SB 48 Modifies provisions relating to utilities
Sponsor: Wright-Jones
LR Number: 0251S.06T Fiscal Note: 0251-06T.ORG
Committee: Commerce, Consumer Protection, Energy and the Environment
Last Action: 7/1/2011 - Signed by Governor Journal Page:
Title: CCS HCS SB 48 Calendar Position: 3
Effective Date: Emergency Clause for certain sections
House Handler: Pollock

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Current Bill Summary


CCS/HCS/SB 48 - This act modifies provisions pertaining to utilities.

SECTION 250.236 - TERMINATION OF WATER SERVICE

Under current law, a city must send notice to a sewer customer by certified mail if the city intends to disconnect sewer service or request a water utility to disconnect water service for failure to pay the sewer bill. This act removes the requirement that the notice must be via certified mail.

SECTIONS 386.420 TO 386.540 - APPEALING DECISIONS MADE BY THE PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION

The act requires that in any proceeding before the Public Service Commission (PSC) that results in new rates for regulated utilities, the PSC must prepare a detailed reconciliation containing certain financial information, rate and charge impact of contested issues, and the customer class billing determinants used by the commission.

The act allows orders of the PSC to be served electronically and removes the requirement that every person who is served a certified copy of a PSC order must notify the PSC of its receipt.

Under current law, appeals of PSC orders or decisions are heard by the circuit court. The act moves appeals of PSC decisions from the circuit court to the appellate court. Certain information must accompany a notice of appeal.

The act removes provisions pertaining to the authority of the circuit court to stay or suspend a PSC order. The appellate court may stay or suspend a PSC order only when it does not involve the establishment of new rates and charges and when the court determines that great or irreparable harm would otherwise result to the appellant. No stay or suspension may be ordered by the appellate court for PSC decisions that involve new rates or charges for regulated utilities. The act provides procedures for the court to order temporary rate adjustments in the event the court finds that the PSC's approved rates and charges were in error. No court may issue a decision affecting a public utility's rates in any case where the court cannot render a decision on its merits due to a lack of adequate findings of fact by the PSC or because the PSC failed to receive properly-offered evidence. In such a case, the PSC must provide such findings of fact or issue a new order within 90 days of the court's determination.

These sections (except for Section 386.490) include an emergency clause.

The act is similar to HB 967 (2011).

SECTION 393.015 - TERMINATION OF WATER SERVICE

Under current law, no sewer company, municipal sewer utility, or sewer district may cause a person's water service to be terminated prior to sending written notice to the person via certified mail. The act removes the requirement that the notice be sent via certified mail.

SECTION 393.152 - PUBLIC UTILITY DEPOSITS

Gas, electric, water, heating, and sewer companies are prohibited from requiring a deposit or other guarantee for continued service to any existing customer that has been late in paying the utility bill at least 5 times in a 12-month period when such customer has consistently made a monthly payment by the delinquent date during the 12-month period of at least $75 or 25% of the total outstanding balance.

The act does not apply to customers who owe more than $300 or to customers making payments as part of an established pay plan with the utility.

This section is identical to SCS/SB 674 (2010) and similar to SCS/SB 474 (2009) and HB 2587 (2008).

SECTION 620.2300 - CLEANFIELDS RENEWABLE ENERGY DEMONSTRATION PROJECTS

This act would allow the owner of a cleanfields renewable energy demonstration park, which contains a biomass facility, to receive double renewable energy credits for certain energy generation and purchases. To receive such credits, the project must create at least fifty new jobs, with an average wage equal to or in excess of the county average wage, and retain at least fifty existing jobs. The owner must offer health insurance to all employees and pay at least fifty percent of such premiums. Applications to receive double renewable energy credit must be submitted to the Department of Economic Development. The Department of Economic Development, in conjunction with the Department of Natural Resources, will verify applications and if approved, forward the application and approval to the Public Service Commission. Upon receipt of an approved application, the Public Service Commission will assign double renewable energy credit for renewable energy resources purchased from the biomass facility by an electric supplier, and electric power generated off-site through the use of biomass fuel purchased from a biomass facility located at the park or by renewable energy resources utilizing storage equipment manufactured at the park.

This section contains an emergency clause.

This section is nearly identical to the same section passed in TAT/SS/SCS/HCS/HB 89 (2011) (the differences are minor technical).

ERIKA JAQUES