PUBLIC WORKS AND UTILITIES COMMITTEE
RESOLVED, that the city of Duluth hereby finds that:
(a) There is a need for all energy consumers to work to conserve valuable energy resources through reduction in demand, especially peak demand for use of those resources; and
(b) It is in the best interests of the citizens of the city, both as the owner of a natural gas utility and as a part of the greater Minnesota community to encourage such conservation; and
(c) There is a public need for a program directed toward encouraging developers and contractors developing and constructing affordable housing in the city to provide increased energy conservation improvements to the construction of new affordable housing units to reduce energy consumption of such units and to assist persons of low and moderate income in meeting their energy needs in the most affordable way possible; and
(d) It is in the best interests of the citizens of the city and of the state of Minnesota and therefore a public purpose for the city to establish and fund a program to encourage the conservation of energy resources, especially natural gas resources, in the city.
RESOLVED, that the city of Duluth does hereby establish the “Affordable Housing Energy Conservation Program” as described in the program guidelines, a copy of which is on file in the office of the city clerk as Public Document No. __________.
RESOLVED FURTHER, that said program guidelines are hereby approved.
RESOLVED FURTHER, that the director of public works and utilities or his or her designee is hereby authorized to extend grants to commercial and industrial customers of the city’s natural gas utility under the terms and conditions set forth in said program guidelines, up to the amount provided therefore in the city’s budget, as amended.
PUBLIC WORKS & UTILITIES/ATTORNEY
STATEMENT OF PURPOSE: The purpose of this resolution is to establish the affordable housing energy conservation program, to establish guidelines therefore and to authorize the making of grants in conformance therewith.
Regulations of the state of Minnesota require that the city expend an amount equal to one-half of one percent of its gross revenues from its gas utility on energy conservation programs. For some years, the city has had an energy conservation program designed to assist home owners in paying for energy improvements but has had nothing directed to encouraging the most energy efficient construction in affordable housing. In addition, the city’s present level of funding use would not meet the state’s requirements and, if the city does not expend the entirety of the required amount, the state can require that the unused amount be given to them.
This resolution authorizes the creation of a grant program aimed at making incremental improvements in the construction of new affordable housing units which will be sold or leased to persons defined by HUD as low and moderate income. The grants will be used to pay for the incremental costs of additional insulation, more energy efficient windows and heating plants and other improvements which will not increase the “bottom line” for the developer/contractor developing the housing but which will benefit the low and moderate income persons who will occupy the units and pay the utility bills.
Grants would be extended to entities ready to install approved improvements on a first come-first served basis up to the amount allocated by the council each year with any projects not funded in one year eligible in the next year.