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Washington Weatherization Legislation

STATE OF WASHINGTON

CHAPTER 70.164 RCW

LOW-INCOME RESIDENTIAL WEATHERIZATION PROGRAM

Sections

70.164.010 Legislative findings.
70.164.020 Definitions.
70.164.030 Low-income weatherization assistance account.
70.164.040 Proposals for low-income weatherization programs--Matching funds.
70.164.050 Program compliance with laws and rules--Energy assessment required.
70.164.060 Weatherization of leased or rented residences--Limitations.
70.164.070 Payments to low-income weatherization assistance account.
70.164.900 Severability--1987 c 36.

RCW 70.164.010 Legislative findings. The legislature finds and declares that weatherization of the residences of low-income households will help conserve energy resources in this state and can reduce the need to obtain energy from more costly conventional energy resources. The legislature also finds that rising energy costs have made it difficult for low-income citizens of the state to afford adequate fuel for residential space heat. Weatherization of residences will lower energy consumption, making space heat more affordable for persons in low-income households. It will also reduce the uncollectible accounts of fuel suppliers resulting from low-income customers not being able to pay fuel bills.

The program implementing the policy of this chapter is necessary to support the poor and infirm and also to benefit the health, safety, and general welfare of all citizens of the state. [1987 c 36 1.]

RCW 70.164.020 Definitions. Unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the definitions in this section apply throughout this chapter.

(1) "Department" means the department of community, trade, and economic development.
(2) "Energy assessment" means an analysis of a dwelling unit to determine the need for cost-effective energy conservation measures as determined by the department.
(3) "Household" means an individual or group of individuals living in a dwelling unit as defined by the department.
(4) "Low income" means household income that is at or below one hundred twenty-five percent of the federally established poverty level.
(5) "Nonutility sponsor" means any sponsor other than a public service company, municipality, public utility district, mutual or cooperative, furnishing gas or electricity used to heat low-income residences. (6) "Residence" means a dwelling unit as defined by the department.
(7) "Sponsor" means any entity that submits a proposal under RCW 70.164.040, including but not limited to any local community action agency, community service agency, or any other participating agency or any public service company, municipality, public utility district, mutual or cooperative, or any combination of such entities that jointly submits a proposal.
(8) "Sponsor match" means the share, if any, of the cost of weatherization to be paid by the sponsor.
(9) "Weatherization" means materials or measures, and their installation, that are used to improve the thermal efficiency of a residence.
(10) "Weatherizing agency" means any approved department grantee or any public service company, municipality, public utility district, mutual or cooperative, or other entity that bears the responsibility for ensuring the performance of weatherization of residences under this chapter and has been approved by the department. [1995 c 399 199; 1987 c 36 2.]

RCW 70.164.030 Low-income weatherization assistance account. The low-income weatherization assistance account is created in the state treasury. All moneys from the money distributed to the state pursuant to Exxon v. United States, 561 F.Supp. 816 (1983), affirmed 773 F.2d 1240 (1985), or any other oil overcharge settlements or judgments distributed by the federal government, that are allocated to the low-income weatherization assistance account shall be deposited in the account. The department may accept such gifts, grants, and endowments from public or private sources as may be made from time to time, in trust or otherwise, and shall deposit such funds in the account. Any moneys received from sponsor match payments shall be deposited in the account. The legislature may also appropriate moneys to the account. Moneys in the account shall be spent pursuant to appropriation and only for the purposes and in the manner provided in RCW 70.164.040. Any moneys appropriated that are not spent by the department shall return to the account. [1991 sp.s. c 13 62; 1987 c 36 3.]

NOTES:

Effective dates--Severability--1991 sp.s. c 13: See notes following RCW 18.08.240.

RCW 70.164.040 Proposals for low-income weatherization programs--Matching funds.

(1) The department shall solicit proposals for low-income weatherization programs from potential sponsors. A proposal shall state the amount of the sponsor match, the amount requested from the low-income weatherization assistance account, the name of the weatherizing agency, and any other information required by the department.

(2)(a) A sponsor may use its own moneys, including corporate or ratepayer moneys, or moneys provided by landlords, charitable groups, government programs, the Bonneville Power Administration, or other sources to pay the sponsor match.

(b) Moneys provided by a sponsor pursuant to requirements in this section shall be in addition to and shall not supplant any funding for low-income weatherization that would otherwise have been provided by the sponsor or any other entity enumerated in (a) of this subsection.

(c) No proposal may require any contribution as a condition of weatherization from any household whose residence is weatherized under the proposal.

(d) Proposals shall provide that full levels of all cost- effective structurally feasible measures, as determined by the department, shall be installed when a low-income residence is weatherized.

(3) The department may in its discretion accept, accept in part, or reject proposals submitted. The department shall allocate funds appropriated from the low-income weatherization assistance account among proposals accepted or accepted in part so as to achieve the greatest possible expected monetary and energy savings by low-income households and other energy consumers and shall, to the extent feasible, ensure a balance of participation in proportion to population among low-income households for:

(a) Geographic regions in the state;
(b) types of fuel used for heating;
(c) owner-occupied and rental residences; and
(d) single-family and multifamily dwellings.

The department may allocate funds to a nonutility sponsor without requiring a sponsor match if the department determines that such an allocation is necessary to provide the greatest benefits to low-income residents of the state.

(4)(a) A sponsor may elect to: (i) Pay a sponsor match as a lump sum at the time of weatherization, or (ii) make yearly payments to the low-income weatherization assistance account over a period not to exceed ten years. If a sponsor elects to make yearly payments, the value of the payments shall not be less than the value of the lump sum payment that would have been made under (i) of this subsection.

(b) The department may permit a sponsor to meet its match requirement in whole or in part through providing labor, materials, or other in-kind expenditures.

(5) The department shall adopt rules to carry out this section. [1987 c 36 4.]

RCW 70.164.050 Program compliance with laws and rules--Energy assessment required. (1) The department is responsible for ensuring that sponsors and weatherizing agencies comply with the state laws, the department's rules, and the sponsor's proposal in carrying out proposals. (2) Before a residence is weatherized, the department shall require that an energy assessment be conducted. [1987 c 36 5.]

RCW 70.164.060 Weatherization of leased or rented residences--Limitations. Before a leased or rented residence is weatherized, written permission shall be obtained from the owner of the residence for the weatherization. The department shall adopt rules to ensure that: (1) The benefits of weatherization assistance in connection with a leased or rented residence accrue primarily to low-income tenants; (2) as a result of weatherization provided under this chapter, the rent on the residence is not increased and the tenant is not evicted; and (3) as a result of weatherization provided under this chapter, no undue or excessive enhancement occurs in the value of the residence. This section is in the public interest and any violation by a landlord of the rules adopted under this section shall be an act in trade or commerce violating chapter 19.86 RCW, the consumer protection act. [1987 c 36 6.]

RCW 70.164.070 Payments to low-income weatherization assistance account. Payments to the low-income weatherization assistance account shall be treated, for purposes of state law, as payments for energy conservation and shall be eligible for any tax credits or deductions, equity returns, or other benefits for which conservation investments are eligible. [1987 c 36 7.]

RCW 70.164.900 Severability--1987 c 36. If any provision of this act or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the remainder of the act or the application of the provision to other persons or circumstances is not affected. [1987 c 36 9.]