HBA-SEP H.B. 2278 77(R) BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 2278 By: Carter Energy Resources 3/23/2001 Introduced BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The 76th Legislature placed the state energy conservation office (energy office) under the authority of the comptroller of public accounts (comptroller) who then created an advisory committee to make the energy office's programs more responsive and relevant. The committee found that although state agencies are authorized to enter into energy efficiency performance contracts, not one agency has done so. According to the state energy conservation office, agencies could save an estimated minimum of $100,000 a day by adopting existing alternatives such as performance contracting. The energy office drafted a mandatory energy efficiency rule for agencies, however, the comptroller's general council determined that the agency's statutory authority should be clarified before the agency could issue such a rule. House Bill 2278 consolidates the energy management center and the energy office, transfers all functions and activities performed by the General Services Commission that related to energy conservation to the office of the comptroller, and grants the comptroller the rulemaking authority necessary to administer the state energy conservation office programs. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking authority is expressly delegated to the comptroller of public accounts in SECTION 4 (Sec. 2305.011, Government Code) of this bill. ANALYSIS House Bill 2278 amends the Government Code to consolidate the energy management center and the state energy conservation office and to transfer all functions and activities performed by the General Services Commission (GSC) related to energy conservation to the office of the comptroller of public accounts (comptroller). All money, contracts, leases, rights, and obligations of GSC related to energy conservation are also transferred to the comptroller. The bill authorizes the comptroller to adopt rules as necessary to administer the state energy conservation office programs. The bill requires a state agency to implement an energy conservation measure or program in accordance with energy management planning, to the extent that certain financing methods are available. The bill specifies that the state energy conservation office is required to semiannually obtain, from each state agency, information relating to the progress each agency has made in reducing energy costs through adherence to energy management planning and to report the information to the Legislative Budget Board. EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001.