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The Oregon Administrative Rules contain OARs filed through March 15, 2014
 
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HOUSING AND COMMUNITY SERVICES DEPARTMENT

 

DIVISION 202

OREGON ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM

813-202-0001

Purpose

OAR chapter 813, division 202, is promulgated to carry out the Oregon Energy Assistance Program. The purpose of the program is to provide low-income households with electric bill payment assistance. Funding is generated from all categories of customers receiving electricity services through investor-based electricity providers in Oregon.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-202-0005

Definitions

All terms used in OAR chapter 813, division 202, are defined in the act, in 813-005-0005, and in this 813-202-0005. As used in OAR 813, division 202, unless the context indicates otherwise:

(1) “Administrative costs” means all program costs that are not directly related to delivery of program services.

(2) "Community action agency" or “CAA” means a private non-profit corporation organized under ORS Chapter 65, or an office, division or agency of a political subdivision designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as a community action agency pursuant to the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, which meets the requirements outlined in ORS 458.505(4).

(3) Department” means the Housing and Community Services Department for the state of Oregon.

(4) "DHS" means the Department of Human Services for the state of Oregon.

(5) "Energy assistance" means the services provided under the program and may include energy bill payment assistance and client education.

(6) "Energy assistance payments" means payments for the energy costs of eligible households made to energy suppliers or eligible households.

(7) "Energy costs" means costs related to the use of electricity within the dwelling unit of a household participating in the program.

(8) "Expenditure area" means the utility service territory of the originating utility. This expenditure area may include multiple counties.

(9) “Funding agreement” means that master grant agreement or other written agreement, together with all incorporated documents and references, to be executed by and between the department and subgrantee agencies in form and substance satisfactory to the department as a condition precedent for receipt of program funding from the department.

(10) "Funding application" means a subgrantee agency's application to the department for program funds.

(11) “Home energy supplier” means a utility company that provides electricity continuously via wires as the sources of residential energy.

(12) "Household" means any individual living alone, a family with or without children, or group of individuals who are living together as one economic unit and who purchase residential energy in common.

(13) "Household Income" means the total annual household receipts before taxes from all sources. Income does not include assets or funds over which the applicant has no control.

(14) "OEAP" or "program" means the Oregon Energy Assistance Program administered by the department.

(15) “OEAP manual” or “manual” means the Oregon Energy Assistance program manual incorporated herein by reference.

(16) “OPUS” means the energy assistance database.

(17) “Oregon median income” means the median income in Oregon, based on the guideline for the non-farm population of the state of Oregon produced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources.

(18) "Originating utility" means the utility company from which the funds being expended under the program were collected.

(19) “Program requirements” means all funding agreement terms and conditions, department directives (including deficiency notices), and applicable state, local, and federal laws and regulations (including these rules, other applicable department rules, and the manual), executive orders, local ordinances and codes.

(20) “Program services” means any or all program services, assistance, or other activities.

(21) "Service area" means the specific geographic area or region within which a local subgrantee agency provides program services.

(22) “Subgrantee agency” or “agency” means a private nonprofit corporation organized under ORS Chapter 65, a housing authority established under ORS 456.055 to 456.235, or a local government as defined in ORS 197.015 with whom the department has contracted to administer program services at the local level.

(23) "Utility service territory" means the geographic area in Oregon in which a utility provides electricity service.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-202-0008

Subgrantee Agency Program Application; Contracting

(1) The department may contract with subgrantee agencies to provide program services at the local level. In a service area where a community action agency exists, the community action agency has a conditional right of first refusal to serve as the subgrantee agency.

(2) The department normally will fund only one subgrantee agency within any service area. However, the department may, in its sole discretion, allow two or more subgrantee agencies to operate within a common service area. In such cases the subgrantee agencies shall enter into a written agreement with the department, satisfactory to the department in its sole discretion, in order, inter alia, to insure full access to program services for all eligible households within the service area to the extent of available funding and to prevent duplication of services.

(3)(a) In order to be eligible to administer the program at the local level, subgrantee agencies normally must submit, on a biennial basis, a funding application (including a work plan,) which the department must approve before it is operative.

(b) Funding applications must meet all requirements established by the department, to the department’s satisfaction, for the form and content of the application, including the work plan (which the department may modify or decline).

(c) Funding applications will be evaluated by the department for sufficiency with respect to application and other program requirements.

(d) In cases where a community action agency has the conditional right of first refusal for antipoverty program administration, and the community action agency cannot meet the sufficiency requirements for the form and content of the funding application as determined by the department in its sole discretion, the department may allow other eligible organizations to submit a funding application with respect to that service area.

(4) Subgrantee agencies must execute a funding agreement with the department, satisfactory to the department in its sole discretion, in order to receive program funding and administer the program within its service area.

(5) If a subgrantee agency subcontracts with other organizations for the delivery of program services within its service area, it must require and provide by contract that such other organizations shall adhere to and be subject to the terms and conditions of the subgrantee agency’s funding agreement with the department and other program requirements, including but not limited to records retention and reporting, department monitoring, and department remedial action.

(6) The department normally will allocate program funds to service areas through a formula established by the department prior to the allocation process. However, the department reserves the right to modify the formula at any time, at its sole discretion.

(7) The department may otherwise initiate a program funding award with a subgrantee agency.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-202-0010

Administration

(1)(a) Subgrantee agencies shall comply with the terms of the funding agreement and all other program requirements, including but not limited to department directives (including deficiency notices), applicable local, state and federal laws, rules (including the manual), regulations, executive orders, local ordinances and codes.

(b) Subgrantee agencies shall familiarize themselves with and adhere to procedures outlined in the manual. These procedures, inter alia, describe the methods for accurate completion of intake documentation and entry of the resultant data into OPUS or other department-approved data system, for authorizing program payments, for paying energy suppliers and clients, for making and reporting program funding request draws, and for end-of-year and other program reporting to the department.

(c) Subgrantee agencies shall attend and participate in program training made available or conducted by the department.

(2) Subgrantee agencies shall take applications for program services from households, verify household eligibility and contract with and monitor energy suppliers to determine that household clients are both eligible and receiving appropriate program services – all in a manner consistent with program requirements and satisfactory to the department.

(3) Subgrantee agencies shall make good faith attempts satisfactory to the department to recover any overpayment of program funds made to a household client, energy supplier, or otherwise.

(4)(a) Subgrantee agencies may expend up to an amount authorized by the department in writing for reimbursement of reasonable and appropriate administrative costs.

(b) If a subgrantee agency subcontracts with other organizations to provide program services, that organization may expend up to an amount for administrative costs that does not exceed its proportionate share of the amount authorized by the department for reasonable and appropriate administrative costs of the funding award.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-202-0015

Responsibilities of Local Service Providers

(1) Local service providers shall provide Program services to or on behalf of those households and residents within its service area. Local service providers shall take applications, verify the income of applicants, complete payment authorizations and contract with and monitor energy suppliers to ensure that eligible households within their service areas receive proper benefits and services. Local service providers are responsible to ensure that disbursed funds are expended in the utility service territory of the Originating Utility.

(2) Local service providers are responsible to ensure funds are disbursed in a timely manner. Funds not expended by a local service provider in a timely manner are subject to being reallocated and redistributed to statewide service providers of the Originating Utilities for distribution within the utility service territory of these Originating Utilities.

(3) Local service providers shall attempt to recover overpayments made to energy suppliers on behalf of eligible households within their service areas. When recovery from a energy supplier is not possible, the name and social security number of the customer receiving unrecovered overpayments shall be turned over by OHCS to the Oregon Department of Revenue for recovery through the Set Off Individual Liability (SOIL) program.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184, 456.555, 757.612 & 757.617
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.555
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; Suspended by OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-202-0017

Recordkeeping and Reporting

(1) Subgrantee agencies shall maintain accurate financial records satisfactory to the department, which document, inter alia, the receipt and disbursement of all funds provided through the program by the department, and have an accounting system in place satisfactory to the department, which meets, inter alia, generally accepted accounting principles.

(2) Subgrantee agencies also shall maintain other program records satisfactory to the department, which document, inter alia, client eligibility, receipt of allowable program services, termination of services and the bases for same, housing status of clients, administrative actions, contracts with subcontractors, review of subcontractor performance, action taken with respect to deficiency notices, and any review proceedings. Such records shall be in substance and format satisfactory to the department.

(3) Subgrantee agencies also shall provide the department with reports, data, and financial statements, in form and substance satisfactory to the department, as may be required under the manual or requested by the department.

(4)(a) Subgrantee agencies shall make all program records available to the department, the Oregon Secretary of State's Office, the federal government (if applicable), and their duly authorized representatives for inspection and copying.

(b) Subgrantee agencies and their contractors shall cooperate fully in any inspections or other monitoring actions taken by the department, the Oregon Secretary of State's Office, the federal government (if applicable), and their duly authorized representatives.

(c) Subgrantee agencies shall retain and keep accessible all such program records for a minimum of five (5) years, or such longer period as may be required by applicable law, following final payment and termination of program involvement, or until the conclusion of any audit, controversy or litigation arising out of or related to the program, whichever date is later.

(5) Subgrantee agencies shall timely and accurately collect and report eligible household data to the department through the use of OPUS. Such data collection and reporting shall be satisfactory to the department.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-202-0019

Compliance Monitoring; Remedies

(1) The department may conduct reviews, audits, and other compliance monitoring as it deems appropriate with respect to each subgrantee agency and its subcontractors, inter alia, to assure compliance with program requirements. Subgrantee agencies and their subcontractors shall cooperate fully with the department in its compliance monitoring.

(2)(a) The department may take such remedial action as it deems appropriate including, but not limited to terminating its funding agreement with a subgrantee agency and requiring repayment of all program funding, if it determines (in its sole discretion) that the performance of the subgrantee agency or any of its subcontractors is deficient in any manner, including with respect to program requirements.

(b) The department may, but is not required to issue deficiency notices and require the subgrantee agency to correct such deficiencies in a manner satisfactory to the department within a period of time designated by the department. If any such deficiency notices are issued, the subgrantee shall fully correct such deficiencies to the department’s satisfaction within the time specified.

(c) Issuance of a deficiency notice shall not constitute a waiver of other remedies available to the department or preclude the department from exercising such other remedies available to it under the funding agreement or other program requirements, at law or otherwise.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-202-0020

Client Eligibility

(1) A household must satisfy program requirements, including as outlined in the manual in order to be eligible to receive program services. Program requirements include, but are not limited to:

(a) Meeting income guidelines for the program, as described in the manual; and

(b) Demonstrating an energy burden, as defined in the manual.

(2) The period of time relevant to the determination of a household's eligibility is not be more than the past 12 months and not less than the 30 days immediately preceding the date of application by the household for program services, unless the department gives its prior approval to a modification of such time period.

(3) A renter household or homeowner may apply for program services.

(4) An applicant is not eligible for program services if the applicant lives in an institutional facility as that term is described in the manual.

(5) A resident of subsidized housing may apply for program services consistent with program requirements and as provided in the manual.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 3-2005(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 11-9-05 thru 5-8-06; Administrative correction 7-21-06; OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-202-0030

Program Services

(1) Subgrantee agencies shall provide program services to eligible households to the extent of available funding, subject to compliance with manual and other program requirements.

(2) Subgrantee agencies shall prioritize providing program services to eligible households that are in danger of having electricity service disconnected.

(3) Subgrantee agencies shall help applicants determine the program services that are most appropriate for the applicant.

(4) The following program services may be provided to eligible households to the extent of program funding:

(a) Regular energy assistance, including payments to energy suppliers for the energy costs of eligible households.

(b) Emergency energy assistance approved before disbursement by an authorized person other than an intake worker on behalf of the subgrantee agency. Households eligible for emergency energy assistance payments include households with annual energy costs exceeding 20 percent of household income, and households that suffer a serious, unexpected financial hardship.

(c) Client education designed to help household clients effectively reduce energy. Consumption may be provided to the extent of available program funding.

(5) Households in similar circumstances shall receive similar benefits to the extent of available program funding.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-202-0040

Limitation on Energy Assistance Payments

Energy assistance payments are limited to the amount of funds made available under ORS 757.612(7)(b)(c) and (d) and as outlined in the OEAP manual.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 184& 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-202-0050

Coordination with Home Energy Suppliers

(1) Subgrantee agencies must execute a contract with a home energy supplier in order for the home energy supplier to receive an energy assistance payment under the program.

(2) Subgrantee agencies must use a contract template provided or approved by the department in fulfillment of its obligations under subsection (1) hereof.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 458.505
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-202-0060

Administrative Hearings; Review of Subgrantee Action

(1) Subgrantee agencies shall provide a review process satisfactory to the department for persons aggrieved by agency action or inaction with respect to program obligations.

(2) The subgrantee agency must inform the department in writing of any request by an aggrieved party for review of subgrantee agency action within ten (10) days of such request.

(3) The subgrantee agency must inform the department and the aggrieved party in writing of any final review determination made by the subgrantee agency, and the basis for same, within ten (10) days of such final determination.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 6-2003, f. & cert. ef. 5-15-03; OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

813-202-0070

Department Review

(1) Persons aggrieved by an action of a subgrantee agency with respect to its program obligations may submit a written request to the department for its review of such contested action, but only after first exhausting the applicable review process furnished by the relevant subgrantee agency and within thirty (30) days of that agency review determination.

(2) The department may accept or deny a request for its review in whole or in part, at its sole discretion. Any department review will be in the manner determined appropriate by the department and may include, but shall not necessarily be limited to review of provided information.

(3) If the department accepts the review request, the requester of the review, the subgrantee agency, and relevant contractors shall produce all information required by the department, including requested affidavits or testimony.

(4) The department may make a determination on a review request and require such remedial action as the department determines, in its sole discretion, to be appropriate.

(5) Department review shall not take the form of a contested case review under ORS Chapter 183 unless specifically so stated by the director in writing.

(6) Timely request for department review by an aggrieved person or entity, and its completion to final order by the department, are requirements for exhaustion of administrative remedies by such aggrieved person or entity.

Stat. Auth.: ORS 456.555
Stats. Implemented: ORS 456.587, 458.505, 757.612 & 757.617
Hist.: OHCS 9-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 1-27-14 thru 7-25-14; Temporary Suspended by OHCS 18-2014(Temp), f. & cert. ef. 2-10-14 thru 7-25-14

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