S 949

112th CONGRESS
1st Session

S. 949

To amend the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 to reauthorize and improve that Act, and for other purposes.

IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES

May 11, 2011

Mrs. SHAHEEN (for herself, Ms. SNOWE, Mr. REED, Mr. BURR, and Mr. SANDERS) introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources


A BILL

To amend the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 to reauthorize and improve that Act, and for other purposes.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This Act may be cited as the `National Oilheat Reauthorization Act of 2011'.

SEC. 2. RENAMING OF NATIONAL OILHEAT RESEARCH ALLIANCE ACT OF 2000.

    Section 701 of the National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by striking `National Oilheat Research Alliance Act of 2000' and inserting `National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011'.

SEC. 3. DEFINITION OF OILHEAT FUEL.

    Section 703 of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended--

      (1) by redesignating paragraphs (3) through (7) and (8) through (15) as paragraphs (4) through (8) and (10) through (17), respectively;

      (2) by inserting after paragraph (2) the following:

      `(3) COST-EFFECTIVE- The term `cost-effective', with respect to a program or activity conducted as part of the heating oil efficiency and upgrade program under section 707(f)(3), means that the program or activity meets a total resource cost test under which--

        `(A) the net present value of economic benefits over the life of the program or activity, including avoided supply and delivery costs and deferred or avoided investments; is greater than

        `(B) the net present value of the economic costs over the life of the program or activity, including program costs and incremental costs borne by the energy consumer.'; and

      (3) by inserting after paragraph (8) (as so redesignated) the following:

      `(9) OILHEAT FUEL- The term `oilheat fuel' means fuel that--

        `(A) is--

          `(i) No. 1 distillate;

          `(ii) No. 2 dyed distillate;

          `(iii) a liquid blended with No. 1 distillate or No. 2 dyed distillate; or

          `(iv) a biobased liquid; and

        `(B) is used as a fuel for nonindustrial commercial or residential space or hot water heating.'.

SEC. 4. MEMBERSHIP.

    (a) Selection- Section 705 of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by striking subsection (a) and inserting the following:

    `(a) Selection-

      `(1) LIST-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Alliance shall provide to the Secretary a list of qualified nominees for membership in the Alliance.

        `(B) REQUIREMENT- Except as provided in subsection (c)(1)(C), members of the Alliance shall be representatives of the oilheat industry in a State, selected from a list of nominees submitted by the qualified State association in the State.

      `(2) VACANCIES- A vacancy in the Alliance shall be filled in the same manner as the original selection.

      `(3) SECRETARIAL ACTION-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Secretary shall have 60 days to review nominees provided under paragraph (1).

        `(B) FAILURE TO ACT- If the Secretary takes no action during the 60-day period described in subparagraph (A), the nominees shall be considered to be members of the Alliance.'.

    (b) Representation- Section 705(b) of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended in the matter preceding paragraph (1) by striking `qualified industry organization' and inserting `the Alliance'.

    (c) Number of Members- Section 705(c) of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended--

      (1) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:

      `(1) IN GENERAL- The Alliance shall be composed of the following members:

        `(A) One member representing each State participating in the Alliance.

        `(B) Five representatives of retail marketers, of whom one shall be selected by each of the qualified State associations of the 5 States with the highest volume of annual oilheat fuel sales.

        `(C) Five additional representatives of retail marketers.

        `(D) Twenty-one representatives of wholesale distributors.

        `(E) Six public members, who shall be representatives of significant users of oilheat fuel, the oilheat fuel research community, State energy officials, or other groups with expertise in oilheat fuel, including consumer and low-income advocacy groups.'; and

      (2) in paragraph 2, by striking `the qualified industry organization or'.

SEC. 5. BIENNIAL BUDGETS.

    Section 706(e) of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended--

      (1) by striking paragraph (1) and inserting the following:

      `(1) PUBLICATION OF PROPOSED BUDGET- Not later than August 1, 2011, and every 2 years thereafter, the Alliance shall, in consultation with the Secretary, develop and publish for public review and comment a proposed biennial budget for the next 2 calendar years, including the probable operating and planning costs of all programs, projects, and contracts and other agreements.'; and

      (2) by striking paragraph (4) and inserting the following:

      `(4) IMPLEMENTATION-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Alliance shall not implement a proposed budget until the expiration of 60 days after submitting the proposed budget to the Secretary.

        `(B) RECOMMENDATIONS FOR CHANGES BY SECRETARY-

          `(i) IN GENERAL- The Secretary may recommend to the Alliance changes to the budget programs and activities of the Alliance that the Secretary considers appropriate.

          `(ii) RESPONSE BY ALLIANCE- Not later than 30 days after the receipt of any recommendations made under clause (i), the Alliance shall submit to the Secretary a final budget for the next 2 calendar years that incorporates or includes a description of the response of the Alliance to any changes recommended under clause (i).

        `(C) EFFECT OF DISAPPROVAL- If the Secretary disapproves a proposed budget of the Alliance, the Alliance shall operate under the terms and conditions of the previous budget.'.

SEC. 6. DATA COLLECTION SYSTEM.

    (a) In General- Section 706(f)(1)(A) of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by inserting `(including, to the maximum extent practicable, a data collection process established, in collaboration with the Secretary, to track equipment, service, and related safety issues under this title)' after `the Alliance'.

    (b) Technical Amendment- Section 706(f)(2)(b) of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by striking `the members of the Alliance, and the qualified industry organization' and inserting `and the members of the Alliance'.

SEC. 7. BIENNIAL REPORTS BY SECRETARY.

    Section 706 of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(i) Biennial Reports by Secretary- Not later than April 30, 2013, and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report containing--

      `(1) a description of activities of the Alliance relating to--

        `(A) research, development, and demonstration;

        `(B) consumer education, safety and training; and

        `(C) development of alternative fuels;

      `(2) an evaluation of the consumer savings, cost-effectiveness of, efficiency gains, and the lifetime and annual energy savings achieved by, energy efficiency programs carried out under this title; and

      `(3) recommendations for more effectively achieving consumer savings, cost-effectiveness, and lifetime and annual energy savings through efficiency programs for home heating oil for residential or commercial purposes, including an estimate of--

        `(A) the amount of investment required to implement all energy efficiency programs and heating system upgrades and modifications that are cost-effective;

        `(B) the total amount of funds that consumers will save from the investments; and

        `(C) the total number of jobs that will be created from the investments.'.

SEC. 8. PAYMENT OF ASSESSMENTS.

    Section 707(b) of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by adding at the end the following:

      `(8) PROHIBITION ON PASS THROUGH- None of the assessments collected under this title may be passed through or otherwise required to be paid by the retail purchasers or ultimate consumers of oilheat.'.

SEC. 9. FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE TO QUALIFIED STATE ASSOCIATIONS.

    Section 707(e)(2) of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by adding at the end the following:

        `(B) SEPARATE ACCOUNTS- As a condition of receipt of funds made available to a qualified State association under this Act, the qualified State association shall deposit the funds in an account that is separate from other funds of the qualified State association.'.

SEC. 10. USE OF ASSESSMENTS.

    Section 707 of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(f) Use of Assessments-

      `(1) IN GENERAL- Notwithstanding any other provision of this title, the Secretary and the Alliance shall ensure that assessments collected for each calendar year under this title are allocated and used in accordance with this subsection.

      `(2) RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, AND DEMONSTRATION-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Alliance shall ensure that not less than 40 percent of the assessments collected for each calendar year under this title are used by qualified State associations or the Alliance to conduct research, development, and demonstration activities relating to oilheat, including--

          `(i) the development of energy-efficient heating systems and biofuel heating oil blends; and

          `(ii) the transition and facilitation of the entry of energy efficient heating systems and biofuels into the marketplace.

        `(B) PRIORITIES- The Alliance shall coordinate with the Secretary to develop priorities for the use of assessments under this paragraph.

        `(C) PLAN- The Alliance shall develop a coordinated research plan to carry out research programs and activities under this section.

        `(D) DOCUMENTATION- The Alliance shall document activities conducted under this paragraph using a transparent process and procedures developed in coordination with the Secretary.

      `(3) HEATING OIL EFFICIENCY AND UPGRADE PROGRAM-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- The Alliance shall ensure that not less than 20 percent of the assessments collected for each calendar year under this title are used by qualified State associations or the Alliance to carry out programs to assist consumers--

          `(i) to make cost-effective upgrades to more fuel efficient heating oil systems or otherwise make cost-effective modifications to an existing heating system to improve the efficiency of the system; or

          `(ii) to improve energy efficiency or reduce energy consumption through cost-effective energy efficiency programs for consumers.

        `(B) PLAN- The Alliance shall--

          `(i) develop a coordinated heating oil efficiency and upgrade plan with States to carry out cost-effective efficiency programs and activities under this section;

          `(ii) to the maximum extent practicable, coordinate, develop, and implement the programs and activities of the Alliance in conjunction with existing State energy efficiency program administrators; and

          `(iii) submit the plan to the Secretary.

        `(C) ADMINISTRATION-

          `(i) IN GENERAL- In carrying out this paragraph, the Alliance shall, to the maximum extent practicable, ensure that heating system conversion assistance is coordinated with, and developed after consultation with, persons or organizations responsible for administering--

            `(I) the low-income home energy assistance program established under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Act of 1981 (42 U.S.C. 8621 et seq.);

            `(II) the Weatherization Assistance Program for Low-Income Persons established under part A of title IV of the Energy Conservation and Production Act (42 U.S.C. 6861 et seq.); or

            `(III) other energy efficiency programs administered by the State or other parties in the State.

          `(ii) DISTRIBUTION OF FUNDS- The Alliance shall ensure that funds distributed to carry out this paragraph are--

            `(I) distributed equitably to States based on the proportional contributions of the States through collected assessments;

            `(II) used to supplement (and not supplant) State or alternative sources of funding for energy efficiency programs; and

            `(III) used only to carry out this paragraph.

      `(4) CONSUMER EDUCATION, SAFETY, AND TRAINING- The Alliance shall ensure that not more than 35 percent of the assessments collected for each calendar year under this title are used--

        `(A) to conduct consumer education activities relating to oilheat, including providing information to consumers on--

          `(i) energy conservation strategies;

          `(ii) safety;

          `(iii) new technologies that reduce consumption or improve safety and comfort;

          `(iv) the use of biofuels blends; and

          `(v) Federal, State, and local programs designed to assist oilheat consumers;

        `(B) to conduct worker safety and training activities relating to oilheat, including energy efficiency training (including classes to obtain Building Performance Institute or Residential Energy Services Network certification); or

        `(C) to carry out other activities recommended by the Secretary.

      `(5) ADMINISTRATIVE COSTS- The Alliance shall ensure that not more than 5 percent of the assessments collected for each calendar year under this title are used for overhead or administrative costs.

      `(6) REPORTS-

        `(A) IN GENERAL- Each qualified State association or the Alliance shall prepare a biannual report detailing the development and administration of this section, and yearly expenditures under this section.

        `(B) CONTENTS- Each report shall include--

          `(i) a description of the use of proceeds under this section, including a description of--

            `(I) advancements made in energy-efficient heating systems and biofuel heating oil blends; and

            `(II) heating system upgrades and modifications and energy efficiency programs funded under this section; and

          `(ii) a demonstration of the consumer savings, cost-effectiveness of, and the lifetime and annual energy savings achieved by heating system upgrades and modifications and energy efficiency programs funded through this section.

        `(C) AVAILABILITY-

          `(i) IN GENERAL- Each report, and any subsequent changes to the report, described in subparagraph (A) shall be made publically available, with notice of availability provided to the Secretary.

          `(ii) PUBLIC AVAILABILITY- The Secretary shall make the reports prepared under this paragraph available to the public, including by publishing the reports on the Internet.

        `(D) VERIFICATION-

          `(i) IN GENERAL- The Alliance shall ensure that an independent third-party reviews each report described in subparagraph (A), and verifies the accuracy of the report, biennially.

          `(ii) COUNCILS- If a State has a stakeholder efficiency oversight council, the council shall be the entity that reviews and verifies the report of the State association or Alliance for the State under clause (i).'.

SEC. 11. MARKET SURVEY AND CONSUMER PROTECTION.

    The National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by striking section 708.

SEC. 12. LOBBYING RESTRICTIONS.

    Section 710 of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by inserting `or to lobby' after `elections'.

SEC. 13. NONCOMPLIANCE.

    Section 712 of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by adding at the end the following:

    `(g) Noncompliance- If the Alliance, a qualified State association, or any other entity or person violates this Act, the Secretary may impose a fine or take other appropriate action to ensure compliance with this Act, including referral to an appropriate law enforcement authority.'.

SEC. 14. SUNSET.

    Section 713 of the National Oilheat Research, Consumer Education, and Efficiency Act of 2011 (42 U.S.C. 6201 note; Public Law 106-469) is amended by striking `9 years' and inserting `19 years'.

END