SB 406 Allows certain cost recovery by electric companies for energy generation and requires utilities to pay an assessment for the Office of Public Counsel
Sponsor: Crowell Co-Sponsor(s)
LR Number: 1745S.01I Fiscal Note: 1745-01N.ORG
Committee: Veterans' Affairs, Emerging Issues, Pensions and Urban Affairs
Last Action: 3/9/2011 - Hearing Conducted S Veterans' Affairs, Emerging Issues, Pensions and Urban Affairs Committee Journal Page:
Title: Calendar Position:
Effective Date: Emergency Clause

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Current Bill Summary


SB 406 - SECTION 386.715 - Office of Public Counsel

The act requires the Office of Public Counsel (OPC) to, prior to the beginning of each fiscal year, inform the Public Service Commission (PSC) of its estimated expenses for the upcoming fiscal year. The OPC must specify how much of its estimated expenses are directly attributable to its work with each type of PSC-regulated public utility (i.e., electric, gas, water, heating, telephone, telegraph, and sewer) as well as the amount of expenses that are not directly attributable to one specific type of utility. Costs for telephone companies may not exceed 3% of the total directly attributable costs. Costs not directly attributable to one specific type of utility must be proportionately attributed to each utility type based on each utility type's percentage of total gross intrastate operating revenues across all utilities.

The PSC must levy an assessment to each regulated public utility to cover its share of the OPC's costs. The total amount levied to all utilities must not exceed 500ths of 1% of the total gross intrastate operating revenues of all regulated utilities. The PSC must issue a statement of the assessment amount to each utility by July 1st of each year, which the utility may pay in full by July 15th or in four equal quarterly installments.

The payments are to be deposited in the Public Counsel Fund, created in the act, and may only be used to pay the expenses of the OPC. Any balance remaining in the fund at the end of the fiscal year must be proportionately credited to the next year's assessments.

The act does not grant authority to the PSC to determine how the OPC estimates its expenses or how the OPC will spend the assessments collected from the utilities.

By March 31st of each year, each regulated utility must file a statement with the PSC of its gross intrastate operating revenues for the preceding calendar year.

This section is similar to the same section number in HCS/SB 791 (2010).

SECTION 393.135 - Early Site Permit Cost Recovery

If an electric company obtains an Early Site Permit from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), the PSC must allow the company to recover from its ratepayers the financing costs on up to $40 million of prudently-incurred expenditures spent by the company to obtain the permit. The company may recover such costs from its ratepayers through rates and charges over a period not to exceed 20 years, but the PSC shall not approve return on equity for these expenditures. The company may begin the cost recovery on the effective date of tariffs approved by the PSC at the company's first general rate proceeding following the NRC's issuance of the permit.

If an electric company has recovered costs from its ratepayers for an Early Site Permit but the company's interest in the Early Site Permit is subsequently sold or transferred, the company must refund its ratepayers up to the amount that the company collected from the ratepayers for the permit, plus interest. If the power plant for which the Early Site Permit was acquired is not constructed within 10 years of the issuance of the Early Site Permit, the electric company that recovered costs from ratepayers for the Early Site Permit must refund such costs to the ratepayers over a period of 5 years, including interest.

The act creates the Governor's Task Force on Electrical Generation Options, which shall review energy generation options to include other options in addition to large baseload nuclear plants. The act specifies representation on the task force. The task force must issue its report by September 30, 2011.

This section is similar to SB 50 (2011) and SB 321 (2011).

The act contains an emergency clause.

ERIKA JAQUES