Nebraska Revised Statute 66-1867

Chapter 66 Section 1867

66-1867.

Jurisdictional utility; prior filing subject to negotiations; application for infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge; duties; affected cities; powers; commission; powers; change in rate schedules.

(1) This section applies to applications for an infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge by a jurisdictional utility whose last general rate filing was the subject of negotiations with affected cities as provided for in section 66-1838.

(2) When a jurisdictional utility governed by this section files an application with the commission seeking to establish or change any infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules, it shall submit proposed infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules and supporting documentation regarding the calculation of the proposed infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules with the application and shall provide written notice to each city that will be affected by the proposed infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rates simultaneously with the filing with the commission. Such notice shall identify the cities that will be affected by the filing. The jurisdictional utility shall file copies of the notice with the commission and shall file with the affected cities the information prescribed by this section with each city affected by the proposed infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge in electronic or digital form or, upon request, in paper form.

(3) The jurisdictional utility shall file with the cities and the commission the infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules and supporting documentation regarding the calculation of the proposed infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules, including (a) a list of eligible projects, (b) a description of the projects, (c) the location of the projects, (d) the purpose of the projects, (e) the dates construction began and ended, (f) the total expenses for each project at completion, and (g) the extent to which such expenses are eligible for inclusion in the calculation of the infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate.

(4)(a) Affected cities shall have a period of thirty days after the date of such filing within which to adopt a resolution evidencing their intent to negotiate an infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate with the jurisdictional utility. A copy of the resolution in support of negotiations adopted by each city under this section or a copy of the resolution of the rejection of the offer of negotiations shall be provided to the commission and the jurisdictional utility within seven days after its adoption.

(b) If the commission receives resolutions adopted prior to the expiration of the thirty-day period provided for in subdivision (a) of this subsection evidencing the intent from cities representing more than fifty percent of the ratepayers within the affected cities to negotiate with the jurisdictional utility an infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate, the commission shall certify the case for negotiation between such cities and the jurisdictional utility and shall take no action upon the application and filings regarding such charge until the negotiation period and any stipulated extension has expired or an agreement on rates is submitted, whichever occurs first.

(c) If the commission receives copies of resolutions from cities representing more than fifty percent of the ratepayers within the affected cities which expressly reject negotiations, the infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate review shall proceed immediately from the date when the commission makes such a determination in the manner provided for in section 66-1866.

(d) If commission certification to pursue negotiations is entered, the cities that have adopted resolutions to negotiate and the jurisdictional utility shall enter into good faith negotiations over the proposed infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate.

(e) Negotiations between the cities and the jurisdictional utility shall continue for a period not to exceed thirty days after the date of the commission's certification to pursue negotiations, except that the parties may mutually agree to extend such period to a future date certain and shall provide such stipulation to the commission.

(f) If the cities and the jurisdictional utility reach agreement upon the proposed infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules, such agreement shall be put into writing and filed with the commission. If cities representing more than fifty percent of the ratepayers within the cities affected by the proposed infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules enter into an agreement upon such charges and the agreement is filed with and approved by the commission, such infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules shall be effective and binding upon all of the jurisdictional utility's ratepayers within the affected cities. The commission shall enter its order either approving or rejecting such infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules within thirty days after the date of the filing of the agreement with the commission.

(g) Any agreement filed with the commission shall be presumed in the public interest, and absent any clear evidence on the face of the agreement that it is contrary to the standards and provisions of the State Natural Gas Regulation Act, the agreement shall be approved by the commission.

(h) If the negotiations fail to result in an agreement upon any infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules within the time permitted by this section for such negotiations, the jurisdictional utility may formally notify the commission of this fact and the matter shall be submitted for determination by the commission as a contested proceeding with the affected cities as one party and the jurisdictional utility as the other. The affected cities and the jurisdictional utility shall submit any documents, data, or information in support of the city's or jurisdictional utility's position to the commission in a report to be filed not later than fourteen days after the commission receives notice that negotiations have failed and formally notifies the parties that it will be hearing the matter as a contested case. The commission shall hold a hearing in the case not later than thirty-five days after the receipt of the reports of both parties. In determining the appropriate pretax revenue of the jurisdictional utility, the commission shall consider the factors set out in subsection (5) of section 66-1866. A final determination by the commission shall be rendered by the commission within twenty-one days after the adjournment of the hearing.

(i) If information filed pursuant to subdivision (h) of this subsection is not considered a public record within the meaning of sections 84-712 to 84-712.09, such information may be submitted to the commission by the jurisdictional utility or affected cities for the limited purpose of consideration by the commission under this section subject to a protective order issued by the commission.

(j) Within thirty days after any infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules approved by the commission pursuant to this section become effective, copies of all documents relating to such infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules, except those determined to be confidential under rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the commission or that may be withheld from the public pursuant to subdivision (h) or (j) of this subsection, shall be available for public inspection in every office and facility open to the general public of the jurisdictional utility in this state.

(5) A jurisdictional utility may apply for a change in any infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules approved pursuant to this section no more than once in any twelve-month period. Any such application for a change shall be pursued in the manner provided for in this section.

(6)(a) The monthly infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate shall be allocated among the jurisdictional utility's classes of customers in the same manner as costs for the same type of facilities were allocated among classes of customers in the jurisdictional utility's most recent general rate proceeding. An infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate shall be assessed to customers as a monthly fixed charge and not based on volumetric consumption. Such monthly charge shall not increase more than fifty cents per residential customer over the base rates in effect at the time of the initial filing for any infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules. Thereafter, each subsequent filing shall not increase the monthly charge by more than fifty cents per residential customer over that charge in existence at the time of the most recent application for any infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules.

(b) At the end of each twelve-month period during which the infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules are in effect, the jurisdictional utility shall reconcile the differences between the revenue resulting from an infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge and the appropriate pretax revenue for that period and shall submit the reconciliation and any proposed infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules adjustment to the affected cities for approval to recover or refund the difference, as appropriate, through adjustments of the infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate. Review and approval of such reconciliation or adjustment shall proceed in the manner set out in the commission order on the initial application for an infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate.

(7)(a) A jurisdictional utility that has implemented any infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules pursuant to this section shall cease to collect such charges when new base rates and charges become effective for the jurisdictional utility following a commission order establishing or approving customer rates in a subsequent general rate proceeding.

(b) In any subsequent general rate proceeding involving a jurisdictional utility which is collecting charges pursuant to any infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rate schedules, the new general rates shall reflect a reconciliation of any previously unreconciled infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge revenue as necessary to ensure that the revenue matches as closely as possible to the appropriate pretax revenue for that period as determined in the general rate proceeding.

(c) If, during a subsequent general rate proceeding, the recovery of certain costs associated with eligible infrastructure system replacements are disallowed, the new general rates approved shall include such adjustments as are necessary to recognize and account for any overcollections.

(8) Nothing in this section shall be construed to limit the authority of the commission or affected cities engaged in negotiations regarding a general rate filing with a jurisdictional utility to review and consider infrastructure system replacement cost recovery charge rates along with other costs during any general rate proceeding of such jurisdictional utility.