(1) For the purposes of ss. 366.80-366.83 and 403.519:
(a) “Utility” means any person or entity of whatever form which provides electricity or natural gas at retail to the public, specifically including municipalities or instrumentalities thereof and cooperatives organized under the Rural Electric Cooperative Law and specifically excluding any municipality or instrumentality thereof, any cooperative organized under the Rural Electric Cooperative Law, or any other person or entity providing natural gas at retail to the public whose annual sales volume is less than 100 million therms or any municipality or instrumentality thereof and any cooperative organized under the Rural Electric Cooperative Law providing electricity at retail to the public whose annual sales as of July 1, 1993, to end-use customers is less than 2,000 gigawatt hours.
(b) “Demand-side renewable energy” means a system located on a customer’s premises generating thermal or electric energy using Florida renewable energy resources and primarily intended to offset all or part of the customer’s electricity requirements provided such system does not exceed 2 megawatts.
(2) The commission shall adopt appropriate goals for increasing the efficiency of energy consumption and increasing the development of demand-side renewable energy systems, specifically including goals designed to increase the conservation of expensive resources, such as petroleum fuels, to reduce and control the growth rates of electric consumption, to reduce the growth rates of weather-sensitive peak demand, and to encourage development of demand-side renewable energy resources. The commission may allow efficiency investments across generation, transmission, and distribution as well as efficiencies within the user base. Moneys received by a utility to implement measures to encourage the development of demand-side renewable energy systems shall be used solely for such purposes and related administrative costs.
(3) In developing the goals, the commission shall evaluate the full technical potential of all available demand-side and supply-side conservation and efficiency measures, including demand-side renewable energy systems. In establishing the goals, the commission shall take into consideration:
(a) The costs and benefits to customers participating in the measure.
(b) The costs and benefits to the general body of ratepayers as a whole, including utility incentives and participant contributions.
(c) The need for incentives to promote both customer-owned and utility-owned energy efficiency and demand-side renewable energy systems.
(d) The costs imposed by state and federal regulations on the emission of greenhouse gases.
(4) Subject to specific appropriation, the commission may expend up to $250,000 from the Florida Public Service Regulatory Trust Fund to obtain needed technical consulting assistance.
(5) The Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services shall be a party in the proceedings to adopt goals and shall file with the commission comments on the proposed goals, including, but not limited to:
(a) An evaluation of utility load forecasts, including an assessment of alternative supply-side and demand-side resource options.
(b) An analysis of various policy options that can be implemented to achieve a least-cost strategy, including nonutility programs targeted at reducing and controlling the per capita use of electricity in the state.
(c) An analysis of the impact of state and local building codes and appliance efficiency standards on the need for utility-sponsored conservation and energy efficiency measures and programs.
(6) The commission may change the goals for reasonable cause. The time period to review the goals, however, shall not exceed 5 years. After the programs and plans to meet those goals are completed, the commission shall determine what further goals, programs, or plans are warranted and adopt them.
(7) Following adoption of goals pursuant to subsections (2) and (3), the commission shall require each utility to develop plans and programs to meet the overall goals within its service area. The commission may require modifications or additions to a utility’s plans and programs at any time it is in the public interest consistent with this act. In approving plans and programs for cost recovery, the commission shall have the flexibility to modify or deny plans or programs that would have an undue impact on the costs passed on to customers. If any plan or program includes loans, collection of loans, or similar banking functions by a utility and the plan is approved by the commission, the utility shall perform such functions, notwithstanding any other provision of the law. However, no utility shall be required to loan its funds for the purpose of purchasing or otherwise acquiring conservation measures or devices, but nothing herein shall prohibit or impair the administration or implementation of a utility plan as submitted by a utility and approved by the commission under this subsection. If the commission disapproves a plan, it shall specify the reasons for disapproval, and the utility whose plan is disapproved shall resubmit its modified plan within 30 days. Prior approval by the commission shall be required to modify or discontinue a plan, or part thereof, which has been approved. If any utility has not implemented its programs and is not substantially in compliance with the provisions of its approved plan at any time, the commission shall adopt programs required for that utility to achieve the overall goals. Utility programs may include variations in rate design, load control, cogeneration, residential energy conservation subsidy, or any other measure within the jurisdiction of the commission which the commission finds likely to be effective; this provision shall not be construed to preclude these measures in any plan or program.
(8) The commission may authorize financial rewards for those utilities over which it has ratesetting authority that exceed their goals and may authorize financial penalties for those utilities that fail to meet their goals, including, but not limited to, the sharing of generation, transmission, and distribution cost savings associated with conservation, energy efficiency, and demand-side renewable energy systems additions.
(9) The commission is authorized to allow an investor-owned electric utility an additional return on equity of up to 50 basis points for exceeding 20 percent of their annual load-growth through energy efficiency and conservation measures. The additional return on equity shall be established by the commission through a limited proceeding.
(10) The commission shall require periodic reports from each utility and shall provide the Legislature and the Governor with an annual report by March 1 of the goals it has adopted and its progress toward meeting those goals. The commission shall also consider the performance of each utility pursuant to ss. 366.80-366.83 and 403.519 when establishing rates for those utilities over which the commission has ratesetting authority.
(11) The commission shall require each utility to offer, or to contract to offer, energy audits to its residential customers. This requirement need not be uniform, but may be based on such factors as level of usage, geographic location, or any other reasonable criterion, so long as all eligible customers are notified. The commission may extend this requirement to some or all commercial customers. The commission shall set the charge for audits by rule, not to exceed the actual cost, and may describe by rule the general form and content of an audit. In the event one utility contracts with another utility to perform audits for it, the utility for which the audits are performed shall pay the contracting utility the reasonable cost of performing the audits. Each utility over which the commission has ratesetting authority shall estimate its costs and revenues for audits, conservation programs, and implementation of its plan for the immediately following 6-month period. Reasonable and prudent unreimbursed costs projected to be incurred, or any portion of such costs, may be added to the rates which would otherwise be charged by a utility upon approval by the commission, provided that the commission shall not allow the recovery of the cost of any company image-enhancing advertising or of any advertising not directly related to an approved conservation program. Following each 6-month period, each utility shall report the actual results for that period to the commission, and the difference, if any, between actual and projected results shall be taken into account in succeeding periods. The state plan as submitted for consideration under the National Energy Conservation Policy Act shall not be in conflict with any state law or regulation.
(12) Notwithstanding the provisions of s. 377.703, the commission shall be the responsible state agency for performing, coordinating, implementing, or administering the functions of the state plan submitted for consideration under the National Energy Conservation Policy Act and any acts amendatory thereof or supplemental thereto and for performing, coordinating, implementing, or administering the functions of any future federal program delegated to the state which relates to consumption, utilization, or conservation of electricity or natural gas; and the commission shall have exclusive responsibility for preparing all reports, information, analyses, recommendations, and materials related to consumption, utilization, or conservation of electrical energy which are required or authorized by s. 377.703.
(13) The commission shall establish all minimum requirements for energy auditors used by each utility. The commission is authorized to contract with any public agency or other person to provide any training, testing, evaluation, or other step necessary to fulfill the provisions of this subsection.