Office of House Bill AnalysisH.B. 3286
By: Lewis, Ron
Natural Resources


Current law permits state and local governments, school districts, and
institutions of higher education to enter into performance contracts for
energy conservation projects, but does not specifically extend this to
water conservation projects.  In a performance contract, a company enters
into an agreement with an entity such as a school district and provides up
front capital to pay for improvements that will result in reduced energy or
water use.  The company is reimbursed out of the revenue stream based on
conservation savings. The benefit is that conservation improvements can be
done without having to issue debt instruments.  House Bill 3286 authorizes
state and local entities, school districts and institutions of higher
education to enter into a performance contract for water conservation
measures to reduce water consumption. 


It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that rulemaking
authority is expressly delegated to the state energy conservation office in
SECTION 10 (Section 447.002, Government Code) of this bill. 


House Bill 3286 amends the Education, Local Government, and Government
codes to authorize state entities, the governing body of local governments,
the boards of trustees of school districts, and the governing board of
institutions of higher education to enter into contracts for water
conservation measures to reduce water consumption.  The bill sets forth
provisions identifying the types of contracts the entities are authorized
to enter (Secs. 44.901 and 51.927, Education Code), (Secs. 302.001-301.004,
Local Government Code), (Secs. 2166.402 and 2166.406, Government Code). 

The bill requires the Texas Water Development Board to assist the governing
body of a state agency, commission, or institution in preparing water
conservation standards by providing technical assistance and advice (Sec.
2166.402, Government Code).   

The bill changes the name of the energy  management center to the state
energy conservation office (office) and sets forth provisions enumerating
the powers and duties of the office  and authorizes the office to establish
rules relating to the adoption and implementation of water conservation
programs.  The bill requires the office to coordinate all water
conservation related activities with the Texas Water Development Board.
The Texas Water Development Board is required to evaluate and help develop
all proposed water conservation and reuse requirements and to provide
training and expertise to the office staff regarding water conservation
issues  (Secs. 447.001-447.011, Government Code).   

The bill removes provisions requiring the office to administer state
programs established under the National Energy Extension Service Act (Sec.
447.003, Government Code). 


September 1, 2001.