Friday, June 22, 2018

Alternative Utility Ratemaking Bill To Encourage Conservation, Infrastructure Investment Goes To Governor

The Senate Friday gave final approval and sent to the Governor House Bill 1782 (Delozier-R- Cumberland) authorizing alternative ratemaking by the Public Utility Commission for utilities it regulates, including electric, natural gas, water and wastewater services.
In the energy context, the bill is designed to allow utilities to encourage energy efficiency improvements, distributed and renewable energy projects.
The bill would allow the Public Utility Commission to approve the use of alternate ratemaking mechanisms by utilities, such as decoupling, performance-based rates, formula rates and multiyear rates.
It does not add to the amount a company is approved to earn or recover from ratepayers. This continues to be determined by the PUC. It also does not change the type of costs that may be recovered by a utility through rates.
The bill clarifies the PUC’s authority to approve the use of alternative rate mechanism. These mechanism could be used to recover capital costs and expenses to provide service as they do now, and the PUC retains the ability to approve such recovery.
The bill now goes to the Governor for his action.  A Senate Fiscal Note and summary is available.
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