 704.905 to 704.960, inclusive; and

      (b) A tenant who purchases electricity from a

landlord as described in paragraph (c) of subsection 2 of NRS 702.090 based on the actual usage of electricity

by the tenant.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3234; A 2005, 22nd

Special Session, 78; 2011, 1624)

      NRS 702.270  Programs of energy conservation, weatherization and energy

efficiency for eligible households; powers and duties of Housing Division;

administrative expenses; criteria for eligibility; emergency assistance;

regulations.

      1.  Twenty-five percent of the money in the

Fund must be distributed to the Housing Division for programs of energy

conservation, weatherization and energy efficiency for eligible households. The

Housing Division may use not more than 6 percent of the money distributed to it

pursuant to this section for its administrative expenses.

      2.  Except as otherwise provided in NRS 702.150, after deduction for its administrative

expenses, the Housing Division may use the money distributed to it pursuant to

this section only to:

      (a) Provide an eligible household with services

of basic home energy conservation and home energy efficiency or to assist an

eligible household to acquire such services, including, without limitation,

services of load management.

      (b) Pay for appropriate improvements associated

with energy conservation, weatherization and energy efficiency.

      (c) Carry out activities related to consumer

outreach.

      (d) Pay for program design.

      (e) Pay for the annual evaluations conducted

pursuant to NRS 702.280.

      3.  Except as otherwise provided in

subsection 4, to be eligible to receive assistance from the Housing Division

pursuant to this section, a household must have a household income that is not

more than 150 percent of the federally designated level signifying poverty, as

determined by the Housing Division.

      4.  The Housing Division is authorized to

render emergency assistance to a household if the health or safety of one or

more of the members of the household is threatened because of the structural,

mechanical or other failure of:

      (a) The unit of housing in which the household

dwells; or

      (b) A component or system of the unit of housing

in which the household dwells.

Ê Such

emergency assistance may be rendered upon the good faith belief that the

household is otherwise eligible to receive assistance pursuant to this section.

      5.  The Housing Division shall adopt

regulations to carry out and enforce the provisions of this section.

      6.  In carrying out the provisions of this

section, the Housing Division shall:

      (a) Solicit advice from the Division of Welfare

and Supportive Services and from other knowledgeable persons;

      (b) Identify and implement appropriate delivery

systems to distribute money from the Fund and to provide other assistance

pursuant to this section;

      (c) Coordinate with other federal, state and

local agencies that provide energy assistance or conservation services to

low-income persons and, to the extent allowed by federal law and to the extent

practicable, use the same simplified application forms as those other agencies;

      (d) Encourage other persons to provide resources

and services, including, to the extent practicable, schools and programs that

provide training in the building trades and apprenticeship programs;

      (e) Establish a process for evaluating the

programs conducted pursuant to this section;

      (f) Develop a process for making changes to such

programs; and

      (g) Engage in annual planning and evaluation

processes with the Division of Welfare and Supportive Services as required by NRS 702.280.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3235)

      NRS 702.275  Reports on unspent and unencumbered money in Fund; distribution

of portion of such money for programs of energy conservation, weatherization

and energy efficiency for eligible households; administrative expenses.

      1.  Before the end of each fiscal year, the

Division of Welfare and Supportive Services shall submit a report to the

Director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau for transmittal to the Senate

Standing Committee on Finance and the Assembly Standing Committee on Ways and

Means during a regular or special session of the Legislature, or the Interim

Finance Committee when the Legislature is not in session, which specifies the

amount of all money in the Fund which was allocated to the Division of Welfare

and Supportive Services during all preceding fiscal years pursuant to NRS 702.260 and which remains unspent and

unencumbered.

      2.  Based upon the report submitted

pursuant to subsection 1 and any other information available, the Senate

Standing Committee on Finance or the Assembly Standing Committee on Ways and

Means during a regular or special session of the Legislature, or the Interim

Finance Committee when the Legislature is not in session, may require the

Division of Welfare and Supportive Services to distribute not more than 30

percent of all the money in the Fund which was allocated to the Division of

Welfare and Supportive Services during all preceding fiscal years pursuant to NRS 702.260 and which remains unspent and unencumbered

to the Housing Division for the programs authorized by NRS

702.270. The Housing Division may use not more than 6 percent of the money

distributed pursuant to this section for its administrative expenses.

      (Added to NRS by 2007, 2974: A 2009, 1389)

      NRS 702.280  Coordination and evaluation of programs; duties of Division of

Welfare and Supportive Services and Housing Division; submission of report to

Governor, Legislative Commission and Interim Finance Committee.

      1.  The Division of Welfare and Supportive

Services and the Housing Division jointly shall establish an annual plan to

coordinate their activities and programs pursuant to this chapter. In preparing

the annual plan, the Divisions shall solicit advice from knowledgeable persons.

The annual plan must include, without limitation, a description of:

      (a) The resources and services being used by each

program and the efforts that will be undertaken to increase or improve those

resources and services;

      (b) The efforts that will be undertaken to

improve administrative efficiency;

      (c) The efforts that will be undertaken to

coordinate with other federal, state and local agencies, nonprofit

organizations and any private business or trade organizations that provide

energy assistance or conservation services to low-income persons;

      (d) The measures concerning program design that

will be undertaken to improve program effectiveness; and

      (e) The efforts that will be taken to address

issues identified during the most recently completed annual evaluation

conducted pursuant to subsection 2.

      2.  The Division of Welfare and Supportive

Services and the Housing Division jointly shall:

      (a) Conduct an annual evaluation of the programs

that each Division carries out pursuant to NRS 702.260,

702.270 and 702.275;

      (b) Solicit advice from the Commission as part of

the annual evaluation; and

      (c) Prepare a report concerning the annual evaluation

and submit the report to the Governor, the Legislative Commission and the

Interim Finance Committee.

      3.  The report prepared pursuant to

subsection 2 must include, without limitation:

      (a) A description of the objectives of each

program;

      (b) An analysis of the effectiveness and

efficiency of each program in meeting the objectives of the program;

      (c) The amount of money distributed from the Fund

for each program and a detailed description of the use of that money for each

program;

      (d) An analysis of the coordination between the

Divisions concerning each program; and

      (e) Any changes planned for each program.

      (Added to NRS by 2001, 3236; A 2007, 2975)