IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
April 11, 2018
Mr. Whitehouse introduced the following bill; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
To require the Secretary of Energy to establish a natural gas demand response pilot program, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Energy Infrastructure Demand Response Act of 2018.
Natural Gas Demand Response Pilot Program
In this section:
The term Commission means the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
The term pilot program means the natural gas demand response pilot program established under subsection (b)(1).
The term Secretary means the Secretary of Energy.
Not later than 150 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary, in consultation with the Commission, shall establish a natural gas demand response pilot program to use the latest demand response technology from the energy sector for natural gas—
to reduce the cost of energy for consumers;
to reduce market price volatility;
to increase reliability of the energy system; and
to achieve reductions in air emissions and other benefits.
Except as provided in subparagraph (B), to be eligible to participate in the pilot program, an entity shall be—
a gas utility, including a local distribution company;
a State public utilities commission;
an electric utility, including a local distribution company;
a large industrial consumer, large commercial consumer, or retail marketer of natural gas; or
a third-party energy efficiency program administrator.
An entity described in any of clauses (ii) through (v) of subparagraph (A) shall not be eligible to participate in the pilot program if the State law to which the entity is subject specifically precludes the participation of the entity in a natural gas demand response pilot program.
The Secretary shall carry out the pilot program under different scenarios, including in a region that is experiencing fuel shortages or natural gas infrastructure constraints that cause the cost of energy to increase for consumers.
In carrying out the pilot program, the Secretary shall collect data, including data on, with respect to the regions in which the pilot program is carried out—
the reduction in natural gas usage;
decreases in the frequency and severity of natural gas infrastructure constraints; and
changes in energy costs and reliability.
The Secretary shall submit to the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources of the Senate and the Committee on Energy and Commerce of the House of Representatives a report describing—
how to improve data collection;
the metrics that should be used to quantify natural gas demand response usage; and
opportunities to improve the measurement and verification of changes in natural gas consumption resulting from natural gas demand response measures, including opportunities to collect data that could be used to estimate the quantity of natural gas that could be shifted through the implementation of natural gas demand response measures.
On establishment of the pilot program under subsection (b)(1), the Secretary shall submit to all relevant eligible entities notice that the Secretary is accepting applications for the pilot program.
Submission of applications
Not later than 200 days after the date of enactment of this Act, each eligible entity desiring certification to participate in the pilot program shall submit to the Secretary an application containing such information as the Secretary may require.
Authority to require certain information
The Secretary may require as part of the application under subparagraph (A) information on—
the current energy prices and energy supply issues in the region in which the eligible entity is located; and
how implementation of the pilot program in the region in which the eligible entity is located can alleviate the current energy prices and energy supply issues in the region.
Not later than 250 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall notify each eligible entity that applied for certification under paragraph (2)(A) of whether the eligible entity is certified to participate in the pilot program.
The pilot program shall terminate on the date that is 2 years after the date on which the pilot program is established under subsection (b)(1).
Authorization of appropriations
There is authorized to be appropriated to carry out the pilot program $4,000,000.
Technical study and report
The Secretary shall conduct a study on the potential for natural gas demand response across energy sectors and geographic regions.
Not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, the Secretary shall submit to Congress a report on the results of study conducted under subsection (a), including—
a description and quantification of—
potential natural gas and energy savings and load shifting; and
the costs and benefits associated with those savings, including avoided energy costs, reduced market price volatility, improved electric and gas system reliability, deferred or avoided pipeline or utility capital investment, and air emissions reductions;
an identification of geographic areas that would benefit most from implementing demand response measures for natural gas infrastructure; and
a description of—
existing and emerging technologies that can be used for demand response in the natural gas sector; and
best practices for developing a strategy for deployment of those technologies in the natural gas sector.