SCS/SB 299 - Under current law, rate adjustments in the purchase price of natural gas that are approved by the Public Service Commission (PSC) shall be exempt from certain provisions relating to business license taxation. The act adds a qualifying provision that any such purchased gas adjustment rates shall include the gas cost portion of net write-offs (i.e., bad debt) incurred by the gas company in providing service to customers. Any such net write-offs may only be recovered once through purchased gas adjustment rates, the act requires an annual true-up of the net write-offs, and the PSC shall annually review gas companies' debt collection efforts.
Households receiving financial assistance through the Utilicare program must make a matching payment of either $100 or 25% of the amount of financial assistance received, whichever is more. For renters receiving assistance through Utilicare, the renter must make a matching payment equal to the amount of assistance provided.
Any attempt to pay, or actual payment of, an electric or gas utility bill shall not adversely affect the assistance that an otherwise eligible household may receive through Utilicare. The act removes the current requirement that households have had their service disconnected before being eligible for assistance.
Electric or gas companies shall allow customers who develop an arrearage during the Cold Weather Rule to pay one-third of the arrearage in each of the 3 months following the Cold Weather Rule period in order to retain service. Electric or gas companies may require payment of half of any required deposit before authorizing new service, except to a customer under the Cold Weather Rule.
This act is similar to HB 2279 (2008).