Section 11. The commissioner is hereby authorized and directed to establish (i) an energy audit program to determine the energy consumption levels of and appropriate energy conservation measures for buildings and facilities owned by (a) the commonwealth, (b) its political subdivisions, (c) public authorities and other public instrumentalities of the commonwealth and of its political subdivisions including, but not limited to, housing authorities and (ii) an energy conservation improvement program to carry out and assist energy conservation projects including energy conservation measures, for such buildings and facilities.
Said commissioner is hereby authorized and directed to establish an alternative energy property program to provide alternative energy sources for buildings and facilities owned by the commonwealth, its political subdivisions, public authorities and other public instrumentalities of the commonwealth and of its political subdivisions including, but not limited to, housing authorities and those buildings and facilities leased by the political subdivisions of the commonwealth for at least thirty years and which are used for the provision of local government services; provided, however, that the period of time remaining prior to the expiration of said lease shall not be less than twice the payback period, so-called, for any proposed alternative energy property program project and technology.
Prior to approving any payment under said program with respect to premises leased by a political subdivision of the commonwealth, the commissioner shall certify that the terms of such lease are such that any benefit accruing to a private party from such financing is incidental to the public purpose served by such financing.
The commissioner is hereby authorized to promulgate rules and regulations for the energy audit program, the energy conservation improvement program and the alternative energy property program. Said rules and regulations shall set forth (1) procedures by which entities other than the commonwealth may request participation in the program, (2) an orderly method for selecting state projects and for selecting among the request of other entities for participation in the program, (3) guidelines for carrying out projects pursuant to the program, (4) the portions to be borne by the commonwealth of the costs of projects of entities other than the commonwealth, or the manner of determining the same, and (5) the time and manner of payment. In selecting projects and in determining the portions to be borne by the commonwealth of the cost of projects of other entities the commissioner shall consider the payback period, availability of federal financial resources, the type of project, and the public benefit likely to be derived, whether from proven technology or from the opportunity to demonstrate innovative technology.
With respect to any grants of funds of the commonwealth made to, or grant agreements involving funds of the commonwealth entered into with any city, town, sewer district or regional school district after January first, nineteen hundred and eighty-four, the commissioner shall require that a portion of such grant be repaid to the commonwealth. The required repayment amount shall not be less than thirty per cent of the amount of any such grant and the time period allowed for such repayment shall not exceed ten years from the date of such grant. Any city, town or regional school district which does not provide the commissioner with information relating to energy expenses incurred prior to the implementation of energy conservation projects or measures, or alternative energy property program projects or technologies for the purpose of monitoring energy savings resulting from such implementation shall repay not less than fifty per cent of such grant and the time period allowed for repayment shall not exceed ten years from the date of such grant. To facilitate repayment of any grant amount the commissioner may require the city, town, or regional school district to authorize the commissioner of revenue to deduct the amount of its repayment due in each fiscal year from any local aid distribution, grant or appropriation made to the city, town, sewer district or regional school district. Any amounts so deducted shall be paid into the General Fund.
The commissioner may enter into contracts to carry out state projects pursuant to the programs established in this section and enter into grant agreements and make grants to assist projects of other entities as set forth in this section. The political subdivisions of the commonwealth and the public authorities and other public instrumentalities of the commonwealth and of its political subdivision are hereby authorized to enter into and perform grant agreements with the commissioner and carry out projects pursuant to this section.
The commissioner is hereby authorized to enter into agreements with the federal government to receive grants of money for the purpose of this section and to provide state matching funds for such purposes when required by the federal government under such grants.