Video from today's meeting of the North Texas Renewable Energy Group. State Rep Robert Miklos (D, Mesquite) speaks about H.B. 1937, passed by the Legislature in 2009, which allows for voluntary property assessments as a way to pay for energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements to homes or businesses:
I am interested in studying the feasibility of doing something like this in Lewisville.
Texas HB 1937 - Property Assessed Clean Energy
Full Text as passed May 26, 2009:
relating to the voluntary assessment of property owners by a municipality to finance certain energy conservation improvements. BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS: SECTION 1. Subtitle A, Title 12, Local Government Code, is amended by adding Chapter 376 to read as follows:
CHAPTER 376. CONTRACTUAL ASSESSMENTS FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY IMPROVEMENTS
Sec. 376.001. AUTHORIZED FINANCING.
An assessment under this chapter may finance: (1) energy efficiency public improvements to developed lots for which the costs and time delays of creating an entity under law to assess the lot would be prohibitively large relative to the cost of the energy efficiency public improvement to be financed; and (2) the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements that are permanently fixed to residential, commercial, industrial, or other real property.
Sec. 376.002. CERTAIN FINANCING PROHIBITED.
An assessment under this chapter may not be used to finance: (1) facilities for undeveloped lots or lots undergoing development at the time of the assessment; or (2) the purchase or installation of appliances not permanently fixed to real property.
Sec. 376.003. CONSENT FOR ASSESSMENT REQUIRED.
A municipality may impose an assessment under this chapter only with the consent of the owner of the assessed property at the time of the assessment.
Sec. 376.004. DESIGNATION OF AREA FOR ASSESSMENT.
(a) The governing body of a municipality may determine that it is convenient and advantageous to designate an area of the municipality within which authorized municipal officials and property owners may enter into contracts to assess properties for energy efficiency public improvements described by Section 376.001(1) and make financing arrangements under this chapter. (b) The governing body of a municipality may determine that it is convenient, advantageous, and in the public interest to designate an area of the municipality within which authorized municipal officials and property owners may enter into contracts to assess properties to finance the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements that are permanently fixed to real property. (c) An area designated by the governing body of a municipality under this section may include the entire municipality.
Sec. 376.005. RESOLUTION OF INTENTION TO CONTRACT FOR ASSESSMENT.
(a) To make a determination under Section 376.004, the governing body of a municipality must adopt a resolution indicating the governing body's intention to designate an area for assessment. (b) The resolution of intention must: (1) include a statement that the municipality proposes to make contractual assessment financing available to property owners; (2) identify the types of energy efficiency public improvements, distributed generation renewable energy resources, or energy efficiency improvements that may be financed; (3) describe the boundaries of the area in which contracts for assessments may be entered into; (4) thoroughly describe the proposed arrangements for financing the program; and (5) state the time and place for a public hearing and that interested persons may object to or inquire about the proposed program at the hearing. (c) If contractual assessments are to be used to finance the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements that are permanently fixed to real property, the resolution of intention must state that it is in the public interest to do so. (d) The resolution shall direct an appropriate municipal official to: (1) prepare a report under Section 376.006; and (2) consult with the appropriate appraisal district or districts regarding collecting the proposed contractual assessments with property taxes imposed on the assessed property.
Sec. 376.006. REPORT REGARDING ASSESSMENT.
An appropriate municipal official designated in the resolution shall prepare a report containing: (1) a map showing the boundaries of the area within which contractual assessments are proposed to be offered; (2) a draft contract specifying the terms that would be agreed to by the municipality and a property owner within the contractual assessment area; (3) a statement of municipal policies concerning contractual assessments including: (A) identification of types of energy efficiency public improvements, distributed generation renewable energy sources, or energy efficiency improvements that may be financed through the use of contractual assessments; (B) identification of a municipal official authorized to enter into contractual assessments on behalf of the municipality; (C) a maximum aggregate dollar amount of contractual assessments; (D) a method for ranking requests from property owners for financing through contractual assessments in priority order if requests appear likely to exceed the authorization amount; and (E) a method for ensuring that property owners requesting financing demonstrate the financial ability to fulfill financial obligations under the contractual assessments; (4) a plan for raising a capital amount required to pay for work performed in accordance with contractual assessments that: (A) may include: (i) amounts to be advanced by the municipality through funds available to it from any source; and (ii) the sale of bonds or other financing; (B) shall include a statement of or method for determining the interest rate and period during which contracting property owners would pay any assessment; and (C) shall provide for: (i) any reserve fund or funds; and (ii) the apportionment of all or any portion of the costs incidental to financing, administration, and collection of the contractual assessment program among the consenting property owners and the municipality; and (5) the results of the consultations with the appropriate appraisal districts concerning incorporating the proposed contractual assessments into the assessments of property taxes.
Sec. 376.007. DIRECT PURCHASE BY OWNER.
On the written consent of an authorized municipal official, the proposed arrangements for financing the program pertaining to the installation of distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements that are permanently fixed to real property may authorize the property owner to: (1) purchase directly the related equipment and materials for the installation of the distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements; and (2) contract directly for the installation of the distributed generation renewable energy sources or energy efficiency improvements.
Sec. 376.008. LIEN.
An assessment imposed under this chapter and any interest or penalties on the assessment constitutes a lien against the lot on which the assessment is imposed until the assessment, interest, or penalty is paid.
This Act takes effect immediately if it receives a vote of two-thirds of all the members elected to each house, as provided by Section 39, Article III, Texas Constitution. If this Act does not receive the vote necessary for immediate effect, this Act takes effect September 1, 2009.
______________________________ ______________________________ President of the Senate Speaker of the House
I certify that H.B. No. 1937 was passed by the House on May 15, 2009, by the following vote: Yeas 87, Nays 51, 2 present, not voting. ______________________________ Chief Clerk of the House
I certify that H.B. No. 1937 was passed by the Senate on May 26, 2009, by the following vote: Yeas 31, Nays 0. ______________________________ Secretary of the Senate APPROVED: _____________________ Date _____________________ Governor