Create Jobs with a State Clean Energy Bank
State lawmakers seeking to create jobs, lower energy costs for consumers, and increase investments in clean energy can consider a state clean energy bank. Clean energy banks incentivize energy projects that save consumers, communities, and states money. These banks also create jobs with competitive pay and help workers get the qualifications they need by supporting apprenticeship programs.
Communities in need of clean energy investments
Clean energy advocates
This act shall be known as the [STATE] Clean Energy Bank Act
This policy increases investments in clean energy, lowers energy costs for consumers, and creates good jobs through a [STATE] Clean Energy Bank.
a) The [DEPT] shall cause to be formed in this State an independent, nonprofit corporation recognized as exempt from federal income taxation for the public benefit named the [STATE] Clean Energy Bank, the general purpose of which is to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
b) The [STATE] Clean Energy Bank is to:
i) Develop programs to finance and otherwise support clean energy investment in residential, municipal, small business and larger commercial projects and such others as the Bank may determine;
ii) Support financing or other expenditures that promote investment in clean energy sources in accordance with a comprehensive plan developed by it to foster the growth, development and commercialization of clean energy sources and related enterprises
iii) Increase significantly the pace and amount of investments in qualified clean energy projects at the state and local levels;
iv) Stimulate demand for clean energy and the deployment of clean energy sources and improve the standard of living of all residents of this State by promoting the more efficient and lower cost development of qualified clean energy projects and providing financing for qualified clean energy projects that will create high-paying, long-term jobs;
v) Fostering the development and consistent application of transparent underwriting standards, standard contractual terms, and measurement and verification protocols for qualified clean energy projects;
vi) Promoting the creation of performance data that enables effective underwriting, risk management and pro forma modeling of financial performance of qualified clean energy projects to support primary financing markets and to stimulate the development of secondary investment markets for qualified clean energy projects; and
vii) Achieving a level of financing support for qualified clean energy projects necessary to help abate climate change by increasing zero- or low-carbon electricity generation and transportation capabilities, realize energy efficiency potential in existing infrastructure, ease the economic effects of transitioning from a carbon-based economy to a clean-energy economy, achieve job creation through the construction and operation of qualified clean energy projects and complement and supplement other clean energy and energy efficiency programs and initiatives in this State.
c) ESTABLISHING A STATE CLEAN ENERGY BANK BOARD OF DIRECTORS
i) The powers of the [STATE] Clean Energy Bank shall be vested in and exercised by a board of directors, consisting of the following nine members:
1) Three ex officio members consisting of:
(a) The [DIRECTOR OF STATE ENERGY OFFICE] or their designee;
(b) The [DIRECTOR OF OFFICE OF ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT] or their designee;
(c) The [TREASURER] or their designee;
2) Six additional members appointed by the Governor and the Legislature, who shall have among them real estate, financial, project development, or legal expertise in zero and low-emissions energy generation and efficiency, infrastructure, transportation, agriculture, stormwater management, housing, or environmental justice; represent a residential or low-income group; have experience in investment fund management; represent an environmental organization, and have experience in the finance or deployment of renewable energy. Of these members:
(a) One shall be appointed by the speaker of the House of Representatives for a term of four years;
(b) One member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the House of Representatives for a term of three years;
(c) One member shall be appointed by the president pro tempore of the Senate for a term of four years;
(d) One member shall be appointed by the minority leader of the Senate for a term of three years; and
(e) Two members shall be appointed by the Governor.
ii) To the extent practicable and consistent with federal and state law, the membership of the Board shall reflect the demographic diversity of the state and reflect representation of climate-impacted communities. All of the initial members of the Board must be appointed by [DATE].
iii) The [EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR] of the [STATE] Clean Energy Bank shall serve on the board in an ex-officio, nonvoting capacity.
iv) An individual who is being considered for appointment to the Board shall disclose any conflict of interest to the individual’s potential appointing authority. When appointing a member of the Board, an appointing authority shall consider any conflict of interest disclosed by the prospective member. No member of the board of directors shall be a trustee, director, partner or officer of any person, firm or corporation, or have a financial interest in a person, firm or corporation that participates in or otherwise receives support from programs developed, administered or otherwise supported by the Bank. The holding of any such position as a trustee, director, partner or officer, or any financial interest by a member of the board of directors of the Bank shall be deemed a conflict of interest, provided it shall not constitute a conflict of interest for a member of the board of directors of the Bank to serve as a director, member or officer of a joint venture entered into by the Bank pursuant to subsection (a) of this section.
v) A board member, staff members, and contractors, on behalf of the Board, shall recuse themselves from any Board activity in any case in which they have a conflict of interest.
vi) On and after [DATE], the [DEPT] shall maintain a page on its public website for the Board to use for its purposes. The Board shall disclose on the page each conflict of interest that is disclosed to the Board pursuant to this section.
vii) Board members, staff members, contractors of the [DEPT], on behalf of the board, and immediate family members of the Board members, staff members, or contractors shall not accept a financial benefit or gifts, bequests, or donations of services or property that suggest a conflict of interest or have the appearance of creating bias in the work of the Board.
viii) The Attorney General shall assign an Assistant Attorney General to provide legal counsel to the Board. Any Assistant Attorney General assigned to the Board pursuant to this section shall disclose any conflict of interest to the Board.
d) The [STATE] Clean Energy Bank may form one or more subsidiaries to carry out the purposes of said bank, as described in subparagraph (b) of this act, and may transfer to any such subsidiary any moneys and real or personal property of any kind or nature. Any subsidiary may be organized as a stock or nonstock corporation or a limited liability company or nonprofit corporation. Each such subsidiary shall have and may exercise such powers of said bank, as set forth in the resolution of the board of directors of said bank prescribing the purposes for which such subsidiary is formed, and such other powers provided to it by law.
e) No such subsidiary of said bank shall be deemed a quasi-public agency and no such subsidiary shall have all the privileges, immunities, tax exemptions and other exemptions of said bank. The governing documents of any such subsidiary shall provide for the dissolution of such subsidiary upon the completion of the purpose for which such subsidiary was formed. Each such subsidiary may sue and shall be subject to suit, provided its liability shall be limited solely to the assets, revenues and resources of the subsidiary and without recourse to the general funds, revenues, resources or any other assets of said bank. Each such subsidiary is authorized to assume or take title to property subject to any existing lien, encumbrance or mortgage and to mortgage, convey or dispose of its assets and pledge its revenues to secure any borrowing, provided each such borrowing or mortgage shall be a special obligation of the subsidiary, which obligation may be in the form of bonds, bond anticipation notes and other obligations, to fund and refund the same and provide for the rights of the holders thereof, and to secure the same by a pledge of revenues, notes and other assets and which shall be payable solely from the revenues, assets and other resources of the subsidiary. The [STATE] Clean Energy Bank may assign to a subsidiary any rights, moneys or other assets it has under any governmental program. No subsidiary of said bank shall borrow without the approval of the board of directors of said bank.
f) [STATE] CLEAN ENERGY BANK BOARD MEMBERSHIP
i) The term of each member of the Board appointed shall be as described in paragraphs (i)(2). A member may be reappointed for additional terms in the same manner as the original appointment. A vacancy occurring in the membership of the Board must be filled in the same manner as the original appointment.
ii) The Board shall annually elect a Chair from among its members.
iii) The Board shall meet regularly at least quarterly and may meet at other times upon the call of the Chair. Any five members of the Committee constitute a quorum for the purpose of voting. A majority vote of the quorum is required to take action with respect to any matter.
iv) The Board shall adopt rules for its own management and government consistent with this Act.
v) While engaged in the business of the Board, each member of the Board is entitled to receive the per diem allowance and travel expenses provided for state officers and employees generally.
g) [STATE] CLEAN ENERGY BANK BOARD DUTIES
i) To carry out the provisions of this chapter, the Board shall:
1) Within [X] days of hire an [Executive Director] who shall:
(a) Manage the day to day operations of the Bank; and
(b) Hire staff members to assist in management of day to day operations of the Bank, as funding as available.
2) Hire, dismiss, promote, and compensate employees of said bank, including a policy to ensure that employees reflect the demographic diversity of the state and reflect representation of climate-impacted communities and a requirement of board approval before a position may be created or a vacancy filled;
3) Adopt an annual budget and plan of operations to serve and support the deployment of qualified clean energy projects in this State, including, without limitation, projects benefiting single family and multi-family residential property, commercial, industrial, educational and governmental property and hospitals and nonprofit property and any other projects which advance the purposes of this act, including a requirement of board approval before the budget or plan may take effect;
4) Contract for financial, legal, bond underwriting and other professional services, including a requirement that said bank solicit proposals at least once every three years for each such service that it uses;
5) Issue and retire bonds, bond anticipation notes and other obligations of said bank;
6) Award loans, grants and other financial assistance and develop rules, policies and procedures which specify the eligibility of borrowers, application process, and role played by the bank’s staff and board, and any other terms or conditions of the financial support to be provided by the [STATE] Clean Energy Bank before financing support is provided for any qualified clean energy project, including:
(a) Develop rules to subject all projects funded by the bank to current prevailing wage laws; and
(b) Develop rules requiring a minimum of 15% of labor hours of funded projects be worked by registered or approved apprentices when applicable, on the following:
(i) State public works estimated to cost $1 million dollars or more;
(ii) Department of Transportation projects estimated to cost $2 million or more;
(iii) All school district public works projects estimated to cost $1 million or more; and
(iv) All public works by a state four-year institution or higher learning estimated to cost $1 million or more.
7) Develop and offer a range of financing structures, forms and techniques for qualified clean energy projects, including, without limitation, loans, credit enhancements, guarantees, warehousing, securitization, and other financial products and structures;
8) Leverage private investment in qualified clean energy projects through financing mechanisms that support, enhance and complement private investment;
9) Develop consumer protection standards to be enforced on all investments to ensure the [STATE] Clean Energy Bank and its partners are lending in a responsible and transparent manner that is in the financial interests of the borrowers;
10) Assess reasonable fees for the financing support and risk management activities provided by the [STATE] Clean Energy Bank in amounts sufficient to cover the reasonable costs of the Bank;
11) Collect and make available to the public in a centralized database on an public website maintained by the [STATE] Clean Energy Bank information regarding rates, terms and conditions of all financing support transactions, unless the disclosure of such information includes a trade secret, confidential commercial information or confidential financial information;
12) Work with market and program participants to provide information regarding best practices for overseeing qualified clean energy projects and information regarding other appropriate consumer protections;
13) Develop procedure for the use of surplus funds to the extent authorized under this section or other provisions of the general statutes;
14) Prepare an annual report for the public on the financing activities of the [STATE] Clean Energy Bank; and
15) Undertake such other activities as are necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter.
ii) In addition to any money available through gifts, grants, donations or legislative appropriation to carry out the purposes of this act, the Board shall identify any other sources of money which may, in the opinion of the Board, be used to provide money for the Bank, including by leveraging funds available through the federal Inflation Reduction Act’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund and other federal funding and investment.
h) REPORTING REQUIREMENTS
i) On or before reporting deadlines established by the Board, in each year in which a funding recipient of the [STATE] Clean Energy Bank receives funds, the participating recipient shall submit a report to the Board that includes the information required by the Board, using a reporting template developed by the Board. The Board shall make the reporting form and process as easy as possible for applicants.
ii) Within two years of enactment of this section, and every two years thereafter, the Board is to submit a report to the Governor and Legislature that report on the financing activities of the [STATE] Clean Energy Bank per section (f)(10). The report shall:
1) Detail the financial support awarded, the participating entities, the duration of funding, and a summary of the information provided pursuant to subsection (g)(i) of this section.
2) Detail any additional data collected from funding recipients of the [STATE] Clean Energy Bank.