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HB 312: "An Act creating a low-interest loan program for homeowners who convert their homes to natural gas-fired heating; and creating the natural gas home heating conversion loan fund."

00                             HOUSE BILL NO. 312                                                                          
01 "An Act creating a low-interest loan program for homeowners who convert their homes                                     
02 to natural gas-fired heating; and creating the natural gas home heating conversion loan                                 
03 fund."                                                                                                                  
04 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA:                                                                
05    * Section 1. AS 18.56 is amended by adding new sections to read:                                                   
06          Article 6A. Natural Gas Home Heating Conversion Loan Program.                                                
07            Sec. 18.56.870. Natural gas home heating conversion loan program. (a)                                      
08       The corporation shall establish a program under which the owner of a home that is                                 
09       eligible under (c) of this section may apply for a loan to convert a home that uses an                            
10       oil, coal, wood, or other non-natural gas-fired heating device so that the home                                   
11       becomes heated primarily by a natural gas-fired heating device.                                                   
12            (b)  To qualify for a loan under the program established in (a) of this section,                             
13       the homeowner shall obtain an energy audit performed by an energy rater approved                                  
14       under regulations adopted by the corporation. The cost of the audit shall be borne by                             
01       the homeowner. The energy rater shall, under regulations adopted by the corporation,                              
02                 (1)  perform an on-site inspection of the home;                                                         
03                 (2)  estimate the cost savings that would result from a conversion to a                                 
04       natural gas-fired heating device as the primary heating method for the home; and                                  
05                 (3)  estimate the cost of converting an existing heating method to a                                    
06       natural gas-fired heating device that will serve as the primary heating method for the                            
07       home.                                                                                                             
08            (c)  For purposes of this section, a home is eligible if it is a substantially                               
09       complete owner-occupied, single-family dwelling or duplex used as a permanent                                     
10       residence by the loan applicant, as determined by the corporation, and is located in the                          
11       state. Not more than 25 percent of the gross floor area of the building for which a loan                          
12       is received may be devoted to commercial use. An eligible home does not include a                                 
13       home                                                                                                              
14                 (1)  that is to be destroyed, abandoned, or converted to another purpose                                
15       within 12 months after an energy audit performed under (b) of this section;                                       
16                 (2)  to which natural gas is not available; or                                                          
17                 (3)  for which a loan was previously received under this program.                                       
18            Sec. 18.56.873. Natural gas home heating conversion loan fund. (a) The                                     
19       natural gas home heating conversion loan fund is established in the corporation. The                              
20       loan fund consists of money appropriated to the corporation for natural gas home                                  
21       heating conversion loans under AS 18.56.870.                                                                      
22            (b)  Loans made under this program                                                                           
23                 (1)  shall have an interest rate of one percent;                                                        
24                 (2)  shall be repaid over a term of 10 years;                                                           
25                 (3)  may not be subject to income limitations;                                                          
26                 (4)  may not exceed, for a home, the lesser of                                                          
27                      (A)  the cost of converting to a natural gas-fired heating device                                  
28            as the primary heating method, as estimated by an energy rater under                                         
29            AS 18.56.870(b); or                                                                                          
30                      (B)  $7,500.                                                                                       
31            (c)  The natural gas home heating conversion loan fund may be used to                                        
01                 (1)  make loans to owners of eligible homes for the purpose of                                          
02       financing conversion to a natural gas-fired heating device to be used as the primary                              
03       heating method in an eligible home;                                                                               
04                 (2)  pay costs of administering the loan fund; and                                                      
05                 (3)  pay the costs of administering and enforcing the terms of loans                                    
06       made by the corporation from the loan fund.                                                                       
07            Sec. 18.56.875. Energy audit exemption. In making loans under                                              
08       AS 18.56.870 and 18.56.873, the corporation is exempt from the requirements of                                    
09       AS 46.11.050(b).